Da Vinci painted the Last Supper, on a wall, between 1496 and 1498 in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Even though it was an interior wall, in less than 100 years the painting was crumbling.
Wherever you travel, you can see art woven into tapestries, painted on canvas, on tiles, carved in stone, modeled in mosaics. And spray painted on walls. In Europe, crumbling paintings of the Madonna and Child adorn exterior corners of buildings, coexisting with modern street art: the timeless and the immediate, fleeting, and yes, sometimes illegal.
“There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who
wants to make the world a better place.” ― Banksy
Walls can hold us in place, protect us, or challenge us to move them. A wall can include a door. The wall is entry, mirror, computer monitor, street, home, hangup, mystery. SP Estes constructions are tactile embodiments of what it means to encounter walls, to be surrounded by them, to scale, break through or rebuild them.
Some of these pieces celebrate the discovery, serendipity and mystery of street art– the ubiquitous human desire to make a mark as exemplified by thousands of years of wall marking and murals. Some pay tribute to the “brick and mortar” walls replaced by online shopping and services.
Estes joins elements of recycled inorganic and organic materials with original drawings, paintings and videos. Figures are carved, sketched, drawn or painted on walls made with different combinations of substances. Each includes some mixture of these ingredients: coffee, corn meal, parchment, spices, plants, staples, foam, rice paper, pebbles, clay, bandages, cell phones, sand and other vestiges of our shared world.
They are fragile. Unlike street walls, they are not waterproof.