Born in Texas, John Wehrle is a contemporary mural artist, now based in California, who has developed a unique style through the creation of highly original internal and external wall paintings. His more elaborate work combines text, paintings and relief sculpture which he brings together for a variety of locations including libraries, banks, architectural exteriors, and freeway walls, many of which have become established local landmarks. Wehrle is one of a new generation of painters who meticulously carries out significant historical research before the creation of a mural to tailor each one to its specific context. He combines allegories, symbols and historical legends to create exciting, modern themes that add local meaning to each setting and help create a unique atmosphere that can be enjoyed by everyone travelling through these venues on a daily basis.
The colourful interior of the Ocean View Library comes to life with the images and language of the books that are housed within its walls. Wehrle creates a joyful and intriguing game where the visitor tries to capture the words flying across the walls in an attempt to piece them together as part of a magical puzzle eventually revealing their true meaning. The words appear against a backdrop of sky blue landscapes and white and pastel interiors that seem to remove the confines of the walls and lead the viewer into the realms of the imagination hidden within the pages of each book.
Ocean View Library, San Francisco by John Wehrle. “Words Fly Away” Incised Text and Painting (Photo © 2004 Said Nuseibeh)
Ocean View Library, San Francisco by John Wehrle. Sky View Stairwell Trompe L’Oeil (Photo © 2004 Said Nuseibeh)
Ocean View Library, San Francisco by John Wehrle. Upstairs Hall: View West from Computer Room (Photo © 2004 Said Nuseibeh)
The New York-based American artist Richard Haas is renowned for his murals on the exteriors of major public buildings throughout the USA and worldwide. Born in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Haas’ interest in art and architecture was nurtured by a fortunate acquaintance with the architect Frank Lloyd Wright whom he befriended in his formative years. Haas later visited southern Germany and Liguria, Italy, where he was particularly fascinated by the early technique of illusionist decoration known as quadratura, where artists paint architectural perspective on walls and ceilings to create the illusion of additional space and depth.
Haas subsequently brought this European style of architectural painting to the USA where he developed it on an unprecedented scale. He created a unique style largely in response to what he sees as the need to mend the aesthetic ‘wounds’ in our modern city environment – gaps in buildings and streets caused by the demolitions and redevelopment projects that are so pervasive in large cities. Haas skilfully combines the quadratura tradition with research into the history of each location and a genuine understanding of modern architecture. His colourful, large-scale mural paintings signal a rejuvenation of the contemporary urban landscape.
|Fontainebleu Hotel by Richard Haas, Miami Beach, Florida, USA, 1986, (the mural was demolished in 2002). (Photo © Richard Haas)|
|Absoluthaas by Richard Haas, New York, NYC, 1996, (removed from the wall in 1998). (Photo © Richard Haas)|
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