The walls of the city of Buenos Aires have always “spoke”, but since last December 18 they have also “celebrated”, “encourage” and “raise the cup” that the Argentine National Team won at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the hands of Lionel Messi, Dibu Martínez and Ángel Di María, among other members of La Scaloneta.
The deified figure of Leo Messi quickly became the most chosen by street artists, such as Maxi Bagnasco, Jonathan Almada, Mario Abad and Alfredo Segatori, among others.
The image of the Argentine star lifting or kissing the World Cup, making the Topo Gigio, reproducing his iconic phrase “what looks silly? He’s going there .. ”, or hugging a teammate filled the walls of the City of Buenos Aires, as well as the Buenos Aires suburbs and the interior of the country, especially Rosario. In this way, medians, ochavas and business blinds were reinforced in “fabrics” on which the muralists made their artistic explosions. It is estimated that up to now more than 20 murals with Leo’s face have been made throughout the country since the title obtained against France.
But the tributes to the triumph of La Scaloneta did not end with the murals of the rosarino crack. An Argentine flag of 400 m2 painted on the ramp and stairway of Lavalle street, between 25 de Mayo and Alem, in the heart of Buenos Aires, serves as the starting point for an urban tour to see Messi’s murals in CABA.
Segatori’s intervention is called World Champions Color Outburst, and in this regard, “Pelado” stated: “I liked doing something more minimalist, more abstract, than a figure itself, and it fit exactly with the theme of the staircase and La Scaloneta with very good repercussions”, explained Segatori. The work is part of the Microcentro Red cultural program carried out by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Culture.
A few blocks from there, more precisely in Bolívar 947, an imposing figure of Messi doing the Topo Gigio covers the entire blind of the San Telmo business. The image belongs to the celebration of Argentina’s second goal against the Netherlands, when number 10 stood up in front of the rival substitute bench “answering” Louis Van Gaal’s criticism prior to the game. In this case, the work belongs to the artist Mario Abad and measures two and a half meters high.
The tour continues at the intersection of Darwin and Gorriti streets, in the Palermo neighborhood, which already has its own name: La Esquina de Messi. This is the work of the artist Maximiliano Bagnasco in which Lionel can be seen lifting the world cup covered by the Bishit (the transparent layer with gold trim), with Emiliano Martínez in the background. It is an exact reproduction of the moment he went around the world on December 18 in Doha. “The idea was born after having painted various members of the National Team and Diego Maradona, and I also had the feeling that we were going to win the World Cup. After watching the game, and suffering like everyone else, I waited to see what image I could rescue to make the mural. I went out to celebrate a bit, but I returned home to continue looking for the moment I wanted to portray. After choosing the image of Messi raising the cup, which was unique and different from that of other world cups, on Monday I prepared everything and on the same Tuesday I began to paint it. Usually, it takes me two days to do a mural, but on Wednesday it became almost impossible to continue, since everyone wanted to take pictures next to the work,” Maxi explained in his talk with PROFILE, just arrived from Jamaica, where he traveled to create a mural in memory of Bob Marley’s grandson, Joseph Jo Mersa Marley, who recently passed away.
Regarding his work in the Palermo neighborhood, the impact was such that it appeared on Google Maps as La Esquina de Messi. “While I was doing the work, I asked for a coffee through an application and I saw that it was already listed as Esquina Messi, it seemed very funny to me,” said the artist, who, in addition to creating the iconic Diego Maradona mural in the Canning area, had already Messi was photographed together with Di María and Maxi Rodríguez in Rosario before the World Cup.
On the other side of General Paz, the murals tribute to Messi are replicated in every available wall. In Lomas de Zamora, for example, Jonathan Almada also painted two murals of the PSG crack. In one he is hugging Julían Álvarez, while in the other he is seen kissing the only trophy Leo was missing: the soccer world cup.
“My work was a promise that I made if Argentina was champion. Also, I wanted to portray him because it is his last World Cup. It took me two days to make the mural and it was the first time I have made a human figure. Before, I used to do anime murals,” explained the 26-year-old young artist. In addition to this work, he made a mural of Messi in Villa Fiorito, the Holy Land of Diego Maradona. “There I did it to Messi raising the cup, which was a job on request, and which also turned out to be a promise. Later I did another work of Messi in another neighborhood kissing the cup”, added the young artist.
The mural popularizes art
Anna Stjerne *
In history, mural painting did not occupy a place comparable to that of traditional easel painting, but legitimate works have changed that idea. Today they have so much to say that in many places in the world they have become tours that are museums or open-air galleries. The famous East Side Gallery in Berlin, Wynwood in Miami known for its dynamic street art scene or the innovative tour of the 13th district in Paris are examples of this type of phenomenon.
This has fostered and validated the popularization of urban art and artists like Banksy, who with their success and world fame will come to the Bristol Museum with an exhibition called Banksy Versus Bristol Museum, becoming a cultural reference.
Today we live with various expressions of Street art on the walls of our cities. Large surfaces, various materials, safe strokes (because of the scale they handle), the location, the lighting are some of the variables that encompass this type of visual language.
Street art in a certain way is nourished by expressions linked to a contemporary heartbeat, it paints what is lived at that moment. What is adored What generates us devotion. Lionel Messi is honored in dozens of murals throughout the world. Visual planes that are going to build a myth with his image. Seeing a mural of our idol embellishing a wall empathizes with our emotions in a positive way.
He is a national hero who, being treated by different artists, sees different styles to be represented, according to the emotional impact of each one.
That there is a rich diffusion of the mural as an art that summons us and manages to give so much visual life to cities and that Messi is visible to many and that we can remember the happiness that he brought us deserves this flood of images of our beloved best player in the world. .
* Director of ValkGallery
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