Meest recente werk > 2014 / Pagina 5
 
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...and the work continues on the other side of the road...



Above: The extra large dark leaves, the toiling dung beetle, the one leg missing crane-fly and the giant hand with the pointing finger are ready... See some of them in detail on the close-up pictures below...



Images above and below: In the second wall - as in the first one - regarded the desired effect as seen in the smaller prints I am using, every kind of separate element has to be studied first to find and choose the most suitable and fastest way of applying the paint. These technical variations however should not destroy the unity of the whole... but when I look at the result from the right distance I believe I'm getting there so to see...



...and the giant "picturesque" sketch of the ladybug also needs another technical approach with a mixture of different types of brushstrokes, gestures and movements... hope my arm is not too short for this one...



Images above and below: Painting the sketch of the ladybug.




Above: Adding some light to the hand. Below: A nice detail of the growing mural...



The next module at the centre of the second wall - because of it's complexity - proves to be one of the hardest pieces to draw to scale. In the image below it worked and the succeeding paintwork already is well underway... In the meantime while working I am experiencing some really bad weather. Outside the bridge buckets of water are falling from the sky for several days. Am I happy to be standing dry under this bridge now. Humidity is sky high... but the paint... still does dry...




Above: Near completion. Below: In full texture... both pictures taken under different lighting conditions...



Not every single one of the 5 different grays has to be used in every detail all the time: Sometimes the lightest, the second lightest or the darkest shade or both are skipped as you can see in the centre detail below... Here the darkest and one of the lighter shades of gray have not been used...



...and then one day (the next morning actually) making the turn arriving at the scene from the corner of my eye I almost immediately notice the wall is shining like a mirror. Getting closer I realize that water is running down the wall and this seems to be only the beginning... it doesn't stop, it only gets worse by the hour! What happened here?



...it cannot be rain, I was here yesterday and sure it was raining cats and dogs but outside the bridge, not here under the bridge, so before I panic (which I almost do to be honest) I try to stay cool and think a bit further to finally realize this is pure condensation water. After the cold weather and the "flood" of the last two days there is so much water everywhere and overnight the temperature has risen with more than 12 degrees Celsius while the concrete bridge is still very cold so... when the warm damp air hits the wall it turns to water almost immediately. I can forget about painting today. I wait and wait but it only gets worse and there is no wind all day long so I am forced to leave the site having done absolutely nothing a bit worried I must admit about the next day... When you're working outside these things happen and good old Murphy is never far away...



...and then the next morning everything looks as if nothing ever happened! There is still a lot of water remaining on the pavement close to the wall but the wall itself has completely dried out and the paint is spotless which gives me a reassuring feeling about the choices I made about the best materials to use for this mural. Anyway: Let's forget about yesterday, Murphy left the scene and took his law with him so I myself take his place and just go on with the job...



...and it's still a lot of fun painting all these large insects... especially in the same manner as Léon Becker did in his days.



These two guys are actually demonstrating against...



...the coldhearted decision of the Ford direction to close down their plant in Genk after almost 50 years of making profit's because they found out they can make more money elsewhere, leaving thousands of people without a job and trying to make them happy with a dead mouse! (am I wright Nils?) The text panels are empty so in their minds people passing by can fill in what they think about this issue themselves...



...and here's a close-up image of the dead mouse. Looks like for the insects this case of departure is a treat or maybe they are just cleaning up the situation to make a fresh start and go on with their lives. I myself am Flemish, trying to speak and write just a little bit of English here for the occasion so I'm not really sure if there is such a thing as an English saying that says "trying to make somebody happy with a dead mouse"  but it makes sense to me. If this saying already exists I must have been lucky and if it doesn't maybe we just got ourselves a new one. Anyway: In this case as a Ford worker I wouldn't be happy at all, especially not with a dead mouse!



...and then there's still this (mysterious) turtle. While I was painting people passing by kept asking me the same question over and over again: "What is this turtle doing here in this world of insects? What is the meaning of it? Then I tried to explain I'm only the executing artist painter visualising a work conceived by another English artist who does other stuff than paint murals. Like a composer who needs an orchestra to make his symphony enjoyable in the first place or an architect who needs a good contractor to build that special house exactly the way he designed it without loosing the artistic vision behind the concept. And then I continue talking about the interaction between artist and artisan, the fact that sometimes they simply need each other to make things happen and the evolution in modern art of renewed mutual respect between the conceptual and the executing artist and I admit: Sometimes when I got a little bored with the question about the lost turtle with a slip of the tongue I simply answered: "I don't know, maybe he just ran out of bugs!" Anyway: To keep a long story short: The very fact that a work of art triggers people's interests or makes them look closer or even makes them question what they see in the first place is an artistic victory already and Nils sure knows how to accomplish that: I have been very close to this work painting it and I can only confirm that (who would have doubted this getting to know the work of Nils Norman a little bit better) there's more than meets the eye, much more even, and sometimes the public, young and old, will notice this too. Anyway: When a work of art is being executed in open space, nobody really stays indifferent: Some people with cars simply blow their horn or flash their lights, even when I'm standing on the highest step of this huge ladder literally trying to keep in balance. Others simply give me a thumbs up... and sometimes... an individual makes me come down and starts a long conversation about the meaning of life and what these images may have to do with it: I've learned a lot here lately, about insects, Nils Norman, Léon Becker but most of all: About people, what they like, what they think about society and how they think about a work of art! And especially for Nils: I was the only artist constantly available while this mural was emerging so I got all the reactions including the one's that should have been for you myself and so I know this for sure from first hand: Everybody without an exception - whether one fully understands the work or not - simply likes these murals!



...so let's move on: Almost finished! One of my favourite scenes by the way about the most charming depiction of some of the crueller facts in the lives of certain insects: The more motile and maybe stronger or smarter one taking shamelessly advantage (because it is supposed to be like this and none of them knows any better anyway) of the less mobile or gifted one who - being in the wrong place at the wrong time - simply cannot do anything about it...



Above: The mural in the morning, starting my last day of work. Below: In the evening after yet another long day of work.



...and the last scene standing a little closer to the wall!



Finishing this last scene brings the project to an end. Almost immediately afterwards the anti-graffiti treatment is being executed and the fences are being removed so finally I can take some pictures of this finished second wall and make some extra photographs of the final result... on a very hot day with plenty of sunlight everywhere actually...







That same day Nils comes over from London to finally see his work of art in the flesh with his own eyes... and he loves it... and in the meantime we talk about the turtle too...



All projects come to an end eventually and then it's time to move on to the next job. I know Nils is working on some new and ongoing projects (check his website) and for me personally that will be the transformation of a small kitchen into a wine cellar using paint and paint only. This unusual commission promises to become a real state of the art trompe-l'oeil piece... Soon on the next page some new images about this project...


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