Every city on the planet has graffiti artists and muralists who fill the streets with their creative imagery. With the improvement of materials and means for carrying out these projects, the quality of these pictorial works is also improving. In recent years, the notoriety of certain street artists has made contemporary art centers want to have contemporary mural art by renowned painters.
Urban Art In Contemporary Art Centers
Continuing on this path of recognition for artists from the world of graffiti, the Olontense Center for Contemporary Art (CODAC) wants to have the contemporary mural art of the artist Manomatic. A native of Huelva, he is the most recognized urban artist in the province and surrounding areas. His career began its journey in the year 2OOO, and over the last 2O years, he has left innumerable works throughout the province of Huelva. However, other recognized works are found in not only some of the most important European countries at an international level, namely Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, and Italy, but also in Spanish-speaking countries, such as Colombia.
Other artists, in recognition of the quality of their work, have carried out pieces in contemporary art buildings, such as Suso 33, a graffiti artist who is known for being multidisciplinary. Among his creations are installations, video art, performance art, live painting and light painting. Throughout his career, he has also done stage work for opera, theater, dance and film. In 2O15 he created an exhibition with his anthology as an artist at the Tomás y Valiente Art Gallery (CEART) in Fuenlabrada.
Another well-known artist is Belin, an artist who got his start with graffiti in the 90s, but from 2OO2 dedicated his profession to it. Two years later, he had his first exhibition and began his evolution as an artist, going from hyperrealism to realism, then cubism, and arriving at the present day with his own style called Post-Neo-Cubism. One of his art center works will be the one he does for the Baton Rouge Museum of Art in Louisiana, USA.
Manomatic At CODAC
The building, designed by the architect Eduardo Lazaro Blazquez, was inaugurated in 2010 as a space for the diffusion and conservation of the gallery, which is owned by the Olontense municipality. It also has several study and research rooms, as well as a temporary room for all kinds of cultural projects, including shows, different types of exhibitions or presentations.
Manomatic has created a large-format mural at CODAC that occupies part of various facades of the building in the main front entrance area. The design is adapted to the architecture, respecting the nature of the building itself. The artist developed a piece that covers three walls but treats them as if they were a single canvas. The design belongs to the Identity collection, a work done in the artist’s most recent style.
The Identity Collection
The Identity collection is portraits of migrants who arrived in remote times in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, the artist’s home and roots. In search of answers about his own origin, Manomatic questions from a more anthropological perspective. Trying to understand his own existence while using the diversity of global cultures as a reference. Pondering prehistoric Dolmen de Soto, he finds his source of inspiration.
Prehistoric Architectural of Dolmen De Soto
Identity arises as inspiration after a visit to the prehistoric architectural complex of Dolmen de Soto in Trigueros, Huelva. This megalithic site dated between 5000 and 3000 BC has a wide variety of engravings and drawings on the stone. The ceremonial upright stone slabs are accompanied by decoration with period pigments. The variety of techniques of engravings, paintings and sculptural supports form a spectrum that is the only one of its kind in southern Europe.
Manomatic takes the motifs represented in the painted symbols which he introduces in the portraits, as a point of reference for his work. These symbols are a creation of the megalithic builders from the peninsular southwest. They are anthropomorphic schematic motifs or other instruments, such as axes or paddles that belonged to the deceased buried in these monuments. The decoration techniques in the dolmen that influence Manomatic reveal an evolution in its iconography, which will serve as an element to work with on a pictorial level. The ensemble, in general, shows a strong sociocultural identity and it is intuited that they were very dynamic monuments.
Abere And The Ritual Ceremony Through Dance
The character of the Identity collection chosen to be represented on the wall of CODAC is Abere, in Ethiopia her name means carer. She is the healer in that community of settlers imagined by the artist. We see the moment in which a ritual ceremony is developed through dance and corporal expression, capturing an instant of spiritual greatness and amazing vitality. All this is highlighted with the use of very powerful colors, red, blue, black and white, combined directly with the concrete background.
Manomatic works with mixed media using mainly spray paint alongside acrylic paint for certain finishes. The iconic symbols belonging to the commemorative burial slabs of Dolmen de Soto are interspersed as an integral part of the work. This representation belonging to the Identity collection is part of a set of works done on canvas. Manomatic employs a broad range of diverse formats that go from expansive murals to even some smaller sizes designed for his next exhibition that is currently in development.