Art has traditionally been used as a medium of expression but conversations have often been restricted within the four walls of a gallery, catering only to a niche audience. However, arts and culture are not confined to just galleries and museums in Singapore anymore – they come alive on the void deck walls of many an HDB estate. Public art took on a life of its own, breaking down walls of confined spaces and spilling out to the heartlands, making the art experience accessible to all.
More murals – or rather, art pieces – were done up at another void deck in the West side of Singapore. Non-profit group Social Creatives transformed a portion of the void decks of Blocks 749 and 750 Jurong West St 73 into a ‘Picasso’ community art gallery. The gallery pays homage to spanish artist Pablo Picasso and his famous Cubism style by creating a more intimate relationship between the artists and the community through collaboration. This is also to encourage local residents to know more about the art history and embrace the arts culture of their city.
There is another thing I would say is perhaps not unique but certainly as a whole Picasso brand it is unique. There are so many stories, myths and legends surround Picasso brand that it’s hard to know which are true and which are partly true. This is what made him memorable and his name shareable to wider audience outside art connoisseurs and art collectors.
Pablo Picasso was also a celebrity artist. Especially in later years. And society always wants more celebrities that are genius, don’t they? To this day, he is still perhaps the most well known name to the public. Ask anyone to name you an artist, and virtually all have heard the name Picasso. So much so, that often with Picasso there is nostalgia involved of wanting another Picasso.
Cubism has been regarded as one of modern art‘s most famous and fascinating art movements. Cubism is closely associated with iconic artists like Pablo Picasso, whose avant-garde approach to everyday subject matter turned art history on its head. Cubism definitely is an eye catching style, and they did make it more local by choosing local subjects to feature in this gallery.
One of Pablo Picasso's most famous periods is the cubist period. The painting above is one of his cubist pictures. Cubism is when the artist paints an object, like a bottle, from lots of different angles all in the same picture. So you see the front, the back and the sides of the bottle at the same time. In a way, it’s a bit like having x-ray eyes.
Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous artists of the twentieth-century. Why? Because he was brilliant at drawing. People really loved his doodles. What do you think of the drawing above? Look at how he has used colour…how many colours can you see? What objects are in the picture?
You know what it’s like when you visit proper art galleries where security personnel hush you down and remind you not to flash that camera? Well, in this wonderfully relaxed void deck art gallery, you are free to enjoy the full experience of the artworks undisturbed. You can walk, sit, have a picnic, take funny photo snaps, whatever makes you enjoy them better.
Look how expressive these artworks are ! Ultimately what made Pablo Picasso unique as an artist, I think, is his complete control of any medium he chose to use, but instead of being bound by the medium or techniques he was exploring his inner feelings, fears and desires in vast verity of mediums and visual styles. Far more than most, and in this process he inspired many artists and art styles. And continues to do so to this day. Picasso's work continues to be studied for its meaning and celebrated for its creativity. His subject matter and style, inspired by his many lovers and by other artists, were ever changing.
Even as a child Picasso was better at drawing than many adults. He could draw and paint just about anything, and in any style. He liked to experiment and try out new ideas, which is important if you are an artist, because the world is always changing. Picasso helped us see the world in new ways.
There is another row of wall art at the end of the Picasso art gallery, which have been creatively painted over switch boxes, generator rooms, and pillars.
I believe that art has the capability of triggering revolutions with an impact. The power of art in the public realm lies in its inevitability, the fact that it can’t be missed by anybody in its vicinity. It can portray a powerful and moving statement to a diverse audience in an instant. It is a strong tool in educating the public at large to the importance of art in everyday life, and very crucially improves the visual landscape of our urban spaces in the heartlands.
I hope that Social Creatives will continue to draw and inspire artists from inside and outside the community by increasing and strengthening the city’s public art and cultural diversity. It is a wonderful message in today’s times of conflict and uncertainty, and public art can do this beautifully and meaningfully. The lack of the number of public art events in this unsettling year would explain why the need for more of such mural art that goes beyond merely beautifying the spaces they occupy.
Looking for more street art in Singapore? Check out my street art collection in Singapore for more, or see where else in the world I’ve found amazing street art.