This year, the third season of the festival has earned applause and caused controversy among the residents, largely due to the work of the Chilean artist known as INTI.
Under the influence of the Urban Forms festival, whose main partner is the Cropp brand, Łódź changes its usual depressing, dull appearance, slowly emerging as the European capital of murals. This year, the third season of the festival has earned applause and caused controversy among the residents, largely due to the work of the Chilean artist known as INTI.
It is the aim of the Urban Forms Foundation, founded in 2009, to improve the visual presentation of Łódź with the aid of modern art, which permeates the city and becomes integral to the urban tissue. 24 murals have been created in Łódź within the Urban Forms Gallery, the work of which culminates in the annual Urban Forms Festival. This year, during the third season of the festival, six artists from Chile, Belgium, Spain and Poland worked throughout September on new large-format paintings, which brought the number of exhibits in this enormous urban gallery to 30.
The event wouldn’t have its true impact without a typical Polish “scandal”. The largest undertaking of this year’s Urban Forms was undoubtedly a mural painted by the Paris-based Chilean artist known as INTI, created on the wall of an 11-floor building in Retkinia, one of the Łódź housing estates. Some loved it but others thought it controversial, and some of the residents of the block called it “disgraceful”. There were those that thought that the figure surrounded by sheep looked like an extraterrestial and those who thought he was Jesus (an obvious association with sheep); both loudly protested in the local media.
Meantime the hero of the “controversial” painting is a traveller, a figure that often appears in INTI’s work (a similar representation can be found in the “Holy Warrior” mural painted by the artist at the last year’s Urban Forms, which curiously did not cause any objections – could it be the sheep?). The artist draws his inspiration directly from South American folklore and the beliefs of its indigenous people, which is perhaps too much for the walls of concrete blocks.
Apart from INTI it was such artists as the Belgian RIA, Spain’s 3TTMAN TONE, PROEMBRION & GREGOR GONSIOR from Poland who left their artworks in Łódź. This year’s programme, which was again created in active partnership with CROPP, included a review of short films presenting street art from round the world, street concerts on one of the world’s youngest instruments, the hang drum, and a 3D street painting by Ryszard Paprocki, along with a laser lights show by PROEMBRION.
In 2012, the Urban Forms Festival was considered to be one of the 5 most important street art festivals in the world, and it looks like it will maintain this position in years to come. No wonder, as the Urban Forms Gallery includes top class murals by international artists, which can be admired without restrictions, every day and for free.
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