Graphic artist, muralist, stencil artist with a focus on initiatives in the urban space. Author of the m-city project – several hundred building murals in different parts of the world. Born in 1978 in Gdynia.
Street artist Mariusz Waras’ works are splayed across the facades of buildings in the streets of Warsaw, Gdańsk, Berlin, Paris, Budapest, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta, Bolzano, London and Prague as part of the m-city project. His murals may also be seen in art galleries in Poland and abroad, such as The Power of Fantasy in Brussel’s BOZAR in 2011.
With urban landscapes as their main motif, m-city murals have a specific, recognisable style. Black and white Lego-like forms and shapes of modular, anonymous and similar houses stand in dense agglomerations portrayed from a distance. With the help of stencils, images of never ending cities are spray painted onto empty facades, bridge pillars, staircases, alleys, underground passages, metro stations. Art critic Bożena Czubak writes, "with its anarchistic stylistic and the inclusion of bottom-up initiatives, the m-city project rejects the utopian visions of the ideal perfectly planned city. […] It portrays the true face of cities - places of social and political conflicts." The depicted agglomerations appears to be living organisms that are multiplying like bacterial binary fission. In certain murals, the dense agglomerations form an altogether different image: the shape of a bomb or the symbol of eternity.
Other themes often featuring in the murals are means of transportation – airplanes, trams, boats (Sopot, Praga), steamships, Zeppelins (Ljubljana), trains (Warsaw, Los Angeles) and flying saucer (Berlin); as well as cartoon characters. Mostly integrated with the surrounding architecture and the façade on which it is featured, the murals blend in to the urban landscape. But given the portrayal of the extreme form of urban life, they invite the viewer to re-question his perception of the surrounding.
From From the Italian Traffic Gallery press release:
M-City has a mathematical approach to the stencil through his depiction of the city and futuristic buildings, which does not restrict his imagination and makes him one of the most talented stencil artists of his generation. The Polish muralist already painted many huge murals during his trip: airships, train engines, paddle steamers, all as powerful as if they were out of a Fritz Lang movie. His canvases are equally powerful, and we can’t wait to see this next exhibition in Italy.
Waras has transformed some of the images from his murals into three-dimensional objects. Factory is a 3D installation featuring an interface for interactive viewer involvement designed by experimental musician Krzysztof Topolski aka Arszyn, exhibited in 2009 at the CSW Znaki Czasu in Toruń. The big engine-driven 3D factory, that produces nothing and serves no purpose, is a comment on the foreseeable end of the need for human involvement in factory work.
Mariusz Waras’ evolving art work includes murals joining together pictures of industrial machinery with motifs from historical paintings, such as Last Movie, created in cooperation with the street artist Gionato Gesim aka Ozmo from Milan, exhibited in 2010 in Gdańsk. It integrates Ozmo’s reinterpretation of Michaelangelo's Last Judgement, and Waras’ Waras’ image of a deconstructed machine creating a scene in which the heavenly judge is replaced by a machine-like figure reminiscent of a giant watch mechanism.
Mariusz Waras graduated from the Department of Graphic Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, where he is currently assistant lecturer in Prof. Jerzy Ostrogórski's painting studio. He is also a curator of the 238x504 hoarding gallery in Gdynia as well as an archivist / collector of Polish street art.
Editor: Marta Jazowska, April 2012