Art Rules the Waves, The Crystal Ship Festival, Oostende 2019. Part 1

We’ve just arrived in the coastal city of Oostende and the smell of paint is hitting the shores like a fine fresh day.

This year we are expecting some epic murals by Case Maclaim (DE) , Crystal Wagner (USA) , David Walker (UK) , Escif (ES) , Helen Bur (UK) , Jaune (BE) , Leon Keer (NL), Lonac (HR) , Marina Capdevila (ES) , Miss Van (FR) , Mohamed l’Ghacham (ES) , Paola Delfin (MX) , Tom Herck (BE)  and Wasted Rita (PT).

The streets of Oostende already hold a pretty diverse and spectacular host of murals due to The Crystal Ship Festival, curated by Bjørn Van Poucke, over the last three years. It’s great to see old favourites on our expedition around the city, like old friends bringing back great memories.

First off we catch Case Maclaim up in the sky busy painting a huge wall outside our hotel on Ron’s Pub, what a treat! The photo realistic image is taking shape and we can’t wait to see his trademark hands take form.

We continue our search and like a beacon to a ship we can’t miss the huge wall by Spanish artist Marina Capdevila. She’s painted one her characteristic senior ladies, supporting a cocktail in her right hand. A fantastic fun piece and we can’t wait to see the final mural.

Helen Bur has been leaving characters across the city, a great unexpected find in some places! …

It’s great to see lots of street art enthusiasts and bloggers running around the city. Older murals now become land marks, like an A to Z map, to find this years artist location. Signs within the city have also been re-directed by Wasted Rita across the city, a great way to get lost!

We spot a huge installation by Tom Herck titled “Wreckage in a bottle”.  We see a folded war ship of a 5 euro bill in a giant milk bottle. This refers to a documentary the artist recently watched, that stipulated a grenade can be acquired for 5 euros. The extremely low sum is alarming. Food and basic necessities are rising in price, while the price of weapons is dropping. To indicate this imbalance, the artist opted for a milk bottle, as milk continues to rise in price. The milk bottle then symbolises food and drink.

We make our way over to see stencil artist Jaune’s skateboards, a fantastic project collaboration with PUSH skateboard academy and The crystal Ship, raising money for a skatepark in Banjul, Gambia. The limited Edition decks are available at the EXPO18 gallery, Ijzerstraat 18, 8400 Ostend, during the Easter holidays from 12 April onwards between 1400 and 1800.

The dictatorship of art is the theme, and its certainly dictated our day today! What a fabulous start!


Photo Credit Alex Stanhope / Graffitistreet



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