WATCH: Oct. 17-27: Mural Painting by Greek/French artist Cacao Rocks
Panera Building, 777 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
DISCUSS: Monday, Oct. 24, 4pm: Public discussion about street art in Athens w/ artist Cacao Rocks
moderated by Artemis Leontis, Professor or Modern Greek, Department of Classical Studies
2175 Classics Library, Angell Hall 435. S. State Street, Ann Arbor
Street art has been booming in Athens, Greece since 2010, when austerity became the official economic policy of the country. The color-filled work of Cacao Rocks fills the city, and he has spearheaded large creative projects to fill abandoned factories and dull, downgraded neighborhoods with color, inviting artists from around the world to join him. Now in Ann Arbor, come watch him paint (October 17-27) and talk to him (October 25) about his interventions and collaborations, the street art scene in Athens, its highs and its lows, and the uses of street art as a powerful form of expression and communication.
Raised in the port of Piraeus near Athens, Greece, Cacao Rocks began experimenting with graffiti while living Corfu when he was 12, where he won a contest held by Greenpeace. A few years later, he took a break from street art to study French Literature in the School of Philosophy at the University of Athens. Meanwhile he worked on the side to construct sculptures of polyurethane, wool, wood, and found objects. In 2009 he took up video art and won the first prize in the National Film Festival Shoot It, and was a awarded a scholarship in Focus school of art, video, and photography. He started painting all over the city. Besides his work on the street, he has exhibited in galleries and museums in Mykonos and Athens, the UK, and Italy, among other places. He has participated in many street art and graffiti festivals in Greece and abroad.
Cacao Rocks is one of three internationally known street artists visiting the University of Michigan this fall to paint new murals in downtown Ann Arbor as part of the Global Graffiti Project, a partnership between the Institute for the Humanities, the Modern Greek Program, and the History of Art. The project seeks to engage the campus and greater community with international artists who offer a global perspective on street art.