Roman Grandinetti’s Got the Blues
“I was looking to speak to the street,” said Brooklyn-based artist Roman Grandinetti of the point of direction for his new murals. Currently on display on Kenmare Street and Ludlow Street, the works were commissioned by Vice and the Gap for Gap’s Art of Blue project—the visual street component of Gap’s just-launched denim-heavy Back to Blue campaign. “The concept of the wall is about different tones of blue being thrown together—it’s not so directed, kind of like how downtown is,” explained Grandinetti, who grew up in New York, moonlights as a deejay, and is a largely self-trained. “On top of that design, I injected how downtown is becoming a tad more organized and a little more fine-tuned with numbers. Saint Laurent is now downtown. Balenciaga is now downtown. The newcomers are kind of making it streamlined,” he added.
The two murals—which Grandinetti will complete today using a paint-filled fire extinguisher—are an ode to today’s downtown New York. The walls are splashed with chaotically strewn shades of ultramarine and cerulean, which are overlaid with bold, printed numbers—including a very prominent 1969—stamped in Gap-denim blue. “It was a way to tie all my favorite places that are influenced by art or that attach themselves to art in one way, shape, or form,” explained the artist of the numbers (which refer to phone numbers in downtown Manhattan). “And [to convey] that blue has a feeling.”
Grandinetti, who got his start in the music industry and just recently put up a mural on Ludlow commemorating A$AP Ferg’s debut album release, is one of five artists to leave their vision in blue for the Gap. “There’s one in London. One in Paris. I’m super psyched [to be a part of this],” says Grandinetti. “It’s an amazing feeling to have something in the street and have people live with it.”