Muto in Lisboa: Blu

Curator: Laetitia Wolff
date: October 18, 2011
Categories: Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Experience Design, Illustration
Tags: motion graphics, moving illustration, urban grafitti
Muto in Lisboa, Crono Festival, 2010 (Design, animation and editing: Blu, with Os Gêmeos)

Muto, a wall-painted animation, marries the intimacy of hand-drawn illustrations, the strange world of bearded monsters à la Sendak, political subliminal messages and urban grittiness with the magical technological savvy of animation. 

When watching the Argentinian designer’s videos, viewers lose their sense of place: Are we in a film or in a dream? Did we see this happen in our city? Muto has turned into a global phenomenon, with interventions now from Oslo to Dansk. The piece featured here is from the Crono festival in Lisboa in 2010. 


Taking public walls and city roofs as the soft canvases for creatures that meander, spill and invade, Blu turns the city into more than a landscape—it becomes a character. Mouths, eyes and hands frame existing windows and doors, morphing architecture into illustration.


While the films make it look like the graffiti is happening live, the attention to craft remains celebrated with line drawings encapsulated in carefully ordered sketchbooks, which viewers can flip through online as if turning pages, and even buy—again, mixing our sense of media vs. place, real vs. virtual, small vs. large scale, intimate vs. public, and viewer vs. consumer.


Muto in Lisboa, Crono Festival, 2010 (Design, animation and editing: Blu, with Os Gêmeos)

Muto in Lisboa, Crono Festival, 2010 (Design, animation and editing: Blu, with Os Gêmeos)

Muto in Lisboa, Crono Festival, 2010 (Design, animation and editing: Blu, with Os Gêmeos)

Muto, moving urban graphics (Design, animation and editing: Blu; assistant: Sibe; music by Andrea Martignoni; produced by Mercurio Film)

The success of this project is that it exists precisely at so many scales and platforms, blurring the boundaries of past and present, celebrating an artistic event that in fact takes place over time. It’s a modern child’s dream come true.

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