A 9th Century Type of Show: Chateau Belcastel "Legend" Exhibition by MyFinBec
The ongoing pandemic certainly left a mark on the frequency and intensity of street art/mural events around the globe, and we can't help but feel it's for the better. This decrease seems to be directly influencing the stricter selection which then results in higher quality productions and well-conceptualized programs. And one of such events was the Legend exhibition that took place at the 9th-century war castle Chateau de Belcastel in a picturesque village at the heart of the French countryside in the summer of 2021.
In its 12 centuries of existence, this castle built a long and rich history of epic battles, infidelity that ends in murder, thieves and bandits, lost treasure, and supernatural occurrences, all of which became the core of this exhibition. Creative director Christopher Courtney of myFINBEC was tasked to create a concept for an art exhibition centered around this chateau and managed to put a strong lineup that featured the likes of Inti, Alexis Diaz, Bezt of Etam Cru, Case Maclaim, Hera of Herakut, Bom.K and Marco Mazzoni. "These artists were selected for their visual storytelling abilities, and the concept behind this exhibition is for the artists to select characters and scenes from the many legends that surround this chateau, and create their artworks based on their own interpretation of these stories," Courtney told us about the way the artists were selected. This effort resulted in large-scale murals on the castle walls, a series of original paintings for a gallery exhibition inside the chateau, as well as a series of lithograph art prints from each artist that has been produced at (also legendary) Idem in Paris.
These seven international artists all traveled to the chateau last summer for the gallery show opening and to paint in this historic place. Marco Mazzoni, known for his small intricate and detailed pencil drawings on paper, painted his first mural inside a chapel built in the year 900 AD. Alexis Diaz of Puerto Rico and Chilean artist Inti collaborated together on a mural titled Ofrenda, a portrait of Mary Magdalene, who, according to the legend, came to this region in France and her remains are on display in a church here. Bezt painted a mural in the main courtyard of the chateau depicting a scene from the legend where a noble from the castle returned home only to find his wife in bed with another man and he threw his wife out the window of the tower to her death and had a knife fight with her lover. Hera painted a mural of the ghost of La Dame Blanche, the woman that was thrown from the tower that supposedly still haunts the castle to this day. French artist Bom.K painted a series of characters in the medieval prison of this war castle. Each character is a frame from an animation that shows the process of a man becoming one with the stone walls of the prison. This animation seen frame by frame is reminiscent of how slow time must have moved for the prisoners, their pain and anguish, and how they slowly fade away into nothing. German artist Case Maclaim, one of the early pioneers of photo-realistic street art, had a 20 meter by 15-meter artwork titled Our Insides Showing installed on the main tower of the castle. This powerful artwork could be seen from far away in the village below the chateau, and the ominous eye on the tower looking out like a giant peering through a keyhole. The artists also painted a small mural in the upper courtyard of the chateau, as well canvases for the gallery exhibition which featured a series of 25 artworks centered around the concept of storyboarding the history of the castle and surrounding area. by the seven artists. Paintings, sculptures, and sketches, centered around the concept of storyboarding the history of the castle and surrounding area.
The Legend exhibition at Chateau de Belcastel was visited by over twenty thousand people over the summer, with original artworks on canvas, murals, and art prints on display. All original paintings, sculptures, and sketches, murals, and art prints can be seen on the MyFinBec website (http://myfinbec.com/exhibitions/indexLEGEND.html) and Instagram.