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5 Settembre 2019

Guide to urban art: Barriera di Milano

Let’s continue our journey to discover Turin’s urban art, from the famous facades painted by Millo to the lesser-known murals

Fabio Gusella (translation by Lorenzo Bijno)

Via Cruto, one of the facades painted by Millo for the “Habitat” project

During our first tour we explored the neighborhoods of Santa Rita and Mirafiori for the new column dedicated to art in the suburbs; today we wish to offer you a journey through the streets of Barriera di Milano along with the shots of our photographer Gabriele Sabini. As we did last time, we will rely on art historian Marzia Bolle, formerly co-author of the illustrated guide L’arte nelle strade di Torino (2017, Edizioni del Capricorno).

Ready, go: not far from the historic warehouses Docks Dora at via Valprato 68, seat of the cultural association Il Cerchio e le Gocce (one of the most active associations in the development of the Murarte project), we can find the Peccei Park. Since 2015, some site-specific artworks created by the students of 15 Italian Academies and selected in the competition Promenade dell’arte e della cultura industriale have been placed inside the park. Mechanicalgesture, Articolo 1 and Ingranaggi d’Italia are art installations whose aim is to restore the “industrial memory” of the city, while Cardo e decumano and Face e Identità trace the important social changes that have affected the face of Turin over the decades.

Passing the roundabout in via Cigna, embellished by the Exodus mosaic dedicated by artist Luciano Cappellari to the theme of migration, we proceed to number 180: on the walls of the former Cascina Marchesa, the writer Pixel Pancho has created a mural that aims to convey – as our guide explains – «the union between humans and robots, by depicting a new metallic human being engaged in daily activities». Opposite the Cascina is Spazio 211, whose courtyard walls are regularly repainted, thus offering “space” to many writers.

Crossing via Rondissone we reach corso Vercelli 141, where artists such as Knz clan, Verbo, Hemo, Joys, Made and Romagnainfiore have created various mural paintings. While still in corso Vercelli, on two blind facades located at the corner with via Desana, the German artist Marcus Kreiss has traced shapes of furniture and interiors, by picturing the various apartments beyond the wall. The work, named Inside-Out, aims to underline how we, as viewers, are observing, as Marzia Bolle says, «a private interior that becomes public, exposed to the view of all, an Inside-Out that allows us to stand on the threshold even without being seen».

Turning into via Lauro Rossi, we reach via Martorelli: at number 48 we can see one of the thirteen blind facades painted by the famous street artist Francesco Giorgino, aka Millo. The facades create an unusual habitat populated by giants: in all thirteen images, in fact, the subject depicted is perpetually out of scale when compared to the surrounding environment. Habitat – this is the title of the project with which Millo in 2014 won the international call for public art B.ART – Arte in Barriera – invites us to reflect on the relationship between man and the urban fabric. As Bolle tells us, «being out of scale is a metaphor for the way in which the places we inhabit have been transformed and are now, paradoxically, no longer tailored to us». To find our way around Millo’s various works in the area, you can consult this useful map.

Further along via Renato Martorelli, we cross corso Giulio Cesare and then enter corso Palermo, along which (at numbers 124 and 98) we can find two facades painted by Millo and at number 40 one painted by the Roman artist Hitnes.
Finally, turning into via Bologna and following it until the intersection with via Pacini, we reach via Quittengo 41, home of the Bunker cultural association, in whose courtyard several national and international artists have contributed to the creation of murals populated by robot dogs, historiated salamanders, masks, geometric and dreamlike shapes.

Outside the busy streets of the city centre, therefore, there are many works of art waiting to be “discovered”, so… enjoy the walk!


In collaboration with Study in Torino


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