The amazing life of a world-famous artist
INTERNATIONALLY renowned mural artist and Southern Cross University visual arts graduate, Guido van Helten, has the ability to create the most stunning portraits on structures often several stories high.
His eye for detail and an incredible ability to turn photographic portraits into giant murals has not only won him international acclaim, but also taken him around the world on an adventure some could only dream of.
Following the completion of the 43m high mural on Southern Cross University’s newest Gold Coast campus building, Guido spoke of his love for the Northern NSW region.
“Whenever I’m in Australia I am always around the North Coast and it is my favourite kind of area and love coming down there,” Mr van Helten said.
“I lived in Lismore for two years, so I got my memories about the place which is nice.”
But his art has taken him to many, many more places.
One of his most recent projects saw him create a mural using the culturally significant iconography of buffalo, deer and elk hide in a First Nation-focused story telling project in Calgary, Alberta in December.
In October he created a mural of dancer and educator Inesa Markava in Leira, Portugal; with another piece in Azraq, Jordan.
In August he was in Poland working, June saw him in Queensland and February saw him in Iowa in America.
His unabashed Instagram posts show his passion and sense of curiosity in the cultures and collaborators he works with as shown by his post on Dakota in January.
“South Dakota has continued to fascinate me in its classic Americana, long empty roads, tiny communities, enduring and isolated.”
In 2018 Guido had already completed more than 50 large-scale photorealistic murals across the globe from Italy to Ukraine, including a commission inside the abandoned Chernobyl plant.
In Australia he has transformed regional communities by depicting local people on disused industrial silos in the remote Victorian town of Brim, population 200, and on train carriages in Central West NSW.
“I work by bringing a lot of influence from the site, so I want to use that style of architecture and that modern look to influence the design in a way that suits the site and place,” he was quoted as saying in The Northern Star.
He is currently working in the US, but his friend Vincenzo Cascone has been working during the lockdown in Sicily preparing a short film from a special project they collaborated on in late 2017 which is featured on his Instagram.