Prague has one of the world’s largest graffiti murals at Václav Havel Airport

A multi-year project is intended to beautify industrial areas across the Czech Republic

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 09.07.2020 13:12:53 (updated on 09.07.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

One of the largest outdoor paintings in the world has been created at Václav Havel Airport Prague.

Art studio Drawetc had the idea to beautify entire industrial zones and announced the international Art Wall competition was in 2017. Other large murals that are part of the project are in Humpolec and Plzeň.

Artist Michal Škapa won the competition for a new design for a 350-meter-long warehouse used by the company CTP located in the immediate vicinity of Václav Havel Airport. The large-format mural called Kosmos occupies a total area of 5,250 square meters and was created in 23 days. The painting is best seen during departure and landing on the airport’s main runway.

Together with a mural in the CTPark in Humpolec by Belgian artist Dzia, Kosmos forms a pair of the largest outdoor paintings in the Czech Republic.

Michal Škapa in Prague:

Škapa’s graffiti-based work has successfully established him in the gallery world. He is the author of several dozen murals and this year he managed to create one of the largest in the world.

“Michal Škapa is exceptional in that he stays with what he knows and that he is authentic to this day,” curator Radek Wohlmuth said.

Škapa said the mural Kosmos is a search for parallels in the microcosm and the macrocosm. “It examines the similarities of small and large structures, seeks analogies between the forms of the living and nonliving world, between the shapes in nature and in the human body,” he said.

The dominant motif is a blue eye, which observes the airport’s main runway from the wall’s center. The eye is a symbol of the divine essence, a kind of providence that gives order to the whole universe. On both sides of the eye, energy particles flow, traveling to a human head, whose silhouette is at the beginning of the painting. The head absorbs the depicted life energy and overlooks the whole work.

“The original intention to realize the painting using nocturnal projection could not be realized due to security measures in the vicinity of the airport. The sketch was transferred to the façade directly by free painting, only with the help of landmarks and three high-lift platforms,” Škapa said. He used approximately 4,000 spray cans during painting and was aided by up to six helpers.

A third project created within the Art Wall competition is in Plzeň. The mural at a warehouse hall in CTPark Plzeň was created on an area of 2,215 sqm and is the largest in the region. The author of the graphic design is Kristina Fišerová, head of the master’s studio for graphic design at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia (ZČU).

Making the mural in Humpolec:

“I am glad that our concept of the Art Wall creative competitions was successfully implemented in the field of large-format paintings, so-called murals. For example, Dutch artist Dzia realizes his art all over the world and now we can see his work from the D1 motorway near Humpolec,” Vladimír Strejček, the draftsman and founder of the Drawetc studio, said.

“Our activity gives artists from the Czech Republic and around the world the opportunity to brighten up or enrich public space and improve the quality of the places where we live. I hope that we will be able to bring to life the entire Czech mural scene, that we will see further realizations in places that deserve it. Perhaps I can reveal that the promising first swallow brought by the Art Wall competition is cooperation with Prague City Hall, which wants to start tackling the appearance of large areas in the city,” he added.

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