Street artist Giacomo RUN transforms Old Master paintings into striking mural

Pay a visit to the Gallery over the next month and you won’t be able to miss the striking street art in the Gallery grounds. As work begins for our summer Dulwich Pavilion, the exterior hoardings have been transformed into stunning murals by renowned artists Phlegm and Giacomo Bufarini (a.k.a. RUN). We caught up with Italian artist Giacomo to discover more about his inspiration for the project. 

 Can you tell us why you chose The Last Communion of St Francis as your inspiration?

The Last Communion of Saint Francis is a painting that inspires me because of its composition, colours and meaning. I was attracted by the fact that the friars are all dressed in the same uniform and I like the ‘monks’ as a religious confraternity. Saint Francis is also a legendary character that I am familiar with from my personal upbringing, as my parents often told me his story. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Francis (Francesco D’Assisi) was a rich man that let go of all his wealth and decided to dedicate his life to warship the religion, his believe and his people. I love his choice and the freedom that he represent.

 Can you tell us about your style - how you like to work and what inspires you more generally?  

My style is constantly changing. I research and I like to challenge myself. I get inspired by what I read and what I observe and the fact that when I work in pubic spaces I am surrounded by other people, who also change my perspective. The good thing of not being alone during the creation of artwork is that the audience gives you input and inspiration with comments and personal stories. This doesn’t affect the subject or the technique but the mood and the energy of the actual performance of painting.

  • 'Girl in a window' by Rembrandt reinterpreted by Remi Rough and System

    'Girl in a window' by Rembrandt reinterpreted by Remi Rough and System
  • 'The Guardian Angel' by Marcantonia reinterpreted by Stik

    'The Guardian Angel' by Marcantonia reinterpreted by Stik
  • Phlegm's interpretation of a character in 'The Triumph of David' by Nicholas Poussin

    Phlegm's interpretation of a character in 'The Triumph of David' by Nicholas Poussin

What are your thoughts on the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery project? Why do you think it has been so successful? 

Dulwich Picture Gallery is a unique place. The general public going to the Gallery must love what it represents, but reinterpreting the same subject, the audience loves to see public intervention and painting that comes to them - instead of the spectator having to go to a gallery. Also, the more modern style is more attractive in a way as its more similar to what we see on a daily basis. This, and many more reasons, is what makes the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery successful and appreciated by all.

 Can you tell us about your views of street art and what its place is within the arts world?

I think street art is beautiful. Street art is the medium that connects with young people the most. If it wasn’t for street art and graffiti, how would the new generation ever appreciate art again? Many more people from the new generation have been approaching art without going to art school. The art that comes from the streets has been created by the artist themselves, influenced by other street artists and the world around. As this is a fast world, the street art movement is already born and burnt. Now there is nothing that hasn’t been done or invented. I am actually waiting to no longer hear the question “street art in the gallery? How about that?"

Ingrid Beazley, former Chairman of the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery from 2005 – 2008, and founder of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, recently died aged 67. Please click here to read our In Remembrance piece celebrating Ingrid's extraordinary achievements.