"My aim is to create a permanent exhibition of great art in the public space of Lodz," says Michał Bieżyński, founder of "Lodz Murals" in the Polish city of the same name. It is highly likely he will after six years curating Galeria Urban Forms, for which BSA has been a media partner. Since 2009 Bieżyński has been selecting and organizing artists from around the world to create almost 45 murals throughout the city for permanent exhibition by people like Os Gemeos, Aryz, Roa, Vhils, M-City, Etam Cru, Inti, Remed, Daleast, Sat One, Kenor, 3ttman, and Nunca to mention just a few.
"Now I don't want to create any new festival, any new brand -- just want to keep the name as simple as possible," he says of Lodz Murals, an ongoing program that functions year round rather than focusing specifically on a short-term festival. With all responsibilities for organizing, promoting, and working with city and private business under one roof, Michał says that his vision is to create the same sort of iconic image of Lodz with murals as Paris with the Eiffel Tower.
"I would like that people on the global scale would think of Lodz as a city with exceptional public art," he says grandly while acknowledging that public art shines in many other cities as well. "When you are thinking about public art, one of the first places that you will see in your mind's eye is Lodz. Of course, comparing the mural project to the one of the most important "pearls" of modern architecture is pure overstatement, but I would like to create this type of mechanism, this type of association."
And he is well on his way with nearly year-round tours of the city's existing murals by various organizations and more artists currently painting and en route. Is he still committed to inviting top talent artists to Lodz regardless of their fame?
"Yes of course, for me the quality of art is the most important," he says. "Last year I invited Morik, a great artist from Russia and he was not that famous. His art is just really high-quality, it is as simple as that." He is thinking in terms of programs - experimental and classical among the themes.
"This year we are doing an amazing project with Cekas -- the sculptor from Wroclaw, Poland. He will install almost 1500 metal pieces to the surface of the wall, creating a permanent installation that will work with the sun and it will change depending on the angle of the sunbeams. It's still something on the wall, but it's a step forward."
In the mean time he is in the middle of more pieces and artists and walls that he hopes will become iconic in a Lodz sort of way. "I've got the plan, I've started to talk with some artists, I'm trying to do my best. Now, we've just finished the piece with Daleast (China), Alexis Diaz (Puerto Rico) and Borondo (Spain). I'm waiting for Cekas and Agostino Iacurci (Italy) and I'm focused to organize the pieces with them."
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