Australian street artist Guido van Helten was recently in the US invited to take part of the Nashville Walls Project in Nashville, Tennessee.
Founded by film producer and art advisor Brian Greif, this project sprang from their connections with muralists worldwide and Greif’s relocation to Nashville from San Francisco. Grief is also the producer of the Saving Banksy documentary, released last year and now available on Netflix.
The new mural features the images of Lee Estes, a 91-year-old native Nashvillian who has lived in The Nations his entire life, being an active local volunteer for decades, helping underprivileged families in his neighbourhood.
Before starting the work, Van Helten visited The Nations in order to get to know the neighbourhood and its residents for inspiration. As usual, to try to find someone to depict on the massive concrete structure. Lee Estes became a natural choice because he reflects in many ways the history and spirit of The Nations. Next to his portrait we find the images of two children from the St Luke’s Community House in the Nations.*
Guido van Helten
Part visual artist, part anthropologist, Guido Van Helten, 29, is an Australian contemporary artist dedicated to paint large-scale, site-specific mural works. His subjects are black and white and sepia toned portraits, like old photographs that speak of the history and stories of the places and people he visits.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.