SAFEWALLS was an artistic project curated by Cirque du Soleil
bringing time-honoured circus posters into the 21st century by pairing
up with renowned international street art and lowbrow artists (lowbrow is
an artistic movement that uses the graphic codes of popular genres such
as comics, advertising, graffiti and anything not considered fine arts).
This project celebrated Cirque's roots—the street—as well
as the creative freedom and raw energy associated with street arts.
Through SAFEWALLS, the epic imagery of Cirque du Soleil and the
tradition of circus posters comes to life, as interpreted by some of
the best contemporary artists around the world.
"As part of its cultural action, Cirque du Soleil takes many actions
in conjunction with the creation, production and distribution of its own
works and products. "These actions
translate to various activities in many sectors, such as that of
incorporating arts in the community. SAFEWALLS therefore naturally fits
into this context." - Martin Bundock, curator of SAFEWALLS and
Senior Arts Integration Advisor at Cirque du Soleil.
The term "safe walls" refers to legal spots in the urban landscape
for local street artists to do their work without the fear of sanctions.
SAFEWALLS commissions urban artists from all over the world to create
daring and original posters inspired by Cirque du Soleil shows. In addition
to being displayed in predetermined cities where Cirque du Soleil was
presenting one of its big top shows, the final artworks were used for
the production of limited-edition, signed and numbered posters. Each month—for
a period of 12 months—three artists were commissioned in each city to
create a poster inspired by the show. Thus far 17 artists -
have created limited edition and deluxe prints for Cirque du Soleil
Zarkana, Zumanity, Corteo, Ovo, Totem and KÀ, inspired by the gorgeous
visuals of Cirque du Soleil sets, costumes and makeup.