Lamar University's Graphic Design Department Blog
Ape On The Moon
Illustrated by Xuan Alyfe
It is a visual representation, an art form that expresses artist ideas, feelings, and imaginations typically using spray paint/aerosols. Some know it as graffiti, others call it trash on city walls, but to the art world it’s commonly known as street art or a mural. Spanish muralist, Xuan Alyfe, painted “Babalonia2.0” which is posted on Ape On The Moon, a contemporary illustration blog site.
I am particularly interested in the “Babalonia 2.0” because of it’s use of high chromatic colors that guide the attention of the viewer throughout the artwork, yet at the same time it’s also used in contrast of content areas painted in dark or monochromatic colors. For instance, the yellow panel consists of neon lines that take the viewer on a path to an abstract human face, which connects with another figure above it. Another example would be the center neon pink line and how it flows from the left side of the third panel to the right side of it; almost creating a barrier or force field separating the common, mundane routine human figures from the beautiful world of art below it. “Bablonia 2.0” appears to be a well thought out piece contrary to Xuan’s statement in an interview with Gorgo Webzine, that suggest most of his work is instinctive; depending on “the day…the moment”. The excessive use of geometric shapes with various lines helps create clarity to a perceived meaning and the overall aesthetic of the mural.
When I look at panel two, I see a chaotic political or business world where things that should be normal are not and vice versa. Such as, the upside down rainbow, the tree in the air, the human figure that is either watching through a telescope or playing an instrument both facing downward, and the face that shoots something out of the mouth and snares the human figure above it. The imagery seems very chaotic yet the content is well displayed.
The bottom panel suggests a world of fun and excitement. It is a place I would like to explore. The figure sitting or attempting to slide down the neon pink circle coupled with the upside down moon shape that looks like a smile, just gives that area a more light-hearted and playful feel to it. I really enjoy the vibrant colors and the surreal abstract forms that really draw attention that area.
I believe the artist makes a clear distinction of how he feels about the everyday world verses the world of art.