Gaia just finished a brand new piece entitled “The Human Condition” in the Comune of Monno in Italy, curated by Ozmo for Wall In Art.
About the Mural
This piece portrays two Italian immigrants shot in a study of Ellis Island by photographer Lewis Hine adjacent to San Cristoforo leading baby Jesus on his back whose protective blanket, otherwise known as a ‘space blanket’ flows into the reliquary bust of Carlo Magno. The central figures are flanked by two methods of travel; an airplane on the left, and a boat typical of the steam ships commonly employed to transfer Europeans to far flung continents known as the New World. Finally, the composition is bookended by two petroglyphs; Cernunnos, a celtic deity venerated by the Camuni people’s who once inhabited Valle Camonica, and Kokopelli, a figure of fertility celebrated by many Native American/First Nation peoples, most notably the Hopi.
The people of the Italian peninsula became one of the largest modern diasporas in the late 19th century, creating cultural enclaves of protection until achieving assimilation in their host nations. This mural stands as an empathetic reminder to the human necessity to migrate, in an era where the issue of migration now stands at the fore of European politics and threatens the very concept of the nation state.
About the Artist
Gaia grew up in New York City and is a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. His studio work, installations and gallery projects have been exhibited throughout the world most notably The Baltimore Museum of Art, Rice Gallery and Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive. His street work has been documented and featured in several books on urban art, including, most recently, Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art, (Berlin, 2010). Gaia lives and works in Baltimore, MD, but spends a majority of his time traveling painting murals across the world.