URBAN NATION presents: Street artist Ricky Lee Gordon raises hopes of better times with a house-high dream-like mural in Prenzlauer Berg

  • by BLITZ EN

At the invitation and under the curation of Yasha Young, artistic director of the URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART, the South African artist redesigned the façade of Landsberger Allee 121.

Ricky Lee Gordon is known for taking his time over his artworks. He likes to soak in the atmosphere of the place where he is planning his next mural, getting a taste for the region and meeting the people who live in it. Only then does Gordon start designing. When the artist came to Berlin just a few days ago, things were different: he already had a concrete idea in his head. “This world is in constant pain, we are experiencing and creating mass devastation. It’s only gotten worse recently”, warns Gordon. But he wants to give people hope: “Everything is impermanent,” – everything, including the negative developments. His latest work in Prenzlauer Berg symbolizes the ephemeral quality of things and the beginning of something new. The allegory of the horse in a flooded room stands for the transition phase; the white doves fluttering through the window tell of more peaceful times to come – Gordon hopes his vision will give people strength and courage.

The façade painting is part of the URBAN NATION project series One Wall and was completed a few days ago at Landsberger Allee 121. It is not the first mural by Gordon to portray an oversized animal in surreal surroundings. “Ricky’s paintings are full of poetry – very inspiring,” says Yasha Young, artistic director of URBAN NATION and initiator of One Wall. “His unique artworks are an enrichment for the Urban Contemporary Art movement.”

Since 2013, URBAN NATION has been offering a platform for international and up-and-coming artists to design the walls made available and to provide new impulses in urban spaces. The art form is moving into a new home in the fall with the official opening in Bülowstrasse, Schöneberg of the URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART.

About Ricky Lee Gordon
Born in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the artist moved to L.A. in 2016 to study classical painting. He has already made a name for himself worldwide, from New York to Istanbul, from Madagaskar to Kathmandu. In his paintings, Gordon explores social issues and universal truths. His works are always influenced by his experiences with meditation and Buddhist dharma (natural law). Gordon ranks alongside Bansky as one of National Geographic’s “11 Street Art Greats”. The national South African newspaper “Mail & Guardian” judged Gordon one of “200 young people in SA who make a difference”.

About the Project Series “One Wall”
Under the motto “One Wall – One Message,” internationally established and emerging artists redesign façades at prominent locations around Berlin. Each image transports an individual artistic position. The artists assess the surroundings and design their own works accordingly. 24 “One Walls” have already been created by international artists such as Onur (Switzerland), Don John (Denmark), Shepard Fairey (USA), HERAKUT (Germany), Phlegm (United Kingdom), Li Hill (Canada) and PixelPancho (Italy).