Our talented Italian artist Gioele delves into the 1400’s and recreates one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most spectacular pieces of art. Graffiti art in 2018 tends to be based on the likes of pop culture, vibrant colours and up and coming viral topics, however, Gioele wanted to test the waters and challenge himself to bring an oil painting to life with the use of spray paint and graffiti painting techniques.
We interviewed him to find a little more about his inspiration and the challenges behind such an incredible piece.
What inspired you to paint this piece?
“Well, first of all, I really love this style of artwork, it’s also quite unusual to see these shades of colours being used in graffiti art. I wanted to paint a zoomed in version of the picture to make the focal point pop and stand out. I also really like Leonardo Da Vinci’s work, everything he’s done is amazing! It was great to compare and contrast a graffiti version of a painting against an oil painted one.”
What makes you love Renaissance artwork so much?
“First of all, I’m Italian so I’ve always been surrounded by this style of art. I’ve also studied it, I had a great teacher who really taught me to love it and appreciate its beauty. I’ve also been travelling a lot around Italy which really enriched my experience and understanding of this kind of art. I think the Renaissance was definitely Italy’s most successful period of art.
What were the challenges you had whilst painting it?
“Colour picking for the piece was very complicated, all the colours we use in spray paint are very eye-catching and strong however I was looking to create a very soft and smooth effect for this piece. I actually had to dust every colour I used over another colour as we didn’t have any colours that were correct to begin with. I also found it really challenging to capture the exact expression of the face, it’s just so important to get it right.”
Did you find painting the detailed parts of the piece challenging?
“Yes I found the nose and mouth quite difficult because they weren’t as defined as the eyes which had a strong shadow to help you understand the volume of the feature. The nose and the lips only used a little volume which I found really challenging to recreate.”
What’s it like seeing your piece in public?
“It’s so much fun to see it on the roof of the office when I come into work in the morning, I think it’s really eye-catching as it’s just not something you’d see every day!”
This amazing piece is situated opposite Box Park on the roof, it’s impossible to miss especially if you’re walking out of Shoreditch High Street station.