Today I want to note this one of many murals by Rob “Problak” Gibbs and share some ways it adds to my awareness of what a mural can do. This mural can actively demonstrate hand signs for its title when you view it through an app in your device. My post, so far, won’t directly reveal the actions but gives you links to see them or, better yet, go to the wall on Tremont Street at Camden Street, where you can enliven them yourself.
” “The mural …. is the third in the 42-year-old Boston artist’s series of “Breathe Life” murals. “The little boy that was on part one, he has a sister that’s on part two that he’s uplifting here,” Gibbs says. His design is meant to evoke stained glass, “sacred geometry,” the red, black and green of Black nationalism, Afrofuturism, the hip hop he grew up on, and the covers of Miles Davis’s albums from his fusion period, like “Bitches Brew.”” ( quote from Greg Cook’s WONDERLAND article May 31, 2019, FIRST LOOK AT ROB ‘PROBLAK’ GIBBS’ NEW ROXBURY MURAL ‘BREATHE LIFE 3’)
“This iteration of Breathe Life features a fresh and graphic portrayal of two children, smiling widely, surrounded by radiant beams, practicing the American Sign Language words Breathe Life. More than just a title, Breathe Life is a philosophy, meant to promote positivity, share energy, and lift-up images that reflect the community back to itself.” (quote from CELEBRATING POSITIVITY ROUND THE WAY IN ROXBURY, NOW + THERE )
The links you’ll find in the resources below also offer other ways that mural-making is significant and fascinating. These links certainly add impetus to my own enthusiasm to discover and share more about murals by this artist, as well as other artists who enliven walls.
Resources and Links
FIRST LOOK AT ROB ‘PROBLAK’ GIBBS’ NEW ROXBURY MURAL ‘BREATHE LIFE 3’ by Greg Cook, May 31, 2019 on WONDERLAND This includes photos of the artist at work on the mural in progress and informative quotes from the artist.
CELEBRATING POSITIVITY ROUND THE WAY IN ROXBURY, NOW + THERE This includes a video of the mural in progress, the celebration, and directions for using the augmented reality app that activates view of hand motions in the mural.
Art Breathes Life Grove Hall art program fosters street art projects by Celina Colby for the Bay State Banner, November 22, 2017. This includes a photo of the first mural in the series, plus informative context about the community where Rob ‘PROBLAK’ Gibbs creates.
PROBLAK ART The artist’s site on Square Space includes WALLS( images of many other murals), other art, artist’s statement, and blog link
Rob ‘Problak’ Gibbs Breathes Life Onto The Walls Of A Changing Boston by Arielle Gray for the ARTery, June 05, 2019. This offers perspective on changing views of art on walls in recent decades,. i. e., ” In an ironic contrast, “sanctioned” street art, which includes graffiti, is increasingly ubiquitous in the city. It would be difficult to find an area in Boston that doesn’t boast a mural or two on the side of a building. Originally, this street art served as a transgressive way for artists to make their mark on a world determined to forget them. “We were actually trying to progress this art style that we recognized as our voice,” Gibbs said. “We didn’t see ourselves in museums or galleries. But we saw ourselves represented on the walls of our city.”
Is there any way to purchase notecards or a poster with the Breathe Life image of the brother and sister? I am awed at the joy portrayed and would love to frame something small and to share the image with my friends.