Artist transforms apartment block into mural of residents favourite books
Traditionally, graffiti can be a pretty divisive thing. Some people are against it in all its forms, some people love the s**t out of it, and some people fall somewhere in the middle. They love some constructive street art, and reckon it’s got an important role in the representing the vibrant culture of communities in a visual and unique way. One bloke who’s taking advantage of that middle ground is Dutch street artist, Jan is De Man. He creates art that connects communities – and his latest piece puts the residents of an apartment block’s favourite books on a giant bookcase…
We bloody love books here at Ozzy Man Reviews, so we’re always stoked when something of this magnitude comes out to celebrate them.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering what inspired Jan is De Man to opt for this particular mural.
Well, it wasn’t his first choice, but he’s bloody stoked with the result.
“I know the people who live on the ground floor very well. They’ve wanted a mural by my hand for a while. They also wanted to let me feel free in my design as long as it would bring something positive to their neighbourhood. The first idea was to paint a smiley. A very big smiley. Because I believe people become more happy when they see a smiley every day. But this idea didn’t feel complete, it felt too simple.”
From there – intent on finding something that captured the local culture – he began talking to the locals. “We entered the community by asking people for their favourite books and we were able to put 8 languages and cultures together in the same concept. Everybody, every age, every culture, every language was welcome. The only rule I set up to participate in this art project was: no political books and no religious books. Besides that every book title was welcome.”
The end result is pretty f**ken rad, and it’s achieved everything Jan set out to. “The neighbourhood where this work was made is filled with different cultures.
And I’ve noticed that this project brought (and hopefully for as long as it lasts) people together without pushing it. They meet each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in political point of views. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left.”
Final thought: Next time some stuffy old whinger has a cry about all graffiti being a bit s**t, point them in the direction of this bewdy. Anyway, time for us to sign off. We’d love to know what books you’d nominate for a mural in your neighbourhood, though. You know where to post them.
Just in case you missed it, here’s one of Ozzy’s latest commentary videos…Ozzy Man Reviews: Vicious Cat Fights
Video Link: Travelscape
H/T: BORED PANDA.