From London to New York, street art and street art tours have dominated the streets, walls and buildings of many cities all over the world and the capital of the U.S, Washington D.C, is the one of the latest locations to witness the illusion of both 3D street art and fantasy characters.
Well-known Washington street artist, Kelly Towles, was found adding the finishing touches to his enormous mural which took him and his co-street artist Jasper Wong from Hawaii a total of 3 weeks to complete with the help of various other street artists. According to voa news, Towles said, “they wanted to create a fantasy that would make people smile.”
He went on to say that “it is two characters basically playing an old child’s game of cat’s cradle, which is a game with two people doing intricate things with a string around each other’s hands. The character on the left is the dinosaur which is from Jasper Wong and the character on the right is just a hooded, masked figure created by myself”.
As well as spray paint, the two artists made us of paint rollers in order to complete the mural.
It is thought that Towles himself came up with the concept of painting the artwork on the side of a building. He is said to have approached Forest City real estate company, who planned to tear down the building as part of “urban revitalisation in the area”. Vice president for Marketing, Gary McManus, commented, “The company commissioned the artwork”.
“We thought it was an opportunity to have a king of fleeting art installation and it would be compelling for people to come down and see it. It didn’t have a lot of windows and it was white to begin with so it was a wonderful canvas,” he added.
The project, which was nicknamed Art Yards, did not begin with your typical mural as many of you may expect but instead with Towles “pouring a cascade of colours”.
Towles commented, “It’s an awesome experience when you actually propose to do something to someone and be like ‘hey let me dump a bunch of paint down the side of their building’ and they’re like ‘yeah’”
Similar to Towles, 3D street artist Michael Kirby also establishes vibrant fantasies but his remain on the ground.
Kirby said, “I want to inspire them, to educate them, to see the world in a different light maybe.” On the parking lot belonging to Art Yard, which is also planned to be destroyed in the near future, he decided to create a fishbowl complete with a castle and sea monsters in the place of fish.
“I wanted to create something underwater and so I came up with the idea of creating some sort of fantastical fish bowl and instead of goldfish, I had sea monsters.”
“The whole idea is to stretch the whole image, so the horns are stretched really, really long. The face is more elongated. All the vertical lines in the piece are extended, so that from this point of view it all comes together to form one picture”.
In an unexpected turn of events, Towles has actually requested that his artwork be torn down prior to the others when the demolition process begins. He said, “I love that it’s going to be destroyed. That’s street art and graffiti in itself. One minute it’s there and the next moment it’s not.”
He also commented on how he’s “looking forward to watching his mural come down with a bang”.