British artist Camille Walala has painted the facade of a building in Brooklyn’s Industry City with geometric patterns and bold colours, completed to coincide with this month’s NYCxDesign festival. The 40-metre-high mural covers the front of a seven-storey building, which forms part of a former industrial complex that now houses creative workspaces, production facilities and event venues.
The site, built in the early 1900s, is hosting the WantedDesign Brooklyn exhibitionthis week as part of the city’s annual design festival. Commissioned by WantedDesign, Walala has transformed the building’s brick wall with her signature graphics, which take influences from the Memphis design movement from 1980s Italy and include trompe l’oeil visual trickery. “Drawing on influences including the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele tribe and Victor Vasarely, Walala has an irrepressible enthusiasm for playful, graphic patterns that invoke a smile,” said a statement.
Most of the facade is coloured pale pink with darker diagonal stripes, bordered by black and white squares, and a thin cobalt outline that blends with the sky. An L-shaped motif that appears three-dimensional frames each of the windows, combining blue, teal, yellow and red. “The site is bathed in the most beautiful colours at sunset, which has inspired my palette for the project,” said Walala. “The design has been inspired by the architecture of the building, particularly the repetition of the windows.”
The artist has previously painted the facades of buildings including a historic bank building in Cleveland and an office tower in East London in a similar style, but this is her tallest mural to date. Walala’s other earlier projects include a colourful, inflatable castle for London Design Festival and a patterned labyrinth with reflective pillars for a gallery, also in the city. Located in Industry City, the building is a complex of 16 warehouses in southern Brooklyn, and which was built in the early 1900s.
The Industry City project is part of Oui Design, an initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, to which Walala was invited because she is from France, although has been living in London for many years. Oui Design forms part of WantedDesign, a New York organisation founded by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat – who are also French – in 2011. The duo put on concurrent exhibitions each May during NYCxDesign: one in Brooklyn and the other in Manhattan.
For this year’s Manhattan edition, Walala has also created an installation using magnetic strips supplied by local firm Visual Magnetics, which will be on show at Terminal Stores, 269 11th Avenue, from 19 to 22 May 2018. WantedDesign Brooklyn runs 17-21 May 2018, but Walala’s mural is permanent.
Painter: EverGreene Architectural Arts
Paint supplier: Ressource Peinture
Scaffolding: Spring Scaffolding
Wall preparation: Value Construction
Sponsor: Industry City