On a still unknown terrace in Naples stands the new mural of Jorit, the Neapolitan street artist whose works have repeatedly attracted the attention of international audiences for the deep realism with which he addresses issues of social and political relevance. Only in January, in fact, on a building in Barra, in the easternmost part of Naples, he had created a mural starring Martin Luther King, an icon of the struggle for the civil rights of African Americans in the United States in the ’60s.
Martin Luther King also appears in the mural on which the artist is working right now, and he does so by standing next to George Floyd, the African American citizen whose death at the hands of the white policeman Derek Chauvin has triggered protests throughout the country, but also in Europe and Italy where several demonstrations have been announced in the coming days.
Alongside George Floyd, who has become a symbol of the fight against racism and “white supremacy”, Lenin, Angela Davis and Malcolm X, of whom the artist, who used his social channels to communicate his new work, has posted some of the most famous quotes.
A riot is the language of the unheard – Martin Luther King
Just over a year ago, we told you about Coralarium, the project carried out by Jason deCaires Taylor to save the Maldives coral reef. In recent months, Jason deCaires Taylor’s interest and commitment have never waned, on the contrary, they led the artist to collaborate in the creation of the MOUA (Museum of Underwater Art), the first underwater museum in the southern hemisphere.
Off the City of Townsville, in the northeastern part of Australia, under the surface of the ocean, there is a stainless steel structure called The Coral Greenhouse, which houses some sculptures made by Jason deCaires Taylor.
The aim, also this time, is to fight the ever faster disappearance of the coral reef, offering the oceanic fauna a structure on which to develop that is not affected by man.
In addition, the MOUA also consists of a single work placed above the surface of the water, supported on a pole. It is the Ocean Siren, a sculpture covered with LEDs that change color according to the temperature of the ocean: the colder it is, the more the light will turn blue and purple, the warmer it is, the more the lights will turn orange and red. This attention to water temperature comes from the fact that the increase in degrees in recent years has caused the loss of color of corals, now almost all of them become white.
The opening to the public of the MOUA was supposed to take place last April, but due to the sanitary emergency, it has been moved to a date yet to be defined. We hope as soon as possible!
We’re here to introduce you to another project that proves that although we spent over two months locked down in our homes, creativity hasn’t stopped traveling. Luis Mendo, graphic designer and art director, took advantage of the lockdown to create a personal work that represented his style and passions.
The Home Stayer is the title of the project that led Luis to create covers for an imaginary magazine.
The reference to The New Yorker and its iconic covers is clear, in fact, Luis Mendo’s project wants to be a tribute to the famous magazine, but in his project the main subject is one and only one: the houses and the life inside them.
As the artist himself has specified, in this period of lockdown, our houses have turned into small towns where you can rest, work, train, relax, experiment new hobbies. This sudden change in lifestyle and home spaces united the whole world, for a short time in every place in the world people were living the same way and the home of one became the home of all.
Precisely for this reason the covers of The Home Stayer do not belong to a specific place and at the same time they belong to every place.
For the moment Luis Mendo has made six covers, but the project is not finished yet, so if you want to discover the next ones follow him on Instagram.
The advertising industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, those who still do advertising have struggled to adapt to the completely new environment, including the severe restrictions on production.
But creativity has not gone into quarantine, in fact the Czech car company, founded in 1923 in Plzen, Skoda together with directors From Form, Johan Kramer and Steffen Haars shot three different commercials at home with toy cars. Miniature SUVs run between the saloon, kitchen, jumping over obstacles and combining various troubles.
Most people are now trying to find a way to work from home undisturbed. Because wherever you look, distractions are there. That’s what inspired the Dutch producer to depict a father of a family, who’s continually being distracted by a small toy car, specifically a KODIAQ. ‘I was curious what it will be like to work with a small crew consisting of myself and my girlfriend. She was the one who held and focused the camera when I was acting in a shot. Other than that, I was shooting – doing so after eleven years was great and I enjoyed it a lot!’ Steffen says.
His name is Paco. This four-legged member of Johan Kramer’s – the Dutch commercial and film icon – family was the centrepiece of a story featuring a KAROQ toy car. ‘Limitations are always great for creativity. I loved that. What impressed me was that ŠKODA wanted to craft something home-made; something with a feel and a recognisable setting everyone can currently identify with. The number of people involved was also minimal compared to the usual shooting: this time, it was just me and my oldest daughter. And Paco the dog of course. We even had to make our own coffee on set – director, camera crew and catering all in one. Wonderful!’ says Kramer, admitting that he really enjoyed the shooting
The studio founded by a Dutch duo Jurjen Versteeg and Ashley Govers used the above-mentioned frame-by-frame shooting technique for their clip, too. They admit to having decided to play with proportions, which is also a key element of their other work. Connecting real household items, a human hand and a toy allowed them to create a feeling of a ‘real’ car commercial. ‘It brought us back to childhood. If someone had told us not long ago that we’d be shooting a car chase for a real car manufacturer, we wouldn’t have believed at all,’ they say.
In 24 hours more than $500,000 have been collected, a huge amount if you think about the reality that Brain Dead represents in terms of fruition. This is just one of the concrete initiatives that small independent brands are putting in place to actively support the Black Community that, at the moment, are carrying on a battle for civil rights and against all forms of racism.
Another example is the Italian brand MEDEA, founded by the twins Giulia and Camilla Venturini, which from yesterday until Sunday will donate 100% of the proceeds of its webstore special sale, to The Bail Project, a non-profit organization that fights racial and economic inequalities in mass imprisonment and has made itself available to offer assistance to the participants of the events now widespread throughout the United States.
Samuel Ross‘ A-COLD-WALL* has set up a £25,000 grant to be divided between 10 independent companies owned by black people. This grant may be applied for by any type of company operating in the fields of design, technology, accommodation and catering services, art and leisure, education and training, public administration and safety and scientific and technical services, the application can be sent to this address: [email protected]
Many other small brands have followed this line of solidarity, sharing and concrete commitment in what is a battle that concerns each of us.
What about big brands?
Most of the fashion giants have expressed their solidarity on their social channels, but there was no lack of controversy in the responses from users. The big companies have a big responsibility towards the public opinion, therefore the community asks these same brands to act in a substantial way in the fight against all forms of racial discrimination and that, in the situation in which we find ourselves, a simple stance is not enough.
Some big brands have done so, set up funds and donated big money: UNIQLO USA for example, is working with the American Civil Liberties Union and will donate $100,000 to organizations across the country that support the Black community.
In the last few hours, the concrete commitments of the big companies and the most important maisons are following one another, perhaps also thanks to the mass mobilization unleashed on social networks, which have understood the importance of a concrete commitment in a fundamental fight like the one against racism. Balenciaga has made it known, through its twitter account, that it is committed to supporting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People through a donation and that it will set up a fund in France to support efforts in the fight against racism in the country. In addition, as the French maison’s statement states: “Starting in 2020, and every year following, we will communicate our commitment and continued donation. This gesture of financial support is only the beginning of what is to be done in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We believe that progress is possible if we all stand together.”
Many other giants in the sector have not done the same, and it is precisely from these giants that public opinion demands a serious, concrete, transparent and daily commitment to combating racial discrimination in general and within companies themselves. Donations are only the beginning of a long, virtuous and exemplary path that must necessarily aim at a radical change also and above all in the approach to racial and social inequalities.