I recently got a few images of this new and stunning mural by Berlin-based painter and muralist Mario Mankey painted in Sagunto, a small a town in Eastern Spain, located about 30 km north of Valencia.
The title of the mural was inspired by the song “Love is in the air” using it in a sarcastic way in order to express his feelings about the problem of widespread lobbying, a paid activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies that pass laws that affect us in our daily life without us having control over them.
The mural is also full og hidden meanings, which makes it interesting to have a second look at the canvas. Mankey’s characteristic clown, that sad clown that is capable of laughing at himself and invite us to smile and reflect about certain issues. The horse is a representation of the nobility of the natural environment, and how it is being handled. The helmet, is a symbol for the struggle for justice and rejects immobility. Mankey has in this case chosen a Roman helmet since Sagunto was in old times a Roman settlement. The scene is set against a pink background that expresses the frivolity of the today’s society.
According to the artist, these metaphors are the result of frustrations that surround him in his everyday life. In his own words: “the inexorable participation in the Anthropocene, the climatic change, and the unconsciousness that I see in every small detail with whom I cross the street in the day-to-day.”
Mario Mankey (born in Sagunto, Spain) is painter and muralist currently living and working in Berlin.
Mario Mankey is also the name through which – in his own words – he manifests the latent contradiction between human and primate. His work revolves around human behaviour he finds disturbing. Focusing primarily on the eternal contradictions of the contemporary individual as a result of its ambitions and limitations.
His work combines elements of comics, animation, primitivism, deconstructed graffiti, abstraction, and is influenced by masters like Miró, Picasso and Basquiat. His paintings, whether it is a canvas or a wall, express an empowering energy product of his constant exploration of the human psyche, specially his own, and the desired to learn from and to talk to an audience.
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.