David Walker’s “vortex of dancing colours” at Le M.U.R.

by Ludovica Giulianini on May 27, 2013

David Walker Le MUR - Paris street art - exhibition - Underground Paris. Photo: Art of David Walker Facebook copyright 2013

Berlin-based urban painter, David Walker, is a staple on the streets of London and Berlin and is the most recent artist to have been picked by l’association to make Le M.U.R., creating one of his signature emotive portraits. Ludovica Giulianini reports on Walker’s true work of art.

Over 140 artists have made ephemeral artworks on the wall since it’s inauguration in 2007, but few have matched the beauty of Walkers’ portrait on this three by eight metre former billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art.

Painting portraits is probably the most difficult challenge for artists. Not because of the problems they might encounter in representing the real face of a person, but because of the quasi-impossibility of reproducing the aura of that person and the emotions flowing from a facial expression, from a glimpse.

There are a millions of quotes from artists about the difficulty of painting portraits. But when I looked at David Walkers’ works there is only one quote that came to my mind: “A portrait, to be a work of art, neither must nor may resemble the sitter. The painter has within himself the landscapes he wishes to produce. To depict a figure one must not paint that figure; one must paint its atmosphere.” Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), Italian Futurist painter and sculptor. Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting, 1910.

Even though David Walker still paints that figure, it is the atmosphere he is able to reproduce around that figure that makes of his portraits, works of art.

He depicts feelings and emotions and reproduces them in a vortex of dancing colours. The sensation you prove while looking at his work, after you realise that there is a face coming out that mass of apparently random lines, is of real serenity.

By the years, David Walker has developed a very unique technique. He paints freehand with spray cans. He does not use brushes and the results, under a technical point of view, are some of the most astonishing of this genre.

(photo, above, sourced from David Walker’s Facebook page)

David Walker Le MUR - Paris street art - exhibition - Underground Paris. Photo: Demian Smith 2013 (5)

 Drinks served at vernissage

David Walker Le MUR - Paris street art - exhibition - Underground Paris. Photo: Demian Smith 2013 (6)

 

David Walker Le MUR - Paris street art - exhibition - Underground Paris. Photo: Demian Smith 2013 (4)

 

David Walker Le MUR - Paris street art - exhibition - Underground Paris. Photo: Ludovica Giulianini copyright 2013

Photo: Ludovica Guilianini copyright 2013

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See David Walker’s urban artwork in Paris at Le M.UR., 107 rue Oberkampf, until 13th June 2013.

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David Walker’s website, here.

Paris exhibition of work by David Walker, June 1st, at Galerie Mathgoth.

About the Author

Ludovica Giulianini holds an MA in Arts Management from the University of Bologna, and lives in between Paris and Rome. As well as having an in-depth knowledge on EU models for cultural mobility, and experience helping artists move around Africa to share, create and work together, Ludo is able, uncannily, to spot from whom street artists have stolen their ideas.

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