It was a mear 25 years ago that Pablo Fontagnier aka HOMBRE started his prosperous career as a professional artist in his home town of Mannheim, Germany. Albeit illegally, HOMBRE’s hobby has come full circle from his graffiti roots to freelance graphic design, illustration, and now being a world-traveling internationally renowned street artist. At the base of it all, the spray can. Montana GOLD and BLACK to be precise and for his most recent mural for Stad.Wand.Kunst (SWK), 140 cans in 45 different color tones were required.
The mural titled “LOAD” is both reflective and progressive for the artist. The biggest solo mural HOMBRE has ever created, the 18-meter high image was not without its challenges. It’s begin saw the artist being stopped by police, as the boom lift he was using at night to mark up the light-projected outline onto the wall, was too noisy for the local neighbors. The solution, the creation of markings on the massive turquoise background that would be photographed, loaded into an app that would then allow the artist to plot the design into so he could orientate his way around the shapes placing every outline where it should be. The second major challenge was two days of constant rain. As soon as it departed, HOMBRE quickly gained back some ground and brought the mural to completion on deadline just within a week.
“Load” – Coming back to where it all began
The mural, depicting an overloaded driverless car carrying all that a person may need to move house and start a new. In front of it, the figure of a small boy wearing a baseball cap with a waste bag slightly out of view. A much lighter approach, possibly the boy has all he needs to get through life. The number plate on the car featuring the letters IV BE (For Benicio). Not only a homage to HOMBRE’s son, the image comments on a generation of young people that travel lighter through life. The artwork is a bittersweet gift to his birthplace, Mannheim. Sweet due to the rich color palette that was chosen by the artist, bitter as the mural “LOAD” finds it’s new home in the courtyard of FREEZONE which is the building housing many of the homeless youth of Mannheim.
You can see the progression and completion of this massive mural here, or if you’re in Germany, you can find it at J7 23 in the inner city of Mannheim.
Photography by © Alexander Krziwanie / MONTANA-CANS