Globally renowned artists from France, London and Germany are among the first to be confirmed for the debut of the Nuart Festival in Aberdeen.
Julien de Casabianca, Robert Montgomery and Herakut will bring their unique artistic styles to the Granite City for the street art extravaganza, which will be held from April 14 to April 16.
Coming to the UK for the first time, Nuart provides a platform for national and international artists to showcase their work through a series of site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions. There will also be a wide programme of activity including talks, presentations, film screenings, workshops and a few surprises over the course of the Easter Weekend.
Eleven artists are currently confirmed to descend upon the Granite City, and will be working alongside local artists to create a lasting impression in the city centre.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We are hugely excited to be bringing an art festival of this scale and stature to Aberdeen. Nuart is hugely popular in its Stavanger birthplace and it is a huge coup for us to be holding it in our city.
“It is an honour to announce the first four incredibly talented and thought provoking artists that will be taking part in the festival. We are delighted that Julian de Casabianca, Robert Montgomery and Herakut will leave their artistic footprint in Aberdeen and look forward to announcing more names and additions in due course.
“Nuart is an ambitious project and we are sure it will be embraced by the north-east public. We want to encourage community engagement, make art accessible to all and create talking points in the city, as well as, of course, brightening up neglected spaces in the city centre.
“We can’t wait to see what creations will be devised by both our international and local artists and the part Nuart will play in challenging the perceptions of street art. Both the Nuart Festival team and representatives from Aberdeen Inspired have been working incredibly hard on this and we are looking forward to seeing it come to life on walls throughout the heart of Aberdeen.”
French visual artist and filmmaker Julian de Casabianca is known for ‘The Outings Project’, which has involved him embellishing streets around the world with portraits of characters plucked from classical paintings.
The project evolved from a prank, when de Casabianca saw Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière at the Louvre and wanted to help her escape. His work merges the perceptions of canonical and street art in neglected spaces, as each individual appears to be freed from their institutional home.
Robert Montgomery, who is originally from Scotland but has lived in London since 1999, follows a tradition of conceptual art and is noticeable for bringing a poetic voice to the discourse of text art. Poetic texts form the basis of his wheatpaste artworks, murals, light pieces (recycled sunlight poems), woodcuts and watercolours.
Montgomery showed at the 2011 Venice Biennale and was selected to represent the UK at the first biennale in India – The Kochi-Muziris Biennale – in December 2012. He has also had solo exhibitions at venues in Europe and in Asia, including major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof.
The German artists Hera and Akut (Jasmin Siddiqui and Falk Lehmann) joined forces in 2004 under the name Herakut and both have roots in the grafitti scene. The duo has shown around the world and their artworks can be found in Toronto, Kathmandu, San Francisco and Melbourne among others.
Herakut’s creative art process is both sensuous and savage and contains a storytelling element, creating imaginary worlds and inspiring their figures with individual characters.
Their contrasting methods result in stylized and strangely unique artworks as their approaches often result in each artist improvising on top of the other’s idea to create a piece that gives off an almost frenzied vibe.