ROME — Even in the heartland of global Catholicism, a life-size Madonna on a street wall is an uncommon sight — especially if you leave the cobblestone alleyways of the historic center for the drab concrete of the city's former industrial districts.
But bringing sacred art back to Rome's run-down streets is exactly what a street artist known as Mr. Klevra has set out to do.
Mr. Klevra, a 34-year old Italian artist and a committed Catholic, paints Madonnas and other saints on thin paper posters and then glues them onto walls under the cover of darkness.
"I love the adrenaline of putting up the paintings while hiding from the police," he said. "I love the randomness of having your art torn down after five minutes or see it stay in its place for years and years.''
Mr. Klevra is his artist's name — like many street artists, he doesn't give out his real name, and prefers to keep his identity secret, even shielding his face from cameras.
In his paintings, he combines the millennia-old techniques of Eastern Orthodox iconography with modern tools such as spray paint and Uni Posca pens. Pop culture references sometimes find their way into his work, such as a Madonna with the motto "Only after disaster can we be resurrected,'' a line from American author Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Fight Club.
Seven summer camp movies to set the tone for your summer adventures — watch the craft of making flamenco guitars — children spraying dads with a hose — people behind their cereal mascot — new track from Childish Gambino — and video technology meets street art in Berlin. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...
James "Sugar Boots" Franklin is remembered for bringing boombox roller-skating to Congress. Time names 140 Best Twitter Feeds. LEGOS initiate simple design. More notable Banksy street art found. Videogame theme songs set to tune of piano and violin. And with Tim Tebow's recent trade, Jimmy Fallon performs another hit from Tebowie.
+ Warning: May contain coarse language
Students protest cafetera food, the art of snowboarding in LED, one man a capella showtunes, spoof street artist Hanksy, and more! Plus, an Animal Extravaganza: Maddie the Coonhound travels the country, remarkable footage of some of the world's strangest creatures, and fashioning an animalistic hair style. All this and more ... inside the blog.
Art in the streets and in the windows of dirty cars, photography hot spots around the world and how it's bringing healing to victims of sexual abuse, Leonard Cohen, David Lynch, Mitt Romney, and a guide to discovering what type of worshipper you are.
Last week was a busy one, getting the blog switched over from Beliefnet to our own web site. Sharp-eyed readers have noticed a few bugs, but since we're over the hump I thought a little Friday fun was in order. Fans of the Colbert Report know that Stephen has done has done a lot to raise awareness of the dangers of bears. His work remains unfinished.