(No. 9) Lupin the III -Leggenda della Grande Onda
or The Great Wave of Torino di Sangro, Italy

I love Italy, and I love it because of ARCI Nuova Associazione Chieti. Because it is beautiful crazy country that has beautiful crazy people who are ready to lead Quixotian war. To some, Quixotian war might seem pointless, but it is a war for change, a change within deeply corrupted society.  Something that my country needs in large quantities.

I was a guest artist at “Art and creativity to promote human and social rights” workshops organised by ARCI with support of ERASMUS + and Torino di Sangro Community. Initially, I was supposed to paint on the brick wall that surrounds the Church and the Convent of San Felice and supports local necropolis. Rustic color of the wall with square like segments reminded me of the cover for La Mer (The Sea) by Claude Debussy that featured segment of Hokusai´s Great wave.

On the first day of the workshop, we found out that the wall was a part of the national treasure complex and had to move to the near by wall, that is close to the primary school. This was good because my inspiration always tries to incorporate something of the local culture. In this particular case it was Lupin III. Local Bar Cafè Noìr, had on its wall  two paintings done by local artist, Tonia Fabrizio, that featured Lupin III and Fujiko Mine aka Margot. Amazed by this finding I ran to the organizers with a new idea for the wave, to feature Jigen and Goemon from the Lupin III, getting ready to steal the Great wave that hides gold bars- all in front of the local Carabinieri station. Like a new Lupin III movie. To my even bigger surprise, everyone loved it, because everyone in Italy simply adores Lupin III series. It runs from its beginning on the national television and it is still running. Everyone loves Lupin in Italy. Even Carabinieri! But be warned, Fujiko in second season of the Lupin III was called Margot in Italy. Don´t try to change that.

I had two kinds of gold that I used for the background, and Prussian blue, ultramarine and cyan for the wave. The problem for me was to do Jigen and Goemon, because I´d never used manga style in my drawings or copied Monkey Punch style. In the next few days I did a few NOT promising sketches in my sketch book. But again, it is always different to do sketch and actual drawing on the wall. Dimensions and position of the viewer is different, you can easily hide small mistakes 🙂

As a finishing touch and to make interaction with community, I left a sign, that, everyone who likes Lupin III should sign on the wall. The very same nite when I finished my mural, and we had a huge party organized for the local community, I had people of all ages signing the wall, even some senior members of community wanted to sign next to Jigen.

Also on the other parts of the wall I had my friends working- Nataša Konjević aka Feička (B&H) and Bozhidar Simeonov aka BOZKO.

Related post: Art and creativity to promote human and social rights in Torino di Sangro.
Related artwork: Nel blu dipinto di blu

Technique: acrylic studio paint on brick wall

Size: 260 x 540 cm (102.36 x 212.59 inch)

Year: June 2015

Availability: Public/Street Art

100 Great Waves
Feb 21, 2013

In 2009 we were lucky to have Mr. Adachi from Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints with Mr. Kyoso as a Japanese traditional woodblock print demonstrator to demonstrate and introduce this technique at the Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo. After demonstration I had an opportunity to show Mr. Adachi the photos of my works from 100 Views of Ukiyo-e. When he saw The Great Wave off Kanagawa, he asked me, How many copies did you do? I said, I did only one, as I was aiming to give one original painting to multicopy print. He said, No, You should do 100 copies. At first, the idea of doing 100 paintings of the Great Wave sounded impossible and ridiculous, but in time I realized, I don’t have to do it on canvas, I can do it on walls, it´s nothing new and it´s not the first time someone did it, and yet it becomes a public good unlike painting on canvas that is always private. So I´ve decided whenever I have a chance, to do the Great Wave on walls on each city that invites me to do it.

2018 – Update for the concept 100 Great Waves

As of 2018 I am no longer considering this project to be street art or public only, as this limits my experimental aspect of this series. Therefore my future works will include commissioned art works and indoor murals with private, semi-private and public access.