Graffiti Goldrush 2017 is a graffiti exchange project between Ghent and Lisbon. Some of our local artists went to Loures to apply a mural, and vice versa. In this way, we wanted to give local artists the opportunity to apply a mural abroad, with a view to gaining international interest.
In Portugal, we found a structural partner in the organization of Loures Arte Publica. The aim of this project is to upgrade the social housing society and improve the image of the neighborhood.
In Belgium we joined the Ghent street art festival 'Sorry, Not Sorry'. With this we wanted to contribute to the profile of the City of Ghent as an open-minded art city that welcomes and embraces talent from all over the world.
We were looking for artists who were in an important phase of their career and who were developing their own style. For the Belgian delegation we invited A Squid Called Sebastian, Cee Pil and Solid. From Portugal we received the artists Marianna PTCS, Violant and Nuno Viegas.
The entire project was portrayed in a documentary, filmed and edited by videographer Fausto Fazzari. We spoke with local government in both cities to hear their vision behind the initiatives. We also did interviews with the artists involved to get an idea of what drives them as artists.
Back in Belgium, we wanted to transfer the concept of Loures Arte Publica to a similar neighborhood in our city, New Ghent. This later developed into the project The Goldmine.
Nuno Viegas is known for his photorealistic works. Inspired by the graffiti culture in which he grew up, he often paints gloves, T-shirts and masks; all elements that are recognisable to people who paint graffiti illegally. Today he works as a professional street artist, with work that subtly presents itself between street art and graffiti.
A Squid Called Sebastian (ASCS) was born in America and came into contact with street art and graffiti at an early age. In 1989 he moved with his parents to Belgium, where he followed an artistic training. The focus was on comic strip drawing, which sparked a penchant for Japanese and oriental drawings. In his current work he combines and translates his drawings and studio work into images, often with organic and animal subjects. Characteristic for this artist are also the oriental inspired expressive masks, which are often part of his emotional and surrealistic world. His murals are full of symbolism where a story, personal or otherwise, is attached.
Violant is a talented Portuguese painter whose murals often contain animals. Sometimes they are surrealistic and combine several subjects flawlessly. Usually the viewer can derive a deeper message from his work. Violant is also known for his Brazilian way of painting; he paints walls of no less than 8 metres high; without a ladder, but with a long stick and a brush.
Cee Pil makes quality work at top speed, which makes it a pleasure to see him live somewhere. Through his experience in traditional painting and making hyper-realistic portraits of animals in particular, he is able to skillfully create this unique optical illusions. He combines several images with each other and achieves astonishing results every time.
Martiana PTKS is a street artist fromPortugal. Her work gravitates around abstract takes on the universe and its infinite possibilities, using fiery color combinations and contrasts combined with sharp geometric shapes. Painting on various surfaces, such as walls, canvas or wood, makes her very happy!
Solid paints masks and creatures from separate blocks. These scare away evil spirits and protect the environment where they were painted. As a beginning artist he wanted to show through positive projects that graffiti could also be art. As a driving force behind Wallin', he organises all kinds of projects with mural painting at the basis.