Baltimore based artist and muralist, Gaia, is very busy this summer traveling and painting murals. After finishing a couple of walls in Montreal, he recently visited Rochester for the Wall Therapy project, Richmond for the Richmond Mural project, and Baltimore for the Wall Hunters project. Always focused on the social problems of the places he’s working at, especially housing issues, he created some pieces that are already triggering controversy online and within the local population. Here is what the artist himself has to say about his latest creations:
Commerce is swifter than culture (Richmond, USA) – Repeat pattern of the xerox tower, the aqueduct building, and the mercury figure that dominates the Rochester landscape in eight and a half by eleven format. The statue of mercury on broad street was held in storage for more than two decades as it awaited a new perch after the Kimball tobacco plant was cleared for Urban Renewal. Now it is roosted in a frozen leap forward upon a branch office of Thompson Reuters.
Shifting Economies (Richmond, USA) – Collaboration with Ever The same kodak girl is reflected twice in a field of black and white and color. The lens of the eye is at the apex and the lens of the camera sits at the base of the conclusion. A medical glove holding a thermometer floats above the two portraits
To Conquer is to Live (Richmond, USA) – A portrait of John Smith overlooking the James River.
Stanley Rochkind (Baltimore, USA) – Rochkind is an orthodox Jew with a portfolio of more or less 1500 properties in Baltimore, about half of which are vacant. This piece depicts the crown of king tut with the visage replaced by a cotton field that fades into another row home owned by Rochkind. A normal suburban home from pikesville with eagle wings floats above the words Exodus in Hebrew and English. Rather than vilify an individual who could fairly be labeled a slumlord, this piece visualizes the connection between the Jewish and African American experience with migration.