If you have been walking around the Ponte Sisto area lately, you may have noticed the peculiar graffiti by the Tiber River. It was created by the South African artist William Kentridge. Kentridge is internationally known for his drawings, animated films, and other artwork. He has been featured in national art museums worldwide and has won a number of awards.
Kentridge’s current project, Triumphs and Laments, is a large-scale 550-meter long frieze of different scenes from ancient Rome’s history and myths. This work is very unusual due to its unique technique: the images are created by erasing parts of the biological patina on the Tiber river embankment walls. The project is promoted by Associazione TEVERETERNO Onlus and is produced by THE OFFICE performing arts + film under the technical direction of STEP s.r.l.
The process of creating the work was started by sketching charcoal drawings of the future images. Afterward, the charcoal sketches were transformed into ink drawings, which were subsequently crafted into full-scale stencils. Some of these stencils may be up to 10 meters high. Then the stencils have been placed on the walls of the Tiber River. The images have been then washed around the stencils. This process is known as “reverse graffiti”, leaving only the darkened marks of pollution and organic growth on the stone walls and creating the silhouetted iconic figures.
This exciting project will be completed and open to the public on April 21st (Natale di Roma – Rome’s Birthday) and it will continue to be on display until the walls fade back to their natural state over the coming years! This project will be the first open-air space for contemporary art in Rome, and it is only a five-minute walk from John Cabot’s Tiber campus. Make sure to stop by and snap a picture! Don’t forget to add #JCURome hashtag if you are posting your pictures on any Social Media!
You can learn more about JCU’s role in the project by clicking on the link http://www.johncabot.edu/about_jcu/news_and_events/news_2015_2016/kentridge-triumphs-and-laments.aspx#
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Class of 2018
Hometown: Moscow, Russia