PRCA News

352walls Kicks Off Its Fourth Year with New Mural by Acclaimed Artist Bik Ismo

11/26/2018

With the popular 352walls/Gainesville Urban Art Project entering its fourth year, the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department announces its next mural, to be created by renowned international urban artist Joshua Santos Rivera, known as Bik Ismo. Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in 1981, Bik Ismo has worked as a graffiti artist for the last 22 years. He is often referred to as “The Chrome Master” for the giant figures he paints which resemble reflective chrome statues. In 2014, Bik Ismo’s mural of a metallic-colored dog on a Miami middle school was ranked fifth in the world by StreetArtNews, the definitive guide to the street art, in its list of the 25 most popular works of urban art of that year.

Bik Ismo has begun working and will paint through Thursday, Nov. 22. The mural is being painted on the west wall of The Bull at 18 SW 1st Ave. in downtown Gainesville. In keeping with the concept of urban art as a temporary art form, the new mural will be the second work of art to be installed on this wall since the ongoing 352walls project was initiated. It will be the first of a multi-year schedule of decommissioning or “buffing out” some of the older 352walls in order to invite artists to create new curated murals. The plan is central to the 352walls curatorial committee’s commitment to keep the project’s public art program vibrant, exciting, and inspiring.  
 
About Bik Ismo:
Muralist, graffiti artist and event organizer Joshua Santos Rivera, better known as Bik Ismo, earned his BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan. In 2002 Joshua organized the first exhibition of graffiti work on canvas titled "Virtuosos of Aerosol.” In 2007 he was the creator and organizer of the large Fuego a la Lata event in Puerto Rico and in 2015 Arecibo Street Art Project, an initiative to rehabilitate through art, abandoned buildings an area of his hometown Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He has shown in numerous group exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Israel.
 
For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at etlingrh@cityofgainesville.org or 352-316-4628 or Raquel Vallejo, project coordinator, at ravadesigns@gmail.com or 352-300-0585.


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