BLU

5 Apr

Blu’s fame began in 1999, thanks to a series of illicit graffiti painted in the historical center and suburbs of Bologna, the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. In the early years of his career his technique was limited to the use of spray paint, the typical medium of graffiti culture. His characteristic style appeared in 2001, however, when Blu started painting with house paint, using rollers mounted on top of telescopic sticks. This new solution allowed him to increase the painted surface area and convey a stronger intensity to his visual vocabulary. Huge human figures, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes dramatic, who looked as if they were borrowed from comics or arcade game world, began appearing along the streets of Bologna around this time. Another aspect that influenced his early career was the practice of a shared artistic action.

Artists such as Dem, Sweza, Run and, above all Ericailcane, were his companions during nocturnal raids where an anonymous creative participation overcame the need of signing their pieces. Also, during those years, Blu started experimenting with digital animation and he created short interactive video clips that were used as a visual contribution to the live musical performances of the collective OK NO.

The collaboration with Ericailcane had its best results during the period from 2003 to 2006. The two personalities completed each other in a extraordinary composite harmony; while Blu was painting his characteristic human figures Ericailcane made his typical animals. The two artists, friends in real life, continue to work together although with less frequency. Starting in 2004, some art galleries noticed Blu’s artistic value and invited him to take part to one-man or collective shows. Yet Blu, throughout his entire youthful career, attempted to limit his presence within the bastions of the official art world, preferring other kinds of territories. Since his major pieces, outside of his videos, have been immovable murals, it seems reasonable to present a geographical rather than chronological survey of Blu’s works.

BLU

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