Psychedelic, colossal and surreal: Mona Lisa of Okuda, in Paris, leaves breathless

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With colors they try to paint the whole world and if they could, they would reach the clouds. And when we talk about colors, we mean ALL possible and imaginable colors: they use the palette with polychromatic shades to consume the whole iris. In the artistic scenario linked to street art, Eduardo Kobra and Okuda are the most kaleidoscopic in absolute: each of their works is a bright explosion that makes the eyes of the looker smile. A few months ago, the Brazilian street artist Kobra challenged himself and classical art by creating, in a Massa Carrara quarry, Michelangelo’s David who, in the universe of art, is recognized as the most iconic male representation.

And if we thought about the female one, who would think of it? Well Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci is considered the most famous portrait in Western culture. Made at the early 1500s, la Gioconda has been preserved at the Louvre in Paris and has become a symbol of mass culture between meme and gif and continues to inspire criticisms, psychoanalytic studies, literature, and other artistic repropositions. Just like the last gigantic work done by Okuda right in Paris.

The Spanish street artist worked conceptually for the opposite, pushing so much with the imagination and going beyond what are the structural limits of the “unicum” by Leonardo da Vinci. Keeping his psychedelic style, suspended between onirism and pop-surrealism, with definite and geometric textures, Okuda has “completed” Mona Lisa: his work extends along a wall of 50 meters high and 15 meters wide covering the facade of a 19th-floor building located in the south of Paris, in the 13th arrondissement. Almost 500 soray cans. The original, however, which often discourages and misguides visitors who run to see it is 77×53 centimeters.

Okuda, born in 1980, only takes on the compositional scheme and posture, but the result is entirely autonomous, both for the color impression and for the “accessories”: the Spanish reveals to us an original Gioconda, going beyond the chest and showing us the other parts of her body. We discover a dress made with different patterns, a bit “pois” and a bit with stars on a blue background; a multiform dress that the same artist wanted to explain: «It’s like a multi-cultural woman who has different fabrics from different parts of the world, a sort of global Gioconda, not just Parisian one». The French and Parisian touch is, however, given by the handbag that holds in hand: a tribute to the capital of fashion.
The result is something immense, not definable and not perceptible by a simple picture. Please note the address: Place de Vénétie 7 in the 13th arrondissement, south-east of Paris. The work is part of “Street Art 13”, a project that began in 2009 with the aim of offering tourists and citizen a tour through countless works by international artists such as Obey, Inti, C215, Seth and others.
In conclusion, now that you go to Paris, remember to specify what Gioconda are you going to see.

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