(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Myneandyours artist Marwan Shakarchi (also known as the cloud guy) has been mesmerising us, and the rest of Dubai, with his surreal imagery. From his cloud character floating above and around us, in gigantic or mini form, we at City Times, have been keeping a close eye on one of Dubai's most unique artists.
Where graffiti and public art has become more on trend and available in the UAE, Marwan still manages to astonish us by breaking out of the norm and drawing us into his world of mystery. If you haven't seen his latest public work in d3, drop what you're doing and check it out.
"The whole thing started back in 2016 when d3 proposed painting something in one of their car parks," Marwan told City Times, "I remember thinking it sounds a bit weird. Typically you wouldn't imagine anything too exciting happening in a car park. But then I saw the space and I think more importantly felt the enthusiasm."
The Greatest of Mysteries is a mural that will leave you speechless. It literally feels as though you're inside a small universe. We spoke to Marwan about the concept and execution of one of his greatest pieces yet.
How did the project with D3 come about?
The whole thing started back at the start of 2016 when D3 proposed painting something in one of their car parks. I remember thinking it sounds a bit weird. Typically you wouldn't imagine anything too exciting happening in a car park. But then I saw the space and I think more importantly felt the enthusiasm.
Tell us about the concept behind the piece.
I've painted a number of large murals this year, and they change you. They are not just wall paintings - they are emotional, mental, and physical experiences. It's not just about developing a concept, getting some paint and painting a wall. It's about evolving your mental state, and developing yourself through experience. It's similar to when you travel to an unknown environment, and build experiences and friendships with peoplethat your consciousness will never allow you to forget.
When you find yourself immersed in the spectacular you never forget it. We always remember those moments, and I wanted to try and encapsulate those experiences. The vast unfathomable clusters of stars surrounding our planet remind us of an awesome mystery every time we look up. It filters into our atmosphere and fills us with an immeasurable awe, one that we cannot comprehend. What's more powerful than that?
I had an opportunity with this car park, to create an experience and immerse the viewer in the unknown. It wasn't just one wall, it was eighteen walls and a ceiling. I was attempting to touch on a mysterious topic, and how I would pull it off was a mystery, even to me.
The title inspired by Carl Sagan puts that feeling into words better than I ever could.
"Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us - there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching The Greatest of Mysteries."
How long did it take for you to plan and execute the instillation?
Design, and prep took two months. I had to contemplate 18 walls, 1840 sq metres, ten murals, and a ceiling. The installation itself took 32 nights, 740 man hours, 560 clouds, 50000 stars, 288 litres of paint, and 150 cans. Apart from the ceiling which took every last ounce of strength, we had to adjust our body and minds to working at night. We shifted our body clock to sleep when the sun was up and paint when the moon was out.
What do you want people to take away from the installation at D3?
?When I was younger I remember looking at the work of those I looked up to, and always asking 'How did they do that?'. It took me years to begin to even come close. I've always wanted people to experience what I do and wonder the same thing. Just posing the question inspires a line of thinking that hopefully motivates you to begin to do something you never thought you could.