pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
‘san pio is watching you’ by geometric bang and alfano in bari
all photos by antonio pellegrino and mario nardulli

 

 

 

pigment workroom is a multidisciplinary studio based in bari, southern italy who is working as a laboratory for participatory urban interventions that unite resident with artist. within the town of san pio (formerly known as enziteto), a team of five italian artists — tellas, alberonero, geometric bang, alfano and ciredz — have enlivened the public spaces and domestic sites within an otherwise impoverished social housing neighborhood.

 

built during the 1950s as an isolated city, removed from the renowned waterfront vistas visited by tourists from around the globe, enziteto — as the residents still refer to it — makes up 3,000 inhabitants and is unfortunately notorious for its high rate of organized crime. by bringing their initiative, ‘enziteto real estate’, to this withdrawn spot, the artists’ aim to challenge the cliche that social housing units and their environmental context are of no cultural interest, stressing how the aesthetics of place can impact cultural and social conditions.

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
a large wall is painted by tellas while a local child looks on

 

 

 

together with local children and families, the artists worked about 14 hours per day and realized 4 huge walls and further small interventions around the neighborhood. the collective describes that ‘urban art is probably the most sensuous and visceral phenemonen in nowadays visual art, because it has the power of turning unaesthetic objects — a flat and colourless wall in a street; a suburban building; a post-industrial architecture and so on — into aesthetic ones. it can invest them of an artistic aura, a true aesthetic dimension.’

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
a gradient of blues is painted onto the building’s facade

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
tellas’ work in bari

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
the finished work ‘la grandezza del mare immenso’ (the greatness of the immense sea)

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
local inhabits are involved in the painting process

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
36 tones make up alberonero’s wall work

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
detail of the finished work in bari

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
‘overview’ by ciredz

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
vibrant blue paint colorizes the otherwise flat building site

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
working in southern italy

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
a smaller intervention completed by tellas and alberonero

pigment workroom colorize social housing neighborhood in bari
detail of the paint work on the wall