Blu confronts themes of ostentation and narcissism with Rome mural featuring bling-laden Venus and David.
The celebrated Bolognese street artist Blu has created a giant mural in Rome's eastern Quarticciolo suburb featuring a modern interpretation of the statues of Venus de Milo and Michelangelo's David.
Blu has painted the façade of the former police headquarters in Piazza del Quarticciolo, a six-storey building which has been occupied illegally by 30 families for the last two decades.
The artist's Venus is portrayed with a gold chain, designer handbag and a toy poodle, while the portly David is painted with a blingy wristwatch and golden Hogan trainers, busy taking a selfie. The work remains unfinished for now, with Blu expected to complete the mural in October.
The artist is already known in the capital for his large-scale work on the façade of the former barracks on Via del Porto Fluviale
in Ostiense, and gained notoriety in 2014 when then mayor Ignazio Marino ordered the removal of a mural by the artist in the S. Basilio suburb in north-east Rome. The city had objected to Blu's "illegal, offensive and defamatory" depiction of pigs wearing police uniforms but in the end Marino backed down and the offending section of the mural was white-washed.
Although acclaimed on an international level, and rated in the world's top ten street artists by The Guardian, Blu remains an outside figure among his peers.
For more information about where to find the best street art in Rome see our guide
Photo Italian Factory Magazine