In October, a series of murals gave a new face to four large facades of social housing in the heart of the 167B neighborhood, a popular suburb in the eastern outskirts of Lecce, in Southern Italy. The 167 Art Project was organized by the Parish community of San Giovanni Battista in the Stadio district, with its inhabitants and the 167/B Street laboratory, which has facilitated the experimentation of urban art for over 10 years. Five internationally renowned street-artists participated, Mantra, Artez, Julieta.XLF, Bifido and Checkos Art, each contributing their different styles to the reactivation of the area.
About the Murals
To break social patterns, stimulate the desire for participation and reflect a widespread feeling of the community, each artist used their signature techniques from illustrative to abstract resulting in four stunning new murals around the neighborhood.
Artez, the Serbian artist known for mixing photo-realism and illustration captured a classic humanistic moment that’s beautiful and banal. His mural depicts a girl trying to carry and balance a large stack of books, while looking down at a falling cup of coffee that perhaps the cat atop the books playfully knocked off. It’s a delightful pictorial that portrays the student struggle, and life’s small disruptions which we cannot control.
The collaboration with artists Julieta XLF and Bifido, entitled “First Fire” depicts two children with their backs to each other, dressed in colorful costumes with an arrow piercing through them.
Bifido expanded on the philosophical meaning behind the image via facebook “as a grey blanket, as a cruel concrete, one lives in forgotten places. Pressed in huge boxes, as mute beehives. And we break the silence with rains of colors and, in erased corners, life seems to appear”.
There is no lack of more naturalistic scenes, such as Mantra, which inserts a gash of green between the gray of the buildings and transports us to another reality.
The last wall, painted by Chekos Art, pays homage to two great Soccer players from Lecce, Lorusso and Pezzella, perhaps as a reminder that anyone can obtain success with hard work.
About 167/B Street
Founded by Checko’s Art, the 167/B Street is a collective, exhibition space and an ever-changing urban laboratory dedicated to enhancing the aesthetic and community of the 167 B neighborhood.
For over 10 years the laboratory has been a real research and experimentation of urban art, moving between cracks and plaster of common life. In collaboration with many artists, cultural operators invent new concepts of living in urban spaces. Through the use of new languages accompanies the social and geographical evolution of the places where it operates.