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Safewalls Announces Madrid Artists: Miss Van, Nuria Mora & Ricardo Cavolo

My buds at Safewalls have hit Madrid. The trio of Spanish artists they’ve selected to create original an alternative poster designs for the Cirque de Soleil show Corteo is Miss Van, Nuria Mora and Ricardo Cavolo.

Premiered in 2005, Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth. The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music, by turns lyrical and playful, carries Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.

Born in 1973 in Toulouse, France, MISS VAN took to graffiti at the age of 18 and in the early ’90s, alongside her fellow Toulousaines Mademoiselle Kat and Fafi, pioneered an explicitly feminine voice in an artform often dominated by macho males. Graduating to gallery artist, Miss Van has exhibited works at the Schwaz city gallery in Austria, the Baltic Art Center in the U.K. and the Von der Heydt Museum’s Kunsthalle in Germany, and has shared wall space at shows with Os Gemeos, Banksy, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Ryan McGinness and Takashi Murakami. In recent years she relocated to Barcelona, Spain, where she designs prints for Fornarina.

Madrid’s NURIA MORA takes a very distinctive and immediately identifiable approach to street art, leaving aside the lettering and cartoon characters so common in graffiti in favour of an entirely abstract style devoted to colour, geometry and crisp, straight-edged forms. Her solo shows include stops in London, Tokyo and at the Espace Beaurepaire in Paris, while joint shows with her frequent collaborator, fellow Spanish graffiti hand Eltono, have numbered two dozen. Beyond the galleries, Mora has also created murals and artworks in public spaces throughout southern Europe, in Egypt, in the favelas of Brazil and shantytowns of Johannesburg, South Africa.

A freelance illustrator rather than a street artist, Madrid’s RICARDO CAVOLO — born in 1982 in Salamanca, Spain — specializes in an endearingly simple, though hardly naïve, drawing style that doesn’t shy away from dramatic colours. Whether he’s illustrating a Charles Dickens children’s book, designing record sleeves for the Gran Derby label or paying tribute to Russian tattoos on T-shirts for Phucisme, CAVOLO crafts images that recall classic comic books, advertising art and, more than anything, lively folk art from across the globe. The circus is a particularly favoured theme for him, as is apparent with one glance at his CORTEO design for SAFEWALLS.

SAFEWALLS | MADRID 2011 | Artists interview from SAFEWALLS on Vimeo.


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