World as Canvas #1

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Trying to decide the who, what, where’s and when’s to include in a digest of such a rich, varied, long lived and demotic an expression of the human artistic impulse as ‘street art’, would be a gargantuan and ultimately arbitrary act. So I told myself when my lightbulb moment dimmed.

Would you start with Taki 183? Or take it back to frescoes, further, cave paintings? When a celebrated, contemporary street artist makes the crossover to the gallery, produces and shows new work there, would you, should you include it in a gloss on ‘street art’?

I love the vibrancy and living context given to any art made to be where people are, not just where people go to see art, with the world as canvas. In wanting to share some, I decided it just couldn’t do the art, the artists or the context any justice to try and write a broad, inclusive, single piece. So, lightbulb dimmed but not clicked off, I thought a wee running series might be more appropriate; posting up pieces, bios on artists, areas etc. Then I thought, well, might be nice if anyone else similarly impassioned, or just even a little interested, wanted to get involved.

If your up for it, just add a number to the series title in the handy and fairly awesome blog feature, right here provided for you by the good folks @Kiltr, take a mo to add maybe some blurb (the piece/s, where they are, the artist, how you encountered them etc). For instance, much as I love Smug’s stuff, if there’s anyone living alongside any of his pieces in Glasgow, it would make more sense for them to post. Or likewise for any fans of Roadsworth in Montreal as we speak...

...so, first up from me, then, World as Canvas #1.

I wasn’t hugely enamoured of the photo-realistic murals which were the stock in trade of Spanish artist Miguel Angel Belinchon, or Belin as he is known. They weren’t offensive to my eye or anything, I just enjoyed other ‘street art’ of its kind more.

That was until after a pilgrimage to Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, he adopted elements of Cubism into a newer, more playful, creative style he is calling ‘postneocubismo’. Now I would seriously consider a tour just to see the public work he still does (he is developing the fusion of his photorealistic style with elements of cubism and distortion on canvas, mainly in portraits, that’s why I’ve included some canvas and sketch work below), like the mural he created for last year’s ‘Meeting of the Styles’ festival in Cancun (at the top of this article). The way most of the pieces, regardless of how they are cubed or distorted, always manage to draw the focus back to the eyes even has whispers of @frank-mcfadden about it!

If you like what you see, you can check out more of Belin’s work on his website and Instagram

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