Rome Travel Guide

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tracking down a muralist in Rome - Carlos Atoche plays with decay and regeneration.

It's not often one finds murales or wall art, right outside one's door - even better, viewed from one's apartment.  But here we are in Pigneto (a now rather hip, but still working-class neighborhood of Rome) looking from our balcony at a fine work using images of ancient Roman statues, and placing them under water. I also like the fish floating just above the "Carrozzeria - auto e moto" sign (car and scooter repair, down the block).
We're one of those balconies on the left. Our view of the murales
is really only of the left side, as seen in the top photo.
Always eager to explore our immediate surroundings, we tracked down the painter of the mural, which is on one of the very old buildings that are now dwarfed by housing blocks. We thought we had seen this theme of Roman statues, under water, around Rome and, indeed, we had.

A small plaque at right indicates that Atoche did this mural in 2016 as part of a project by a group of tour guides to raise
money for earthquake victims.

We saw a plaque naming Carlos Atoche as the author of work above, in Torpignattara, as we were giving ourselves a tour of murales - as they are called in Italian, using the Spanish word for "murals" - in that area.
"The Fall of the Gods," a 40 meter-long mural in Ostiense, which Atoche did in 2015 with Mexican muralist Luis Alberto Alvarez.

Explaining another of Atoche's works, this one in Ostiense (which we've seen many times, including when we lived there 2 years ago), StreetArtRoma - a superb App (the link is to the Web site, which is not as easy to maneuver as the app) - says "The fall of Gods, between busts of mythological giants and historical figures, is a symbolic representation of the decay of power; the glories of the past consumed by the passing of time. What remains is the unstoppable force of the universe, the energy of the oceans, the drive of life, the animals, the sky, the plants and the tides."  That's a bit high-falutin' as we might say, but not bad.

No doubt about the artist here. "atoche" appears at the top of this painting in

We like that Atoche tends to put his work on older, even abandoned buildings, perhaps emphasizing the theme of decay. At the same time, he's decorating the neighborhood - or is he gentrifying it? And is that good or bad? (I vote for "good.")

Not identified, but clearly Atoche.

StreetArtRoma also notes that Atoche is Roman by adoption, born in Lima in 1984 of an Argentinian mother and Peruvian father.

Atoche works out of this studio in Pigneto. 

Below, several other Atoche works, all in Pigneto.  Horses are among his favorite subjects. 

We're glad he's decided to enliven our environs. Here's his Web site. 
This is RST's 792nd post.  Use the search engine at far upper left to explore Rome and environs. 


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