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BLU - MUTO

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Published on Sep 29, 2010

B L U - Blu's fame began in 1999, thanks to a series of illicit graffiti painted in the historical center and suburbs of Bologna, the capital of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. In the early years of his career his technique was limited to the use of spray paint, the typical medium of graffiti culture. His characteristic style appeared in 2001, however, when Blu started painting with house paint, using rollers mounted on top of telescopic sticks. This new solution allowed him to increase the painted surface area and convey a stronger intensity to his visual vocabulary. Huge human figures, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes dramatic, who looked as if they were borrowed from comics or arcade game world, began appearing along the streets of Bologna around this time. Another aspect that influenced his early career was the practice of a shared artistic action. Artists such as Dem, Sweza, Run and, above all Ericailcane[2], were his companions during nocturnal raids where an anonymous creative participation overcame the need of signing their pieces. Also, during those years, Blu started experimenting with digital animation and he created short interactive video clips that were used as a visual contribution to the live musical performances of the collective OK NO[3]. The collaboration with Ericailcane had its best results during the period from 2003 to 2006. The two personalities completed each other in a extraordinary composite harmony; while Blu was painting his characteristic human figures Ericailcane made his typical animals. The two artists, friends in real life, continue to work together although with less frequency. Starting in 2004, some art galleries noticed Blu's artistic value and invited him to take part to one-man or collective shows. Yet Blu, throughout his entire youthful career, attempted to limit his presence within the bastions of the official art world, preferring other kinds of territories. Since his major pieces, outside of his videos, have been immovable murals, it seems reasonable to present a geographical rather than chronological survey of Blu's works. Techniques, themes and ethic of
Blu:
The list of the places where Blu has left his trace is impressively long, as long as his collection of sketchbooks which contain sketches, thoughts or simply visual notes. Often these drawings function as a script for his improvisations on walls. His graphic mania is directly proportional to the epic scale of his murals. His paintings seem to interpret the architectural language of public spaces and reinvent them into new shapes. Thus, his murals are never detached from the places where they were conceived because Blu is a painter in the landscape, urban or industrial. He always tries to communicate with the society which inhabits those spaces, searching for the uniqueness of each place. Besides drawing and painting, the technical universe of Blu is completed by a skillful use of the digital medium. Proof of that can be seen in his website where his manual craftsmanship is combined with computer programming language. The recurring themes of his imagery play on the distortion of the human figure. He speaks a pop vocabulary which resembles the automatic writing process of the surrealist tradition with purely rhetorical processes.[35] In short, his artistic practice has contributed to a radical change in the art market. His murals and his videos are given for free to the public space of the cities and on the world wide web. His income comes from the sale of multiples, like silkscreen prints, in those few galleries which represent him, or through the sale of self-made editions. The works of Blu appear abrupt because they are derived from the free creativity of an artist who has decided to occupy a position outside the sheltered field of art. As magically as they appear they can disappear, sometimes covered by other paintings of Blu himself, sometimes ruined by time and weather, but mostly erased by the authorities in the name of a short-sighted need of tidiness. Blu's aesthetic search is motivated by a belief in an open source philosophy[36], persistent in its anarchical revolt against contemporary art conventions and unique in beauty, and is undoubtedly one of the most interesting in our visual culture.

music ----------- Andrea Martignoni
produced -------- Mercurio Film
assistant: ------ Sibe

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