MURALI – city painting
Open air gallery
The first murals on the blank walls of prefabricated houses in the Gdansk Zaspa neighborhood appeared in 1997, in honor of the city’s millennium celebration. It quickly became clear that large-format images are in tune with the spirit of the sleeping area, so the idea was born of creating a huge mural gallery here, and in 2009 the first Monumental Art festival was held. Today, the collection of monumental painting in Zasp consists of fifty-nine large-format works on the walls of residential buildings and nineteen porches.
In memory of houses
One of the largest murals in Warsaw (1400 sq. M.) Appeared in 2009, and Victor Malinovsky painted it. The work is distinguished by its minimalist form: on the huge blank wall of the pre-war stone house, the artist placed the inscription: “Stone and what?”, As well as a shiny red ball. The simple image contains important content: once this house stood on the border of the ghetto and – which is rare for Warsaw – has survived to the present day. Until now, one can see traces of the bombing of the Warsaw Uprising in it. A simple, concise inscription makes you think and leaves a much deeper mark than a literal, clumsy image.
Lodz mural strong
When the creation of large-format projects on the blank walls of houses became fashionable in Poland, Lodz became a kind of mural capital. There was a similar tradition here before – still, walking around the city, you can see wall advertisements of the second half of the 20th century. In recent years, thanks to the application of murals, many shabby old houses have been transformed, and some authors have gained real fame even outside of Lodz. For example, the Etam Cru team, created by graduates of the Lodz Academy of Arts Mateusz Gapski and Przemék Blazyk. On his account, art projects in many cities of the world, and of their Lodz achievements, the most famous is “Woman with a Chicken,” painted in 2013 at the house at 16 Politekhniki Avenue.
Mural “Girl with a watering can”, designed by Natalia Rak, a graduate of the Lodz Academy of Fine Arts, painted in 2013 on the wall of the house at 11/4 Pilsudsky Avenue (11/4 Aleja Piłsudskiego) in Bialystok, has become a real hallmark of the city, a recognizable element of urban space. When in 2016 the new owner of the house intended to chop it off the wall, not only the residents, but also the deputy mayor of Bialystok, who addressed the Minister of Culture, came to her defense. After this action, the building was entered in the register of monuments.
Not a single wall
The Bialystok mural depicts a little girl in a folk costume watering a real tree growing from a watering can from a house. Bruno Althamer once again used a dry trick in Warsaw: an image that is interesting in itself, but acquiring additional meanings in interaction with the environment, appeared in 2019 on one of the central streets of the capital (Nowy Świat 18/20). This is a portrait of Bark, who died shortly before this, a popular pop singer. Mural was conceived in such a way that the crown of the tree was at the same time the hair of the Bark – so her hairstyle changes depending on the time of year.
How to take advantage of the fact of living in an area filmed in the once cult cult satirical series of Stanislav Barei? Enough to be proud of! Several murals have already appeared in the Ursyn district of Warsaw in honor of the series “Alternatives 4”, filmed in the local panel houses. So, on the house at 10 Kazury Street (Kazury 10), a large-format portrait of the homeowner from the film Stanislav Agnola (the mural project was created by the Bakcyl Studio team) flaunts, on Grzegorzewskaya Street, 1 (ul. Grzegorzewska 1), artists from the Red Sheels agency depicted the staircase and residents of the house on Alternatives 4, and on the house next door is a map of Ursynov with the places where the comedy was shot.
As a rule (but not always), murals serve as decoration, but increasingly, with their help, artists express an important, relevant content. Remind about history and comment on the present. In Bydgoszcz, in 2019, on the wall of a stone house on Pomorska Street (ul. Pomorska), Sebastian Jimenez (pseudonym SEPC) immortalized Jadwiga Szoperai, a photo artist who kept her photo studio in Bydgoszczi on Sventoianskaya Street at the beginning of the 20th century. The portrait recalls an important personality for the city and at the same time draws attention to the fact that women played a significant role in the history of many cities.
Mural is the key to success
The island of Schrudka in Poznan is located in the city center, close to the most important sights and places directly related to the emergence of Polish statehood. Despite such a strategically important position, the huge potential of the island is still not revealed to the end. Its architecture has deteriorated over the years, the place has fallen in social rankings. In 2015, a three-dimensional mural appeared on the wall of the house at the corner of Shchrudka and Schrudetsky Rynok (Śródka, Rynek Śródecki), depicting Shchrudka’s characteristic building – a pile of small, atmospheric stone houses, a baker, a trumpeter and a cat on the roof. The ideological inspirer of the work was the local activist Gerard Kofta. The sketch was prepared by the architect Radoslav Barek, the Fundacja Artystyczno-Edukacyjna PUENTA implemented the project. Mural became an important milestone in the process of revitalizing the district – thanks to her they learned about it, began to come. The place came to life, and his reputation rapidly went up.
Murals turned out to be an excellent means to perpetuate the memory of citizens, residents of a house or area. Recently, portraits of famous people in places with which they were associated have become popular. So, on the wall of the house in Belogard painted a portrait of Cheslav Nemen – once the mother of the famous singer lived in it. In Warsaw Muranovo, the architect Bogdan Lachert was portrayed – it was he who designed the new area here after the war. The Wawelberg family was immortalized in the community, which they rebuilt for the workers of their factory. On the Markiefki street in the Katowice microdistrict of Bogucice, Wojciech Wielczyk’s mural depicting Jerzy Kukuchka appeared – it was here that the most famous Polish climber was born and raised.
Mural under your feet
Usually murals adorn the blank walls of buildings – panel, stone or factory. But large-format painting can be found even … under your feet! 350 square meters of the pavement in Wieliczka near Krakow has been decorated for several years with a three-dimensional mural depicting the inside of the mine. Realistically recreated dungeons have become a popular tourist attraction. However, it is worth remembering that such realistic images can be unsafe for people with a weak nervous system! The 3D image of the giant waves overflowing through the balustrade of the dam in Nedzice on Lake Chorshtyn frightened more than one faint-hearted tourist.