French artist MTO will create a mural in Jacksonville, Florida

GNV URBAN ART has invited internationally accomplished French muralist MTO to Florida. A mural will be created at Diesel Parts Sales & Services in Jacksonville, Florida with the following live performance by Gainesville based artists Marley The Messenger, Dorion James & Mellow Blendz . Join us!

About the Artist

Mateo aka MTO was born and raised in France where he received MFA in national art school. He lived in Berlin, Germany from 2006 to 2013 where he started practicing graffiti under the moniker “MTO” in 2008. Nowadays, his murals can be found all over the world and published extensively on the Internet. He has painted in various cities in France, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Ukraine, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, North Ireland, Malta, and many cities of the USA. MTO combines conceptual and surrealistic art. Each artwork is site-specific, based on the research conducted by the artist. He explores local culture, political, social and technological change issues to inspire a dialogue on relevant topics through his contextual art.

See examples of his work below.

From Russia With Love

One of the most fascinated pieces created by MTO is a 12-stories mural titled “From Russia With Love”. Invited by Art United Us project, an international project co-curated by Iryna Kanishcheva of GNV URBAN ART LLC in 2016-2017, MTO painted a huge digital love-cannonball sent from Moscow (Russia) to Kiev (Ukraine). This artwork was inspired by a true “cold war fashion” action that occurred the same year in Ukraine, MTO developed a visual metaphor of the complex burning love/hate relation which developed between those two countries.

“It took two weeks to paint about 70 fake windows and 2000 tiles… one by one. “ – MTO

The Wynwood Family project

In December 2014, during Art Basel Miami, MTO performed a row of murals under “The Wynwood Family” project.

THE SON resides on the side of a school just north in the Wynwood District, the well-known arts hub that has been visited by international Street Artists over the last decade. But if there is more money being generated in a community, and the local junior high school had canceled arts and music programming four years in a row.

THE FATHER is a biting critique of hipster fashion and the art of Shepard Fairey. With a name like “La Muerte del Barrio,” this mural is taking a position on the gentrification of “Little San Juan”, as the Wynwood District was once called. A mustachioed hipster skeleton holds his OBEY coffee and retro film camera in his lumberjack plaid while a corporate branded wall drips down over the graffiti work below. MTO uses the mural to point fingers at who he thinks is responsible for wrecking a culture with the subtlety of a WWF wrestler, but at least you don’t have to wonder what he’s getting at.

THE MOTHER is a foxy babe and if you are wondering what she is doing, MTO has entitled this bikinied death Barbie “Selfie … Oh Wynwood Selfie …”

“It’s another perspective on the same topic as the other murals,” he says, and you might guess that it is not meant to complement the swarming beauties who teeter on stilettos after dark at art openings with little dogs on their arms. It may be about class, or behavior, or the fact that many in attendance at these hyped up events during Art Basel seem to care more about getting a good shot of themselves than appreciating the art they are celebrating.

Who is MTO?

MTO does not reveal his real name or location. On his Facebook page, he declares now leaving “nowhere, planet Earth“. However, you can get in touch with him via social media @mtograff

“I chose to remain anonymous because I find it more interesting when the public’s perception of art isn’t altered by the appreciation of the persona behind it. Ideally, I want viewers to focus on the work only and fully absorb the message.“ – MTO

Stay tuned for the updates on the upcoming projects.

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