faded Blu

below: Looking across al. Jana Pawlla II in central Warsaw.

It was twelve years ago, 2010, that Italian artist Blu painted this large mural.

There are lots of soldiers going through the motions of war and combat but they are all being controlled by strings. Their green helmets have holes in the top to make room for the string.

The picture below clearly shows the puppet strings controlling the actions of the larger than life sized men. Strings on the tops of their heads as well as around the hands and feet.

Another piece of the puzzle fits into place – the symbol on the helmet is that of the euro. Money. What wars are fought over. Capitalism. What pits one group of people against another. Agree? or disagree?

older women

This mural, a large photograph, has not weathered all that well. It’s title is “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and the artist is Bifido. On her website, Bifido says this about the artwork: “This work should have been called “selfportrait”, as it express how I’m feeling in this moment in the sight of the world. Working, talking, scoping, breathing Tirana atmosphere, I really realized, for the very first time, how it feels to be a woman caught in the grips of this male chauvinist society, to be a woman physically and mentally oppressed by men. As the work progressed, the sense of it changed revealing, maybe, the real reason that. I come back home, to Italy, more aware of something that makes me feel heartbroken, hoping one day something will change.” Please take a look at her website, especially if you want to see the photo in its original form.

By now you may have guessed that the word older in the title of this post has nothing to do with the age of the woman in the mural but in the condition of the mural itself. The Bifido work above is from either 2018 or 2019. Of the same vintage, is a mural by HazardUK

It’s title is “Motra Tone Revisited” which refers to a famous painting, “Motra Tone” also known as ”The Albanian Monalisa”, that was painted by Kole Idromeno (1860-1939).

below: This is a picture of that famous painting (found online, credit: public domain, wikipedia). She hangs in the National Art Gallery in Tirana.

Tanini’s colours and shapes

As I walked around Tirana I saw several examples of murals by Albanian artist Eljan Tanini. This blog post features three – a whole building covered by his shapes and colours, a tall vertical mural, and last, a wall with four panels.

below: All sides of the building are covered with whimsical playful shapes in Blloku.

a our storey building with stores at ground level, covered with mural of shapes and colours, lower floors have grey background, upper level has yellow background, painted by Eljan Tanini
close up of some of the windows of a building with the mural that is painted around them

below: Street scene on Rruga Myslym Shyri with the bottom part of Tanini mural showing. This mural was painted as part of MurAL Fest 2018.
street view, pedestrians on sidewalk, umbrellas over fruit stand, shops, bottom part of mural by Eljan Tanini

tall mural by Eljan Tanini

below: Four panels in a concrete wall have abstract paintings by Tanini (one on the left, with a blue background, is not shown).
yellow building in the background, concrete fence with recessed panels that have been painted with bright coloured abstract paintings
a panel from exterior wall painted byEljan Tanini, abstract shapes and colors on orange background