SAFEWALLS is an artistic project curated by Cirque du Soleil that is bringing time-honoured circus posters into the 21st century by pairing up with renowned international street art and lowbrow artists (lowbrow is an artistic movement that uses the graphic codes of popular genres such as comics, advertising, graffiti and anything not considered fine arts). This project celebrates the roots of Cirque du Soleil—the street—as well as the creative freedom and raw energy associated with street arts.
“As part of its cultural action, Cirque du Soleil takes many actions in conjunction with the creation, production and distribution of its own works and products,” explains Martin Bundock, curator of SAFEWALLS and Senior Arts Integration Advisor at Cirque du Soleil. “These actions translate to various activities in many sectors, such as that of incorporating arts in the community. SAFEWALLS therefore naturally fits into this context.”
The term “safe walls” refers to legal spots in the urban landscape for local street artists to do their work without the fear of sanctions. SAFEWALLS commissions urban artists from all over the world to create daring and original posters inspired by Cirque du Soleil shows. In addition to being displayed in predetermined cities where Cirque du Soleil is presenting one of its big top shows, the final artworks will be used for the production of limited-edition, signed and numbered posters Each month—for a period of 12 months—three artists will be commissioned in each city to create a poster inspired by the show. The posters will travel the world and the exhibit will be cumulative, growing in size as works of previous cities are added to the collection.
The works can also be seen online on safewalls.org and during public events in some cities.
First SAFEWALLS exhibition
At the High Roller Society in London (England)
As of February 17, 2011
Artists: Jon Burgerman, Sweet Toof and Glenn Anderson
Another exhibition is planned in Houston (Texas) in March.
To make sure you do not miss any upcoming SAFEWALLS events, log on to safewalls.org and its blog regularly, and keep track of its activities on Facebook and Twitter.
Information for the media:
Chantal Côté – Cirque du Soleil