Artist’s road from Sadiq Khan in a mankini to animal mythology in Murray Mews

Loretto looking at his new artwork

THE street artist who surprised residents with an artwork of Vladimir Putin playing rock, paper, scissors with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has returned with a new mural in Camden Town.

Loretto was found painting familiar London creatures – including crows, foxes and parakeets – on a grainy wall in Murray Mews on Tuesday.

The artist from Argentina told the New Journal that he keeps his identity secret to “add to the magic”.

He added that he did not want to be seen as somebody who only did political work after he sparked discussion with his take on the Russian invasion appeared on a wall in Kentish Town back in 2022.

The artist also painted London Mayor Sadiq Khan in a mankini – an image painted in King’s Cross which was scrubbed out by Camden Council.

Loretto mural Willingham Terrace

Loretto’s debate-starting artwork in Kentish Town

“I believe people are expecting to see something different,” he said. “Here I’m not playing a rebel. I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m not trying to be like a prophet, teaching people how to live. It’s just I am displaying an image like the greatest artists did.” Borrowing images from art history, the mural depicts a dove-pigeon speaking peace to the other animals like a prophet or Jesus speaking to disciples. Titled Urban Animal Mythology, it is the first of a new series by Loretto. He said he came across the wall by accident and “fell in love” with its natural cracks, rough surface and the way the sunlight falls on it, which add to the fantastical spirit of the animals.  “I was just coming this way really,” said Loretto. “I didn’t go searching to do pictures in Camden. I see this wall. I was like falling in love with this wall to be honest, because it’s so beautiful. If you paint this on a very renovated wall you kill the sensation.”

Sadiq Khan in a mankini was quickly removed by Camden Council

Loretto said he spent up to four months creating the stencils using a projector in his studio.

He said: “With the Zelenskyy piece I really went into those two characters before I made it. I spent many months getting into their characters. This picture is like a fresco. It could be from the Roman times.

“Street art is very limited. People ask me, where is the statement? It’s like people are used to seeing that but art is far more than that.”

Another question he got from passers-by while he was working earlier this week was why he was doing this for free.

The new work in Murray Mews

Loretto said: “Some people do not understand why if it’s for free, you made it. And I can understand that.”

For Loretto, who is also a painter under his real name, said there is a magical bond between street art and the viewer which does not exist elsewhere.

“People who live in the area or kids, they see it by surprise,” he said. “It’s not like ‘ok let’s go to a gallery’, they just found it and maybe it’s next to their home, they feel it in a deeper way. You can’t do that in galleries. You don’t expect to see art here so suddenly it’s an act of magic so that’s why I keep a little mystery about who I am – it’s not magical to be taking selfies all the time.”

Loretto’s Zelenskyy piece was quickly covered in tags and further graffiti. He hopes his latest mural will last a bit longer.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *