Genk in 5 street art works
Brace yourselves, winter is here. As we tend to stay inside more due to the cold weather and the amount of darkness. It has the same effect on street artists who prepare themselves for next year or even flee the continent. The perfect time for another virtual street art tour in our own country. One we can take at our desk, on our cosy sofa or even in our warm bed. Last time it was Hasselt’s turn, now let us surprise you with 5 kickass murals in Genk you should definitely check out!
Text and pictures by Chess Teugels.
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In the summer of 2015, Australian-based Sofles came all the way from Brisbane to make this amazing piece for Vollebak Vennestraat. These piercing blue eyes immediately captivate us. His style is hard to categorize as the artist admits to try out as many styles as he can. He does love the occasional female portrait and a blast of colour. His dynamic use of graphic lines gives new dimensions to the subjects of his work. Sofles has serious skills in writing graffiti as well as making figurative murals. He is known for pushing the boundaries of both graffiti and street art in “Limitless” together with filmmaker Selina Miles back in 2013, which has almost 12 million views up till this day on Youtube. In their most recent collab “Wayfarer”, the viewer discovers Melbourne’s street art scene by following the artist around the city in one breath-taking shot.
Super-A, Collin van der Sluijs & Rutger Termohlen
Already famous in our country for the pigeon piece at the De Konick brewery in Antwerp, Super-A came from the Netherlands together with Collin van der Sluijs and Rutger Termohlen to work on this colourful wall-sized portrait for the same Vollebak Vennestraat event in 2015. While she stares us right in the eyes, a big swirl of abstract objects surrounds her head. The little technological organisms blur her view and ours as well, visualizing our daily struggle with an excess of information in this digitized society. The rainbow-colored layer on top really makes the mural pop. The work-in-progress was already featured in a video here on Chase.
This summer, Writing On Walls at C-mine focused on the international graphic scene, including work by our own Belgian design collective Hell’O Monsters. For this exposition thirteen artists were invited to show different facets of their work at the C-mine visitor centre and shop. This continued at the C-mine square and nearby in the Vennestraat with this mural. The individual styles of Jérôme Meynen, François Dieltiens and Antoine Detaille blend together into colourful and playful works, although they've been said to be commentaries on our daily lives. Could this one be about how we're always interconnected with each other in mysterious ways? Hmm, food for thought.
In January this year, Smates (a.k.a. Bart Smeets) transformed a boring wide wall in the Stalenstraat in Waterschei Genk into this masterpiece, using nothing but spray cans. Thanks to Street Art Belgium, Genk can finally be proud to have a mural by one of our biggest national talents. Smates likes to depict people and animals in unexpected combinations or settings in an amazing photorealistic style. Often he searches for inspiration in the surrounding context of his work. Could this be a reference to the beautiful nature in and around Genk? Not sure what the tortoise is doing there though. Bonus: when a lot of cars are parked in front, it almost seems like the fisherman is trying to catch those instead of the plastic ducks.
If you’re ever near the train station in Genk, be sure to drop by Jeugdhuis Ginsert. This summer Glasgow-based Australian street artist Smug (or Smugone) was invited by the city of Genk to pimp this striking wall. Smug is famous for his amazing photorealistic style on the verge of surrealism, with interesting colour-choices like toxic-green and purple. He already perked up Hasselt before with several pieces and really aced this one as well, don’t you think? The squirrels fit into the nature on the background, while the purple contrasts with the green scenery. Oh, and when you’re there, don’t forget to check the other side of the building too where he painted a beautiful owl!