Dutch street artist Jan Is De Man was commissioned to liven up a neighborhood building and wanted to make an impression that uplifted and inspired the local community. He knows the area and the people very well. He wanted to personalize the piece for the individuals who contribute to the growth of the neighborhood. As much as he wanted to inspire the community, he was inspired by the community. Take a look at what I mean below. There’s a surprise in the art itself!
The mural is located in Utrecht, Netherlands and represents the diversity of the locals who live right there.
The building owners gave the artist free rein in his design as long as it brings something positive to the neighborhood.
His first idea was to paint a big smiley because they tend to make people happy. He thought that would be too simple and decided to think bigger.
He noticed the unique shape of the building and thought it would make the perfect canvas for a 3D mural. Which would surely entice the audience.
The artist decided to involve the residents in his artistic process, “We entered the community by asking people for their favorite books, and we were able to put eight languages and cultures together in the same concept. Everybody, every age, every culture, every language was welcome. The only rule I set up to participate in this art project was: no political books and no religious books. Besides that, every book title was welcome.”
He took those books submitted by the community and put them into his mural. Because he painted it 3D, the books really come to life!
He partnered with artist Deef Feed to accomplish the huge project which took an entire week of working full-time.
By using the residents favorite books, he captured the spirit of the community.
The community is thrilled with the mural. They say that the differences bring them together.
The artist has definitely made a positive impression on the neighborhood. That was the original plan.
He had the perfect canvas to work with to create and feature a 3D bookshelf.
I love that he signed the mural by adding his name and date to the spine of a book on the shelf.
They did an amazing job in only a week. Very impressive.
The community is in love with how the mural came together. It brought the community closer and definitely puts a smile on the faces of the people who will be enjoying it every day. The artist says he has big plans for the future but doesn’t want to reveal them just yet. He says he will let his actions speak louder than his words.