The Memorie Urbane Festival in Gaeta, Italy, kicked off this year by introducing new work by Isaac Cordal. During his residency in the south of Italy, the Spanish artist installed several of his signature works in the old town of Gaeta, as well as opened a solo show in their brand new Street Art Place Gallery.

Welcome presents a new body of charged works that Cordal produced with the global situation in mind. From the refugee crisis, to climate change to political and economical issues, his small characters are raw representations of the bigger, real world we live in. The exhibition includes installations he created within the gallery space, as well as printed photographs of the pieces he placed around Gaeta. Very much site specific, these works are created on the beach, on a fence, or even on leftover bricks on the side of the road. Both poetic and almost disturbing, they are a harsh reminder of the daily issues that are present but somehow hidden from view from the general public – just like Cordal’s works.

The gallery showcase consists of smaller works which are created using sculpted and hand painted characters along with salvaged material. Boxes, crates, and even a discarded umbrella from the EU parliament – they all complete Cordal’s work showing a bigger picture through a miniature installation. It’s this very umbrella that inspired the artist to talk about the EU’s double policies on “welcoming” people that need a shelter – protecting its politicians from the rain with free umbrellas while letting the more misfortunate people spend days in muddy camps under the open skies, waiting to be allowed inside.

Discuss Isaac Cordal here.