Tuesday, September 15, 2009

FAME Festival

The annual FAME Festival is underway in Grottaglie, Italy. Grottaglie is best known for its centuries-old ceramics tradition, but a collective of international artists known as Studiocromie are now using the walls and traditions of this ancient town for new artistic purposes.

Festival organizers invite a dozen street artists each year to Grottaglie, and host them for up to 4 weeks as they create new works. They have the cooperation of local artisans and craftspeople as they create pottery and limited edition prints, and the artists have several walls around the city at their disposal for painting and installation, with a special concentration in neighborhoods that are impoverished or artistically lacking or both.

The line-up of artists this year is simply awe inspiring - Pictured above is a new work from Italian street artist Erica il Cane, who is joined by fellow Italians Blu, Clio, and Dem, Americans Judith Supine, David Ellis and Mark Jenkins, British artists Word to Mother , Slinkachu & Lucy Mclauchlan plus artists like Sam3, Jr, Vhils , Conor Harrington & Dolk from across Europe and beyond. At the end of the 4 week period, every artwork created will be showcased in a group show in the oldest ceramics workshop in the region.

The name of the event, FAME, is an ironic comment on the different meanings of the word in Italian and English. In Italian "fame" means hunger, while in English of course the word suggests honor, status, success, etc. - things for which most graffiti artists can only hunger.

Studiocromie finances this project strictly through personal means and sales of artwork, steadfastly refusing corporate or government sponsorship. The FAME Festival opening is set for September 19th.

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