BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Every September, for several years, Little Italy has hosted the famous Madonnari arts festival. COVID has put the kibosh on it in 2020 and organizers believe it’s still not safe enough to come together. But they celebrate Italian art and culture by ordering a mural, a fresco so stunning you have to see it for yourself.
“Carlos is an international phenomenon,” said Cyd Wolf of the Madonnari Arts Festival.
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Carlos is Carlos Alberto Garcia-Hernandez.
Two weeks ago, he arrived from Paris, where he has just finished a mural at the French Embassy. Now he’s transforming a wall on Stiles Street in Baltmore’s Little Italy into a huge painting of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Carlos likes to paint in public. He is a regular at the Madonnari Arts Festival in Baltimore and festivals around the world.
“Oceanus, as you know, is the god of all water, the ocean, and he was a benevolent god in mythology – he didn’t take sides,” Wolf said. “And we think that’s where Baltimore should be.”
“The symbolism of the Trevi Fountain is that when you leave Italy, if you sit on it and toss a coin, it means you’ll come back. And we always want to go back to our culture and our heritage, ”Lou Mazzulli said.
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Mazzulli, owner of the building, has dreamed of this fresco for 20 years.
But Carlos adds four birds, three orioles and a crow.
“Sure, we’re in Baltimore, and I tried to do something very iconic that everyone can see and say, ‘Oh yeah, Baltimore.’ The Ravens, well, you know you have the football team, but you have Edgar Allan Poe, ”Garcia-Hernandez said.
Using aerosol paint for the first time, he constantly reads his rendering, and learns to treat a brick surface.
Painted with homemade paint, unlike traditional Madonnari chalk art, this mural is created to last.
“It’s going to be there long after we’re not,” Wolf said with a laugh.
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By tomorrow, the orioles and the raven will be fully realized. Sunday at 2 p.m. they cut the ribbon with a celebration that includes live music, food, and everyone is invited for free.