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Those eyes | by Jamie McCaffrey
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Those eyes

(Catching up on photos from Iceland)

Reykjavik is a remarkably eclectic mix of old and new. Its a city that sees no contradiction in keeping to its unique roots and traditions while boldly reaching out to the worlds artists, of all stripes, to come and experiment.


Frustrated with graffiti 'tagging' of this building, in an industrial space of Reykjavik, the owner approached Guido Van Helten to add his art to the building in the hopes that it would deter the spray can bandits. That was 2013, and it certainly looks to have worked.


Interesting story, as a local paper tells it, he selected the image from a photo of a movie from the 1960s, because he thought it matching his classic style. As he was working on it a woman passing on the street stopped in her tracks and exclaimed 'that's my mother.' Turns out she was the daughter of the actress from the film.


The Australian artist originally came to Iceland for a two-month artist residency program. As a kid, in Melbourne, he was arrested five times for his graffiti tagging. He decided to go to university and focus his talent. Now, the only thing that's arresting is his magnificent work.


If you google his name you'll see many examples of his work. To think that all this cost the owner of the building was materials and a place for the artist to stay for the duration of the project. I hope his remuneration is now commensurate with his talent.

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Taken on August 18, 2016