When the inspiration strikes even the wall of a desolate building can serve the purpose. But artists always would prefer to showcase their artworks so more people could appreciate them.
This Dutch street artist Jan Is De Man, found his ideal canvass on an apartment building in Utrecht, Netherlands. His artwork helps local communities better connect, and his latest masterpiece has made the love of literature larger than life. On this project, he worked with another talented street artist, Deef Feed.
Deef and Jan have worked on other murals together in the past. The pair also co-owns a tattoo shop called “Blackbook Tattoos” located at the center of Utrecht.
The location for the 3D wall mural came before the concept, said Jan Is De Man, “I know the people who live on the ground floor very well. They’ve wanted a mural by my hand for a while. They also wanted to let me feel free in my design as long as it would bring something positive to their neighborhood. The first idea was to paint a smiley. A huge smiley. Because I believe people become happier when they see a smiley every day. But this idea didn’t feel complete, and it felt too simple.”
Part of the 3D street art concept was to involve the residents in the artistic process, “We entered the community by asking people for their favorite books, and we were able to put eight languages and cultures together in the same concept. Everybody, every age, every culture, every language was welcome. The only rule I set up to participate in this art project was: no political books and no religious books. Besides that, every book title was welcome.”
Jan and Deef took one week working fulltime to take the idea from paper to the wall of the apartment building. He said the most challenging part was the initial concept planning, “think most of the time the most difficult (part) is to get the right concept, that fits the wall, that fits the neighborhood. but when you got the right idea, then there is not much difficulty.”
He also said: ” The neighborhood where this work was made is filled with different cultures. And I’ve noticed that this project brought (and hopefully for as long as it lasts) people together without pushing it. They meet each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in a political point of view. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left. There are a lot of things coming, but I don’t like to tell plans, because I believe that if you tell your plans they don’t work. It sounds corny, but in the end, actions speak louder than words.” And to be honest, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with.