Blu is the pseudonym of an artist who was born at the beginning of the 1980s. This is the only officially available piece of information concerning the man; we learn the rest through the artist’s actions. To say that Blu is a street art creator is to oversimplify the matter, although most of his works are huge murals interspersed around the world (Berlin – Germany; Saragossa, Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona – Spain; London – Great Britain; as well as Palestine and countries of Southern America). Bologna was the first city which agreed to his “bombing” (painting of walls at night and other actions which, so far, have been conducted illegally), the first graffiti by Blu in 1999.
From his debut, Blu was accompanied by other artists, such as Sweza, Run, Dem and Ericailcane. Together with the latter, he has painted a couple of murals in Poland and the two artists have been friends and have worked together as artists ever since.
Apart from his creations in the mural technique, which he has been developing since 2001, Blu has been creating in the “non stop motion” video technique. He creates short films, photogram after photogram, with the use of the technique (the basis for the movies are sketches made on paper or a wall).
Many galleries have been interested in Blu’s activity, but he has tried to avoid them, and prefers to take part in numerous international festivals instead (however, in 2008, he did participate in a collective street art show in Tate Modern in London). He does not give up his institutional and gallery actions, but prefers large surfaces used as canvas than “art objects” for sale.
The artist often paints human shapes and fills them with bright colours. This way, he expresses his personal ideology and polemic with the contemporary society without focusing on politics, but by bringing up universal social issues. Through the walls of cities he visits, he inspires audience’s admiration, which can be generated only by such big works.
ding dong dumb
BLU’s hominids, looking all the same like sheep of a flock, listen gaping to the dumb sound of a golden bell; in reality the enormous and precious instrument is a megaphone through which “somebody” speaks to the listening crowd.
BLU’s works force to think and to find the several interpretative keys painted - hiddenly or not - by the artist.
In the Krakow’s paintings, essential lines and forms can barely contain the corrosive meanings which trouble the eyes and the mind of those who observe them: the enormous and composed sea of dazed and raised heads - caught between astonishment and enraptured concentration - docile lend themselves to the hypnotic call of an overwhelming and crushing power. Still, the aim is softened by the mask worn by that “somebody”, a dress, golden and blinding like the cage where BLUE’s men with no willpower are locked up.
The artist has chosen a wall of a building in ul. Józefińska (Podgórze). His projects are usually adjusted to the surface and the environment which surrounds them. Apart from the aesthetic matters, BLUu is also interested in social problems of the cities he creates in. Usually, he starts his work on every graffiti with preparations in his sketchbook, however the final image is the result of improvisation: buildings become pieces of paper he makes his sketches on. His murals are usually colour-economical, but they show his fascination with line and form. In his work BLU refers to underground and independent authors of comic books, such as Robert Crumb and to the tradition of Italian frescos. The artist likes to refer to Gordon Matt-Clark’s cuts (unfortunately, all buildings cut by the artist have already been knocked down; only a couple of fragments of works, some photographs and collections of cut frames and movies have left). Matt Clark’s activity was connected with a group from the 1970s operating under the name of ‘Anarchitecture.’ The anarchistic activity of the anarchitects focused on city areas, which were partly abandoned or which were transition zones. Matt-Clark’s attention was drawn by places of ambiguous status, with no future or chances for investment. “When I’m painting I try to imitate the way Matt-Clark used buildings as sculptures,” says BLU.
Pictures: Weronika Szmuc
Curators: Mirka Bałazy, Francesca di Marzo
14/05/2011 – ∞