City art festivals, iconic murals prepared by world street art stars and cooperation with business for the sake of art, the Urban Forms Foundation has been changing the landscape of Łódź for over a dozen years.
For art lovers, Łódź murals are a must-see on the map. Murals have become the city’s undisputed brand. Tourists from all over the world come to Łódź to learn about these large-scale works with a universal message, how to stem the progressive decay of cities, promote ecology and combat climate change.
In 2012, a mural was created by the famous Brazilian duo Os Gemeos in collaboration with Aryz from Spain. Their work, which can be seen at ul. Roosevelt 5, represents a figure characteristic of the style and poetics of Brazilian artists.
In turn, the iconic mural “Madame Chicken” by the Etam duo was created in 2013 and refers to the poem “In an airplane.” It is also a kind of variation on the theme of the famous “Lady with an Ermine.” In the same year, Inti from Chile paid tribute to his roots by creating “I believe in goats” – the first mural in the city painted on a skyscraper, located outside the city center, spreading the artworks beyond downtown. The mural map also features the work of Vhils from Portugal. – In this mural we see an action not in painting, but a carving of a kind of bas-relief or sgraffito in neglected plaster, explains Teresa Latuszewska-Syrda, president of the Urban Forms foundation in Łódź.
The first installation in Central and Eastern Europe from the series “Big Trash Animals” prepared by Bordallo II was also created in Łódź. Waste materials were used to create “Jerzy”: plastic, old bumpers and even siding panels. It was made to highlight two issues: the disappearing urban population and the reuse of trash.
The key to the success of Łódź murals is also the local context. The creators meet local residents and work on the topics together, as in the case of the work “Still Life with Adler” (Johannes Mundinger and Ivan Ninety), inspired by the works of Jankiel Adler.
“We work with artists for whom art is a form of polemics with the environment and a way to tell a story. In this way, every action in the urban space becomes a form of artistic intervention and leads to its improvement,” says Latuszewska-Syrda.
Plans for the future
The foundation wants to keep as many examples of these artistic activities as possible, hence the idea to create a museum that will document and study the manifestations of art in the city.
“Sometimes it happens with street art that it disappears from the urban space. That is why we want to create a street art museum, similar to the URBAN NATION in Berlin, which will be a place for meetings with artists, workshops and educational activities. But most of all, it will allow the preservation and research of valuable examples of urban art,” says Latuszewska-Syrda. The foundation has large collections of photos, videos and films that can be included in the collections of the future museum.
More information: Strona główna (urbanforms.org)