CULTURE

IFA celebrates 100 years with bold color ‘Facade en Fete’ features Greek, French graffiti projects

Centennial celebrations of the French Institute in Athens will add a dash of color to the urban landscape, as the esteemed cultural institution has invited a group of graffiti artists to work their wonders on the facade of the IFA’s building at 31 Sina Street in Kolonaki as well as on the facade of a building in the run-down Kerameikos district in central Athens (11 Mykinon & Megalou Alexandrou). With work having started on the murals on May 19, the artists and the IFA invite the public to observe the progress of the artistic creation until the official unveiling on June 6 at 7 p.m. The unveiling will go hand-in-hand with a raffle draw for 10 original skateboards hand-painted by graffiti and comics artists Brain, Impe, Same, Why, Woozy and others. At the same time, the IFA will also inaugurate a skateboard and graffiti exhibition in the foyer. The artists who will be participating in the mural projects are the Carpe Diem group, Woozy, Kidd96, Lazoo and Kongo. Carpe Diem, a graffiti collective that invites artists from abroad to participate in large-scale projects, have already left their signature on the Greek capital with murals on Pireos Street and another on Ermou Street, marking Car-Free Day. Athens-born Woozy belongs to the first generation of homegrown graffiti artists, setting off with his spray-paint cans at the age of 10 and organizing a youth movement for clean streets in 1993. Woozy has worked with crews in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Thailand, the UK and Brazil, while Kidd96 was also born in Athens and is a designer for Carpe Diem magazine. On the French side of the group, Lazoo was born in Paris in 1969 and began doing graffiti in 1989, gradually building up to a career as an illustrator and designer for a number of French magazines and record labels. In 1995 he joined the famed MACru group in Paris, contributing to their large-scale public mural projects and expanding his independent activities to advertising and video games. Lazoo has participated in several international exhibitions and is a co-founder of the Kosmopolite graffiti festival in France. Kongo also joined MACru in 1989, specializing as a calligraphist and joining the founding team of Kosmopolite. He has toured China with the Eating Frogs festival and is an adviser in Paris’s «street culture» program.