I always fall for street art. In my city, Rotterdam, street art is an accepted art form, as our local government hires all kinds of graffiti artists to decorate those parts of the city that are temporary under construction, or that need some overall addition of joyful elements.
This is super cool, because there's always quality stuff to find if you look for it - the downside is the works are not created spontaneously which kind of defeats the purpose, which to me is: walking through a well-known neighbourhood one day and being surprised by a new awesome piece by your favourite artist.
Anyway, the piece I show here today is done in a part of the city that's going to undergo some huge changes in the near future: old buildings will be torn down to be replaced by skyscrapers (although we're not Dubai, so they'll not be that high) with square meter prices that are unaffordable for the average people.
Certainly this is a shame as Rotterdam used to be a real 'workers' city but now it's getting more and more attractive to fancy people (who work less and spend more) so it's changing the city a lot - sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. (I mean, come on, I love my snobby hipster coffee shops as they always make their coffee as I like it. Top notch beans, fresh grind, perfect dripping methods and top notch foam. So I'm part-guilty of funding these changes in the city.)
The two shots above show the length of the mural, in some pretty light, which is why I documented it now and not 4 weeks ago when I first saw it in harsh daylight. It's pretty cool and impressive and every part of the mural shows a different story with what I assumed to be references to labs and experimentation and maybe work in general as a lot has been taken place in this part of the city in the past.
After looking up the piece online I found a Dutch explanation of the piece on their website which I'll translate in English:
"The building used to be the home of the 'KvW' (Food Inspection Service), but after the nationalisation of this company, the building fell into disuse, until a number of creative companies settled in the building one year on an articulate basis. The design provides a futuristic view of the KvW and its laboratories and experiments. The researchers, half man, half robot investigate all kinds of strange objects, animals and organisms. During a walk around the building, the viewer is taken along the various stages of experiments."
The mural continues around the corner where it ends in less story, more abstract art. I actually love that it's all in black and white as that's my sweet spot for graphical art: you can never use a high enough contrast in graphical work, so why not go for the highest contrast possible immediately?
Just one more random note: There were birds half-way the mural. Before I looked up what the piece was about I found they were looking angry and entangled, and not sure what they were symbolizing, I looked for an explanation in the evolving neighbourhood this piece was made in. "Maybe they don't particularly like that this really authentic part of the city will be replaced by concrete and glass towers leaving no trace of the past?", is what I thought.
I certainly will miss it. Polished isn't always better.