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A tale about two murals

Wiktor Bochenek
02 of January '23

Street art today is not a novelty or something to be shocked by, aside from its provocative solutions. Since the 1980s and 1990s, it has come a long way from illegal forms to socially approved realizations. By the way, we should not forget how ephemeral this type of urban art is.

Murals have become a tool not only in the hands of artists expressing their expression with paint and a wall, but also urban politicians, communities and officials. In some cities, special paths are being created to guide us through the city's murals, which are becoming a new attraction. Some cities, like Krakow, have started their mural policy.

As with any trend, there are various forms of distortion of it, which in this case could be the advertising of "anti-smog murals", which in the visions of marketers are a miraculous wunderwaffe against air pollution, although in the end they turn out to be, well, a marketing ploy by big brands. Kuba Glaz writes about infantilization and the form of "souping up" on the basis of the Poznan experience on our portal.

Today we will talk about two realizations from Traffic Design, where one of them shows the still forgotten feature of murals and street art, which is their longevity.

Mural na Kilińskiego w Gdyni autorstwa Aleksandry Godlewskiej

Mural on Kilińskiego Street in Gdynia by Aleksandra Godlewska.

© Traffic Design

pixel craze

In 2022, a new mural was created on Kilińskiego Street in Gdynia, a pioneering work in this technique by designer Aleksandra Godlewska.

The checkerboard motif was meant to refer to the previous facade of the building, which featured a similar motif. The artist was also inspired by pixels. The escalating sequence of seemingly scattered dots in each successive representation changes its character, finally merging into a single block. This is not the first such realization developed by Traffic Design, which has already announced a war against pastelosis in other spaces in Gdynia. Thus, poor-quality identification is being replaced by art and unusual solutions.

Mural na Kilińskiego w Gdyni autorstwa Aleksandry Godlewskiej

Mural on Kilińskiego Street in Gdynia by Aleksandra Godlewska.

© Traffic Design

SHORT TERM

In early December 2022, the Traffic Design collective announced the disappearance of one of the murals by Italian duo STEN LEX, which was created in 2014, from the landscape of Gdynia. First, the mural was obscured by a large-format advertisement, which, thanks to public pressure, was able to be removed. The building on which the implementation was located was being painted, and with it, despite pressure from the artists and the presentation of recommendations on how to preserve the mural while cleaning the wall, it disappeared under a layer of paint. Despite great intentions, the realization could not be protected from oblivion. The work was eight years old.

Mural STEN LEX

STEN LEX mural

© Traffic Design

mural and its character

The disappearance of the mural from STEN LEX shows us the problem facing street art today. The lack of timely conservation and other responses will irrevocably lead to the loss of many outstanding works of street art. In the case of an art form for which the age of eighteen is not majority but longevity, it is necessary to consider how to create a system of conservation protection, so as not to sleep the moment when we can preserve something.

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

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