Argentine artist reflects Parana River drought in giant murals


By AGENCY

Birds fly past a mural painted by Argentine artist Martin Ron about the historical drought that has lowered the level of the country's most important river, the Parana, in San Nicolas, Argentina. Photo: Reuters

In the Argentine city of San Nicolas de los Arroyos, which hugs the banks of the Parana River, two huge murals reflect local worries about a growing environmental issue for the region - the declining levels of the waterway.

The two 40m-high (130-ft) paintings on the sides of buildings in the city center were spurred by the artist's desire to stir debate over the river's decline. Hit by a lack of rainfall upriver in Brazil, this year the Parana reached its lowest level in almost 80 years.

One mural shows a boy extracting a native flower from the river, while the other depicts a girl whose image is reflected in the water.

"When I came to San Nicolas I was struck by the historic low level of the Parana River," said Argentine muralist Martin Ron, who has created hundreds of murals around the world.

"These characters that I use always interact with an aspect of the place in the context where I paint and it seemed appropriate to portray this ecological message related to the decline of the Parana."

Ron said his art was meant to play an active role in encouraging people to look at what needs to change. Photo: Reuters Ron said his art was meant to play an active role in encouraging people to look at what needs to change. Photo: Reuters

The river, which begins in Brazil before snaking through Paraguay and then Argentina to the ocean, carries some 80% of Argentina's farm exports of soy, corn and wheat, taken in giant Panamax ships from inland farm regions to the world.

It is key to the country's economic well-being, as well as creating an important wetland ecosystem near the river delta.

The low levels have seen ships forced to take on smaller loads to sit higher in the water, hindering trade and hurting what is usually a competitive advantage for the country - the deep waterways that allow access for big container vessels.

Detail view of a mural painted by Ron about the historical drought. One mural shows a boy extracting a native flower from the river, while the other depicts a girl whose image is reflected in the water. Photo: Reuters Detail view of a mural painted by Ron about the historical drought. One mural shows a boy extracting a native flower from the river, while the other depicts a girl whose image is reflected in the water. Photo: Reuters

Ron said his art was meant to play an active role in encouraging people to look at what needs to change.

The 40-year-old artist paints between 10 and 12 murals every year and has morphed his style from urban surrealism to what he calls "magical hyper-realism." Other murals he has done include a girl building with Lego blocks and a portrait of football player Carlos Tevez.

Although Ron spends much of his life on cranes and scaffolding, the artist confesses he suffers vertigo.

"There's a somewhat love-hate relationship with how I do my work because ironically I am very afraid of heights," he said. "So in each project it is like I have three days in which I have to acclimatise to the altitude." - Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Culture

Tissues and medical gauze artwork helps Saiful Razman win top UOB art prize
All female theatre cast set for imaginative retelling of Mahsuri legend
Archaeologists in Iraq find ancient wine press, rock carvings
Rare 1970s 'Dune' storyboard heads to Christie's auction next month
Melaka Chetti community takes centre stage in this virtual exhibition
Zimbabwean writer Dangarembga receives German peace prize
Cartoon dreams: Japan anime school targets booming global demand
In a new book, Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx looks back at lean, driving years
This community art space in a Selangor fishing village gets a colourful makeover
Watch: World's largest museum for an artist? Munch gets new home in Oslo

Others Also Read


Vouchers