Tribute to Maradona by Alessio-B depicts the iconic profile with sky-blue jersey bearing the number ten against the backdrop of a yellow sun, symbolizing the vitality and creativity of Naples, a city that has always remembered the soccer legend with pride. It appeared yesterday on a façade of Padua’s Palasport Palantenore building, rounding up the cycle of murals dedicated to sport for the Super Walls Street Art Biennial underway in Padua and surrounding areas until June 4.
The street artist is known for his past tributes to great champions, including Ayrton Senna, Valentino Rossi, Marco Simoncelli, Marco Pantani and Kobe Bryant, whom he immortalized with colorful stencils. This latest tribute by Alessio-B was an unscheduled but well expected event, given that unknowns had poured black paint on a previous mural of El Pibe de Oro (The Golden Boy), as Maradona was nicknamed, just a few days before the start of Super Walls. This act received the unanimous condemnation of sports teams, the municipal administration, and the co-curator of the Street Art Biennial, Carlo Silvestrin, who had pledged to dedicate a mural to Maradona for this year’s event. The theme of the Biennial is respect, featuring thirty-one street artists from Italy and other countries.
“According to the rules of Street Art, previous artworks must be respected. Erasing a wall is nothing but a cowardly act"
“According to the rules of Street Art, previous artworks must be respected. Erasing a wall is nothing but a cowardly act. Because of this, and in agreement with the Culture and Sport Council Members of Padua Municipality, we decided to add an artwork that would pay homage to Maradona to those scheduled for this edition of Super Walls, whose special focus is on sports facilities. Alessio-B's piece is not about any one team, but rather a tribute to an iconic sport legend whose immense talent is acknowledged by everyone,” says Super Walls 2023 co-curator Carlo Silvestrin.
“Maradona is part of my childhood and adolescence. I am a child of the 80s and I was crazy about soccer. I think he is the greatest player of all time. In the past, I had already painted a mural for him in Naples. I am fascinated by his genius and recklessness. I jumped at the chance to pay him a tribute here in Padua,” says the street artist Alessio-B.
This year, Padua was named European City of Sport. As a result, the art interventions part of the third edition of Super Walls are even more relevant, both when it comes to the redeveloping of sports facilities and the sharing of sports values, with the purpose of promoting urban regeneration as well as social integration.
The Frenchman 68% used his imaginative cartoon style to enliven the facades of Padua’s Palaindoor building. Orange fish-headed characters stand out in athletic poses against an intense blue background, creating a visual whole that reflects the energy and dynamism of sports. 68% thus wanted to inspire gym-going athletes to push their limits, which is the same goal he sets for himself with his art.
A strong influence from the world of graffiti characterizes the equally dynamic composition for the Palagozzano building in Guizza area, made by his by fellow countryman and La Crémerie Fortunes crew partner. Bold graphic elements surround athletes from different sports portrayed in striking acts of effort and determination with powerful and visual and emotional impact. Red is the dominant color, amplifying the passion and resolution of those who practice sports. Together with white, the composition reflects the colors of Padua’s city crest.
A Padua native, Alessio-B has been entrusted with an art intervention on Euganeo Stadium, one of the city's symbolic sports venues. The mural shows the backs of a little boy and girl hugging and looking through a heart-shaped hole they made in a wall of the stadium, sharing their excitement. The heart is filled with a deep red color in an otherwise black and white composition. The red emanates a heart-warming energy that thrives on the enthusiasm of the generations of fans who have come here to support their team. The two kids are wearing old-fashioned clothes, referring to the importance of this place for the past and future of the city.
Sports and clean energy go hand in hand in the mural by Any for the Palantenore building in Arcella area. The movement of a rhythmic gymnast doing a split jump while twirling a ribbon releases energy for a light bulb while the ribbon itself forms the filament that produces light.
The same artist painted a mural dedicated to basketball at the Spazio Officina on Via del Folo in Cittadella, Padua province. It is a message of hope for a world in the hands of children from all nations playing together.
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