x

Arts

American, French Artists Revive Hope on Giant Paris Mural

PARIS — A colorful human face emerges from waves like a call for hope above a Parisian street, in a giant message of optimism from American and French street artists painting a massive mural in the French capital that's slowly climbing out of its virus isolation.

lllustrator AJ Dungo, 29, who lives in California, and French graffiti artist Da Cruz, 44, started working in mid-June on the 25-meter (82-foot) high mural in the 19th arrondissement, in the northeast of Paris.

The project, to be inaugurated Saturday, is a symbol of creative rebirth, and of both cultures reconnecting after lockdowns.

Da Cruz, who grew up in this Parisian neighborhood and used to travel regularly to different continents, said it was hard for him to see his projects stopped amid the pandemic.

"I'm working in the street because I like showing my message to lots of different people, and I miss hearing people speaking another language and being able to communicate with them through painting … There's always a bridge that is created by colors," he told The Associated Press.

The project is supported by the French American Mural Art (FAMA) program, led by the U.S. Embassy, in association with local festival Ourcq Living Colors.

AJ Dungo and Da Cruz have chosen to represent stylized waves at the bottom of the mural, and an explosion of colors above surrounding a central human face, with inspirations from South America and Africa.

"We wanted to make something really optimistic and something celebratory, because after the tragic year everyone went through, we thought it could help the community to lift their spirits a bit and give them some hope with a meaningful image," AJ Dungo said.

For AJ Dungo, known for his 2019 graphic novel "In Waves," the giant mural is also a first — the biggest artwork he's ever done. "I think the last thing I painted was my niece's bedroom for her sixth birthday. I did like a little mural of an elephant and a pencil and butterflies," he said.

For more than a year, artists across the world have been restrained by virus restrictions. California gradually lifted most measures in recent weeks. France started reopening its economy last month, including museums, theaters, cinemas and concert halls. 

Da Cruz said "we've been confined (at home), freed, we went out again," so the mural represents "that human energy which makes us get over the hardships of life."

AJ Dungo stressed that for many artists, last year meant "a drought of inspiration."

"People were more concerned about their livelihoods and their families and their loved ones to even make meaningful art," he said.

Some have been very productive, he added, "but generally, the consensus among creatives that I met was like a very depressing, hard time … So you can expect maybe a big explosion of expression in the next coming months and years, because people are going to have a lot to say about what we all went through collectively."

RELATED

DOHA — An emerald inscribed for a Mughal emperor.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The Greek Americans travelled to Roosevelt Island Thursday December 8th to face Zum Schneider in game 9 of the EPSL.

Asteras Tripolis New York literally fought to the very end, but fell short at Randall’s Island against Cosmopolitan’s League NY International with a 3-2 loss for the Flamhaft Cup round of 16.

Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time.

ATHENS - Greek annual inflation rate slowed to 8.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.