As a fan of Amy Winehouse, it has always been so tempting to paint her portrait in her local area of Camden (North London). The wall, located on the side of Nemesis Studio, is curated by Nelly Bazacs and is repainted once a month by a new artist. I had the pleasure to create my own version of Amy, holding a golden microphone and laying on her side.
“Amy” – Zabou – 3x7m – London, UK – 2017
Photo credit: (1, 3) Zabou, (2) Nelly Bazacs
Enter the madness with my new 4 colour screen print inspired by the grandiose Salvador Dali. Handmade with love in London, the limited edition is printed on Fedrigoni Vellum (320gsm) paper, size A2. The release of the standard and hand finished artworks comes with three unique (01/01) hand painted prints available via Saatchi Store.
“Zebra” – Hand finished print, Edition: 15
“Leopard” – Hand finished print, Edition: 15
“Tutti Frutti” – Hand painted print, Edition: 01/01
“Vintage Flowers” – Hand painted print, Edition: 01/01
“Blue Sky” – Hand painted print, Edition: 01/01
“Dali” – Standard print, Edition: 20
I love spending time and painting in Paris, it’s a vibrant place for the art. My journey started with a show at the underground venue Le Lavo//Matik, a great place to find artworks, books, tees and a lot more – all related to urban culture. On the opening day of a group show themed around Paris, I painted the wall adjacent to the gallery. The artwork depicts ‘la parisienne’ (the Parisian woman), with the beret, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. Very cliché!
“La Parisienne” – Zabou – 3x5m – Paris, France – 2017
Photo credit: (1) Zabou, (2,3,4) Christophe Legros
The second stop in my journey was in Vitry-sur-Seine, on the outskirts of South East Paris. The association Vitry’n Urbaine and myself built a long term project (it took us two years and half from beginning to end!) to paint an unusual spot in the city centre. The wall is particularly interesting as it it cylindrical. After finally obtaining permission from both the landlord and the town hall… I sprayed the hell out of it! The artwork represents a couple kissing, with both characters spread across the surface. It’s meant to be a soft, beautiful image celebrating love for all.
“L’Amour” – Zabou – 6x5m – Vitry-sur-Seine, France – 2017
Photo credit: (1,2) Zabou, (3,4) Nico Giquel
For the first time I flew to South America, more precisely to central Colombia. The atmosphere of the Quindío region is magic and the wild nature very impressive. I was invited amongst other local and international artists to paint as part of the CapFest festival organised by LisergicoLab, and supported by the region and the Alliance Française.
Firstly we settled for the small town of Genova located high up in the mountains. With a small group of artists we painted the houses of the local inhabitants, who were enthusiastic about the city’s first murals. My design represents the cropped face of an old Colombian man, which interacts with the window when open/closed.
“El Abuelo” – Zabou – 2x2m – Genova, Colombia – 2017
As the Quindío is one of the largest producer of coffee in Colombia, this is the theme I picked for my second mural located in the city of Armenia. More precisely it focuses on the notion of “Chapolera”, who represented the strong and beautiful paysant woman working in the fields. My mural is composed around a Colombian woman with a fierce look and the bunch of coffee plants she is holding.
“La Chapolera” – Zabou – 7x6m – Armenia, Colombia – 2017
Photos credit: Zabou (1, 2, 3, 4) – Santiago Gomez (5, 6)
During the last couple of years I have been repainting multiple times the side wall of the The Bell, a friendly pub in East London. The structure of the wall is composed of various frames and half columns which make it complicated to work with, I have to be creative every time to adjust to the space. The theme selected for this new mural is ‘Alice in Wonderland’, a story I use to read when I was little and that I still appreciate greatly. The entrance door of the pub is being used as the door where Alice goes through to enter Wonderland, following the White Rabbit running away in fear of being late. On the left side, lays a small bottle with the words ‘Drink me’.
Down the rabbit hole… Descente dans le terrier du lapin blanc…
“Wonderland” – Zabou – 6x4m – London, UK – 2017
Photo credit: Zabou
This year I’ve explored some new surfaces, I painted a rooftop a few months ago and I’ve just completed a mural on a large canal boat. The artwork depicts an underwater scenery with plants, fishes and a diver exploring the deep waters. The diver is seen holding a perch with surprise, while nearby a pike is chasing a rudd. The boat will be travelling near and across London over the next few years so you may be able to spot it!
“All Aboard!” – Zabou – 12x1m – London, UK – 2017
Photo credit: Zabou
After a bit of time off from painting, I recently repainted by night two shutters down in the famous Brick Lane with two characters, one girl, one boy, holding a spray can and roller. Their bandanas are coming out of the frame. I like the way they both match the heavily graffitied surfaces around.
“At Night” – Zabou – 2x2m – London, UK – 2017
Photo credit: Zabou
Sid Vicious is a punk rock icon, member of the famous band The Sex Pistols. He’s also a Londoner: born in Lewisham, he used to live and study in Hackney. I love his music and rebellious spirit.
“Sid Vicious” – Zabou – 2.5×2.5m – London, UK – 2017
The ‘Cockney Rebel’ stopped by, check out his awesome jacket.
Credit photo: Zabou
After Paris, I headed to the Veneto region in Italy to paint at EnergyFest, organised by Kantiere Misto, in the small town of San Polo Di Piave. I created a piece inspired by the mask and costume traditions of the nearby Venice, where a girl is seen hiding her face with her hands while her mask is off. We all hide behind a mask and an image, when our true self is exposed how do we react? Do we let go?
“The Mask” – Zabou – 6x4m – San Polo Di Piave, Italy – 2017
Credit photo: Zabou
From Hamburg I flew straight to Paris for a project organised by the association Garidell14. With four other female artists, and despite the rain, we painted a 50m wall and gave a spray painting workshop to local children.
My artwork, entitled ‘CREATE’, depicts a woman holding a marker with one hand, and a spray can with the other. Her body fits in the stretched format of the wall and creates a powerful and magical sensation of floating for the audience.
“CREATE” – Zabou – 13x3m – Paris, France – 2017
Credit photo: (1) (2) Zabou – (3) (4) Garidell14
The Millerntor Gallery is held every year at the St.Pauli Stadium in Hamburg, Germany. The event, a weekend combining art, music, street food and more – gathers artists from around the globe. The benefits go to Viva Con Agua, a charity providing access worldwide to clean and sanitised water.
My design shows a woman immersed in water with a bird on her head. I wanted to raise questions about the challenges we are dangerously facing with water and oceans, especially climate change triggering sea level rising fast.
“Rising/Drowning” – Zabou – 3x3m – Hamburg, Germany – 2017
Credit photo: Zabou
I travelled to Hadera in Israel with the association Artists4Israel, who brings international and local artists to beautify the country. The project was the first of its kind in the city and it was received really well by its inhabitants.
On this occasion I painted two murals, both in community centres which provide activities and a friendly space for children.
“Education is Power” – Zabou – 9x5m – Hadera, Israel – 2017
“Urban Dreams” – Zabou – 6x5m – Hadera, Israel – 2017
The ‘MUR Mulhouse‘ welcome local and international artists to paint on a large public space in the city centre of Mulhouse, France. I was the 42nd artist but the first female artist to paint on the wall! Hopefully the first of many.
Last year, Mexican artist Villana and I did a collaboration in London to pay tribute to Frida Kahlo, a subject Villana had used many times. The piece was much loved but short lived, hence why I painted a new portrait on a more permanent wall.
The design shows Frida with a radiant aura and smile, holding her brush and paint. A beautiful screen print inspired by this design will be released in June.
Last week, Spike Lee filmed Grandmaster Flash in front the tribute mural I painted last year when visiting the USA. The video promotes the 60th Grammy Awards ceremony, and celebrates New York as the city of music.
The mural of Grandmaster Flash was painted last September with the help of the TAG Public Arts Project in the South Bronx. The artwork, inspired by a photo by M.Daoud, pays tribute to the origin of hip-hop and the legendary DJ.
Watch the video below:
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