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Biennial "Asphalte" Urban Art

Leading street artists from around the world invaded Charleroi 2014 to take part in the first « Asphalte » urban art eventinitiated by the BPS22 contemporary arts centre, the project comprises 11 monumental frescoes in the city centre , along with a dozen or so other smaller-scale happenings. They are dotted about the city wich has sets its sights on becoming the urban art capital.In any case, Charleroiis now becoming an authentic open art museum.

Most of the frescoes can still be seen and other walls will be used duringthe next biennal event. A visitors' map and a guide for visitor are availableat the Tourist Office.

Steve Powers

The facade of Charleroi Expo.

« When I was a graffiti artist, I used to focus on one word at a time. Now, as an artist, I focus on all of them. »

Powers' clever hybrid language oscillates between writing and pictograms. Each wall painting reflects a positive character trait specific to a local community. An introspective image can allowa neighbourhood to be restored to its former glory in the eyes of others.

By painting an intimate portrait of the population on the walls, he brings a human element to architecture.

Maya Hayuk

Géode de Charleroi Expo.

« For me, colour is really magical, even spiritual. I feel that the more sombre the world around me, the brighter the colours should be. »

Maya Hayuk excites one's psyche with colour, in much the same way music does with sound. Her paintings are abstract, the colours vibrant; the symmetry balances complex compositions modified according to the architecture. Mandala motifs from Ukrainian folklore, interspersed with an image of the cosmos or a psychedelic film... References to pop culture infuse her artistic practice, making it a product of its time. The musicality of Maya Hayuk's work appeals to collective empathy, bringing emotions to the foreground.

Todd James

2, Boulevard Solvay, and on the metro station Beaux-Arts.

« I don't explain my paintings, to be honest I don't want to ruin them. I hate that, it's like describing a guitar riff. »

Todd Jame's satirical take on Western society is modelled on carefree characters, in vibrant colours. American pop culture, cartoons and graffiti are major elements in his art. His message penetrates the subconscious as quickly as an advertisement, without any explanations.

HuskMitNavn

Boulevard Janson, 61.

« I am inspired by my surroundings. They aren't super exciting, but they're filled with things and situations that anyone can identify with. You don't always have to climb a mountain to feel inspired. »

HuskMitNavn's humorous take on society exudes humanity. The artist's drawings are fluid and perfectly depict the desired emotion. Ironically, the Danish artist opted for a pseudonym that's difficult to memorise, HuskMitNavn, which translates as « Remember my name ».

Boris Tellegen

Parc du Tribunal.

« Mankind is driven by an unshakeable belief in progress. My work explores another scenario, where unleashed automated forces develop their own structures and types of thought. »

The Dutch artist's sculptures evoke change and inner strength. The metallic bodies seems to burst out of the concrete, propelled by an unstoppable force while simultaneously forming the complex core of a minimal form. The letter A incorporated in the metal is the sculpture's signature, and as such makes reference to the graffiti artist's pseudonym: DELTA.

Sixe Paredes

Rue Tumelaire, 21.

« I have a lot of admiration for so-called " primitive " cultures. »

Beyond formal influences, Sixe Paredes is inspired by ancient cosmic laws, where shamanism celebrated a powerful and omnipresent natural realm. Nature has been replaced by the urban jungle, and cave walls replaced by concrete for this Barcelonan artist, who trained at graffiti school in the late 80s. For him, wall painting has come to represent an act of reconciliation with the city. A homage in the form of a secret language whose meaning we have forgotten.

Sozyone Gonzalez

The squar between rue Marchienne, 31 and rue du Moulin.

« It was during my growth and development as a graffiti artist that I came to understand the importance of Art, because it was painting on cave walls that allowed us to grasp the "why" of painting. »

Belgian artist Sozyone's illustrations bring together the gangster fantasy of the Belle Époque - its honour code, its jargon, tits mythology - and the graffiti artist. This pictorial metaphor of the world of graffiti art accepts the juxtaposition of a romantic anarchic ideal with the desire for social status.

Hell'O Monsters

The square between rue de Marchienne and rue du Moulin.

Created in the late 90s, the Belgian group Hell'O Monsters, featuring Jérôme Meynen, François Dieltiens and Antoine Detaille, provides a metaphorical view of a very complex society, a sort of multicultural shaker that is simultaneously a source of inspiration and distress. The group members share the same strict aesthetic values, based on well-defined brushstrokes and graphic leitmotifs. They have also created a strong group identity that stretches beyond their personalities. An iconoclastic group that shakes up cultural references, ranging from medieval «Danse Macabre» (Dance of Death) folklore to tattooing, to techno music, to the Memphis Design movement, to prints of 17th Century birds...

Visitor's guide here.

 

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