We ❤️ Murals. One of the best way to express a brand’s aesthetic and values, murals are fun to do and can actually be a great team-building opportunity (after one of our artists sketches the paint-by-numbers outlines). We are always excited to tap into the local and national pool of talented muralist influencers for what is usually a very rewarding activation, before, during and after.

Murals Have Been Popular for Hella

Murals, large-scale paintings directly applied to walls, ceilings, or other large surfaces, have a rich history that spans thousands of years. They have served as a canvas for human expression, documenting societies, cultures, and historical events while also reflecting artistic evolution over time.

The art of mural painting can be traced back to ancient civilizations. The earliest murals were painted in the Paleolithic era inside cave shelters, such as those found in Lascaux, France. These prehistoric murals depict scenes of hunting, dancing, and daily life, offering insights into the concerns and activities of early humans.

Ancient Egypt also played a pivotal role in the history of murals. The walls of tombs and temples were adorned with murals illustrating pharaohs, gods, and tales of the afterlife. These were not just decorative; they were deeply symbolic and believed to have religious and spiritual significance.

In Mesoamerica, civilizations like the Maya and Aztecs painted murals that covered temple walls, depicting their deities, rituals, and celestial events. These murals were vibrant, often using natural pigments to create a rich palette of blues, reds, and yellows.

The Greco-Roman world further developed the art of mural painting with frescoes, a technique wherein paint is applied on wet plaster. This method ensures the painting's longevity as it becomes integrated with the wall. The city of Pompeii, buried under volcanic ash and then excavated, revealed a treasure trove of frescoes that showcased daily Roman life, mythological tales, and more.

The Renaissance period in Europe marked a significant evolution in mural art. The period's humanistic spirit, combined with advancements in perspective and anatomy, led to some of the most iconic murals ever created. Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican and Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' in Milan are quintessential examples from this era. These works not only depicted religious themes but also celebrated human achievement, intellect, and beauty.

Modern Murals and Political Expression

Moving into the 20th century, murals began to take on a more political and social role, particularly in Mexico during the 1920s and 30s. The Mexican Mural Movement, led by artists like Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, used walls of public buildings to portray social issues, indigenous histories, and the struggles and triumphs of the Mexican people. Their work was powerful, monumental, and accessible to the public, making art an integral part of the social and political dialogue.

In the United States, during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration funded artists to paint murals in public buildings. These murals often depicted American life, labor, and ideals, aiming to uplift and inspire the public during challenging times.

Contemporary Murals and Street Art

Today, the legacy of murals as a form of public art continues, especially within the realm of street art. Artists like Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and RETNA have created murals that address contemporary issues, from political dissent to societal observations. Their works, often imbued with irony or social commentary, can be found on city walls worldwide.

Moreover, the rise of festivals like POW! WOW! and MURAL have turned cities into open-air galleries, celebrating the transformative power of murals in urban spaces. These events not only beautify neighborhoods but also foster community engagement and dialogue.

Popular Muralists Today

Several muralists have gained international acclaim in the contemporary art scene. Artists such as Os Gemeos, a pair of twin brothers from Brazil, are renowned for their distinctive yellow characters and depictions of Brazilian culture. Another notable name is JR, a French artist known for his large-scale black and white photographic portraits placed in urban settings, turning anonymous faces into icons of societal narratives.

Spain's Aryz is recognized for his massive, colorful works that merge classical art themes with a modern graffiti aesthetic. Meanwhile, South African artist Faith47 is lauded for her ethereal, intricate murals that touch upon nature, the human spirit, and the cosmos.