Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Hans-Georg Merkel
2015, in situ
120 x 180 cm
Here in "Paradise," the landscape garden of the World Cultural Heritage Site Völklingen Ironworks, it is particularly wild. Flora and fauna have long since retaken their terrain: a large feline predator lies in wait for visitors in the preserve of the black fish, which is said to have been spotted here in the former tar basin. The panther is by the Parisian artist Mosko, who is known for unexpectedly confronting city inhabitants, ensconced within their familiar urban habitat, with creatures of the wild: A leopard creeps through a side street, a giraffe stretches its neck up toward a first-floor window, a group of frisky zebras frolic next to the metro stairs. On second glance, we recognize that these exotic animals are in fact graffiti art, created using the stenciled style known as pochoir in France. Painstakingly created in vibrant colors, the animals are highly realistic representations of their real-life role models. Mosko turn the streets into "Savanes Urbaines".
And indeed, the city is like a jungle sometimes … Thanks to the conceptual simplicity of these creations combined with the high level of artistic skill that has gone into them, the pieces tend to be very positively received by the public. Art critics can give free rein to their interpretative tendencies and ascribe to the pieces all manner of deeper connotations, while children will simply
delight in the surprising encounter.