As we packed up and left Caffènation in Amsterdam, we already knew our next destination. With some speedy manoeuvres through the Belgian traffic we ended up in the oh-so-cozy meatball restaurant in Leuven: Balls & Glory.
Overwhelmed by sunshine and huge quantities of greenery in the room, we started on a high note, setting up the work area in good spirits but knowing a long day and night were still ahead of us.
As a true artist, MRZA is all over the place.
Between all the pieces spread over the walls a certain balance is needed. Without, one can get a mixed feeling about the paintings, and they will be seen as separate pieces. Constantly moving back and forth and changing positions to get a different view of the works is extremely important to create this balance for an artist like Anmar.Anmar prefers to let his artwork partially blend in with the environment by using shades and tints of the ones that are currently present. In Balls & Glory we were amazed by the transformation of an old walk-in garage into a modern, industrial styled restaurant. The addition of a large amount of green plants are certainly a plus to the venue, creating a totally different atmosphere than in any other restaurant.
In between the usual narrow walkways and ladders, an overdose of spray cans and plastic tarp, work silently continues. The framework and setting of the murals are quickly on track with the right song playing in our ears.
Several hours later just after sunset, a break and proper dinner were well deserved. Earlier that day a request came in from a familiar face in the street to brighten up the neighbourhood, by applying a layer of art to one of the electrical power boxes outside on the street. This we decided to do at nighttime, to honour all the graffiti and street artists before us who delivered their work while being on the lookout for possible security guards. Luckily for us we had no such interference there.
Soon after the power box assignment was finished, we went indoors to see MRZA back at work again, finishing up all the details of the formerly made murals.
The day after, the city of Leuven hosted a food-festival, a yearly recurring summer event. Crowds passing by and people stopping for a bite wasn’t exactly what Anmar was hoping for, but he got the opportunity to do a short live-paint session!
Calling a wrap, we all left with pleased faces and admiring passer-bys. Many enthusiasts and neighbouring venue owners came over to say ‘hi’ and compliment the work in progress, something we appreciate fully.
Catch Anmar Mirza in his next gig in Café Noir, where Street Coffee continues on a 9×3 meter wall: a black & white carte blanche, with a hint of yellow. One of the Vidski crew will be joining us to document the whole process.
Here’s one from behind the scenes, where a spraycap wouldn’t work.