We are in San Gavino Monreale, a small town in the Sardinian countryside, 50 km from Oristano and a ways farther from Cagliari. At first it seems like any other urban center, but in no time you begin to realize the opposite. Around every corner awaits fantastic murals sure to surprise meandering visitors, and soon you understand that this small town holds something larger than you had ever believed.
Non Solo Murales di San Gavino Monreale Città di Artisti (Not Just Murals of San Gavino Monreale City of Artists), is an initiative carried out by the Skizzo Association that has made more than thirty murals in the past three years.
The evocative and famous 20th-century murals of Orgosolo can be seen as precursors to Sardinia’s vibrant culture of street art. Though contemporary murals are verging away from the messages and styles expressed in the streets of Orgosolo, the beauty is still abundant. One person responsible for providing artistic direction of Sardinian murals is Giorgio Casu, aka Jorghe.
Born in San Gavino Monreale, Jorghe is an internationally renowned eclectic artist who lives in New York, and notably received acclaim for his portrait of Barack Obama in 2010. His contribution to the mural project is fundamental, as his work has marked San Gavino as an attractive street art destination. Jorghe’s murals have popularized San Gavino as a place for international artists, such as muralists Spaik (Mexico) and Bastardilla (Colombia), as well as illustrator Gabriel Moreno (Spain) to produce murals in the Sardinian streets. Contemporary Italian artists who have left their mark on the city include ERICAILCANE, ZED1, Pina Monne, Crisa, Eleven Sei Squad and many exciting others.
In particular, we got to know ZED1, who was in San Gavino presenting his work Seek Himself in Others. Thanks to our meeting we got to know the peculiarities of his project, and we were impressed to discover that it was all financed by the citizens! We also picked up a copy of the artist’s book “Tales from the Wall”, in which he provides anecdotes and sources of inspiration behind his murals.
When in Sardinia be sure to visit San Gavino Monreale, because in addition to admiring wonderful murals, you could by chance witness the inauguration of a new project and have the opportunity to party with the locals to celebrate its creation!