Street Art has officially arrived in Dulwich as some may have seen on the BBC news last night.
As part of the Dulwich Festival this year Baroque the Streets (organised in collaboration with Street Art London) is working with a cherry picked group of internationally renowned street artists. Each artist has been commissioned to paint one of several carefully selected walls in the area. In an ingenious twist each artist will work in their own distinctive style but will take inspiration from paintings in Dulwich Picture Gallery’s world famous collection of Old Master paintings.
The festival includes graffiti master classes, a launch party, a tour of the completed walls and installations in a local house on Lordship Lane.
Dulwich OnView talked to German based graffiti artist MadC who told us a bit more about what she has been doing:
- I have painted a wall that is inspired by a painting on display at Dulwich Picture Gallery, “Still Life with Flowers” by Van Huysum c.1720. I aim to fuse my art with an old Master’s piece as well as fit the images with the surroundings or architecture of the wall. I have also painted a complete room in the ArtHouse.
For those of our readers who might not have heard of you or your work, can you tell us a bit about your artistic background, current projects and influences?
- I started as a graffiti artist about 15 years ago. Before that I had already painted with watercolours, oil and even worked with sculpting and won a couple of young artists’ prizes.
Thanks to graffiti art I received invitations worldwide and travelled the globe to paint in many countries. Some of the places I have painted include Hawaii, Bolivia, Lebanon, South Africa, New York, Colombia, Mexico and many places in Europe. Next to that I studied Graphic Design in Germany, Prague and New York and have a Masters Degree. I also lived in London for a year and a half whilst working for a Postgraduate course in Character Animation. After that time I started painting canvases again.
It took me about 3 years to find a way to express the energy of my murals on a small scale. Now I feel very comfortable in painting both – large murals and canvases. My canvases are shown in various solo and group shows worldwide, including London, Paris and San Francisco. I have also published two books with Thames & Hudson on Street Art – Sticker City (2007) and Street Fonts (2011). I am influenced by my travels, nature, literature and movies. Currently I am working on my next solo show in Paris, I am planning some large scale murals and I am looking further into working in 3 dimensions.
Why did you decide to get involved in this project?
- I love to go new creative ways and to be inspired by other art forms. The idea to use an old painting as a source of inspiration is wonderful. Also the walls that were chosen are very interesting to paint. I lived in Herne Hill and East Dulwich while studying at Central Saint Martins and I particularly love to make the image work within its surrounding. So I was more than happy to follow this invitation.
Will this project contribute to your existing work or is it completely different from anything else you’ve ever done? If so how does it compare?
- It will definitely contribute to my work. It is pretty different from what I have done before. Sometimes I collaborate with other artists, then both of us work on the wall at the same time. For this project I basically collaborate with another artist also, just that this one has gone a long time ago. So I have to try to catch the essence of his work, as well as mine.
- The main barrier is in the women’s heads. They see themselves as different and often even try to separate themselves from the male street artists rather than dealing with the criticism you always have to face in the beginning. Of course it can be tough sometimes, but women amongst each other also criticise and bully. I don’t think gender matters in the long run. Especially in art, people usually see your work first and the artist after. So you get judged by your skills, not by your gender. If you put your art first and yourself as a person second, the barriers aren’t there.
Baroque the Streets is a long-sighted project with the aim to turn Dulwich into an outdoor museum. Where do you see the future of Street Art?
- I am sure that Street Art will be completely accepted as an art form in the future. Not just in the UK, but worldwide. Of course street art works best in the streets, so an outdoor museum is the perfect approach.