One of the greatest series of street art I ever saw in Rome were these simple black and white posters, put up on old deteriorating walls or empty sign posts, quickly aged by weather themselves to match their surroundings. To me it said something about the timelessness of the so-called “città eterna” — how while somethings change, our cars and technology and clothes, most of the essentials of life in Italy — food, family, wild hand gestures while talking — are not so different from how they were 100 years ago, or how they will be 100 years from now. When you walk down many streets in Rome’s Centro Storico, save for small details here and there you might not know what century you’re in, and that’s part of the immense beauty of it. Anyway that’s how I interpreted it for myself.
A little bit of sleuthing and I discovered that the artist behind this series is Jeremy Mende, who was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, an institution in the international art world. You can read more about the project, see other pieces, and hear about his intentions with this public art here.
My other favorite that I saw was this one below, made even more poignant with the half-stolen bicycle and the bank right next door, intentional or not…
Check out other posts about street art here.