In the United Kingdom, there is a mysterious street artist known as Banksy. He has created murals and paintings across the world, praised for their poignancy and political nature. Many people have heard his name or seen his work, but Italy has their own statement-making street artist.
His name is Blu.
In 1999, Blu made his first appearance in the street art world in Bologna, Italy. He started off using spray paint but quickly moved into using house paints. During these early years, he paired up with other street artists, like Ericailcane, to help further his talent.
Blu is known for creating giant murals that send a message about the overall state of the world. In 2005, he painted a 100-foot-long mural called Hombre Banano to highlight the fight against banana corporations using harmful pesticides in Nicaragua. Other Blu creations can be seen across Europe, Central America, and North America.
In 2016, Blu began covering up many of his creations in Bologna. This was done to protest the gallery opening of Banksy & Co., where works of street art were on display. Blu made a public statement that it was hypocritical to condemn graffiti and vandalism and then turn around and put it on display. All that remains of his works are whitewashed walls where a rainbow of colors used to be.
In 2018, a compilation of Blu’s murals, titled Minima Muralia, was published by Zooo Print & Press. There was also a seven-minute film, Muto, created to showcase his artistic process while working on a mural in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The video has won numerous awards and has over 11 million views.
To this day, Blu remains anonymous to the general public. He does keep an Instagram page to document all his various projects; however, it has been inactive since December 2019. There’s no word as to what he may be currently working on, but the art world will keep an eye out for the next Blu original.