As part of its partnership with the academy of France in Rome, the Capo d’Arte festival invited Lek & Sowat to come and paint a train in the small town of Gagliano del Capo, south of Italy. Curated by Francesca Bonomo and Francesco Petrucci, the event brings together international contemporary artists in the Puglia every year.
Isn’t the choice of a train as a support for the two former graffiti artists Lek and Sowat a bit of a paradox? Graffiti and trains have had a very close relationship since the beginning of the movement in the 1970s in New York. The means of transport quickly became the ideal support graffiti artists to give visibility to their illegally painted parts. For this occasion, the two artists got all permissions to make this whole car (painting a train entirely) named Desire. Initially, both French artists covered the train with a black flat tint to make the mass uniform. Then, over a major part of the surface, they made patterns in white (Sowat) and gold (Lek), saturating the train in dripping graffiti. On the other side, Lek and Sowat then painted in a very readable typography ‘R.Mutt’, the famous pseudonym under which Marcel Duchamp signed his famous urinal almost a century ago for an exhibition in New York. The duo thus transformed the status of the train into a work of art, like a readymade. A new way to see the everyday travelling object.
Both artists will go back to the Puglia region to make a work entirely in shrink-wrap on July 30, the opening date of the Capo d’Arte Festival.
More informations : www.capodarte.it
Photo credits : Lek & Sowat