Italian street artist Fabio Petani recently used his skills to transform a basketball court into a work of art. Working together with the StreetArtBall Project, Petani painted a basketball court in northern Italy as a way to return a piece of social activity to a community that has been locked inside during the pandemic. Petani also took advantage of the opportunity to send an important message about the environment.
Carbon Dioxide & Calathea Makoyana is a meditation on the rebirth of a nation after more than a year of staying indoors. Calathea makoyana, also known as a Peacock plant, is a well-known houseplant that purifies air by absorbing carbon dioxide. Petani purposefully chose this plant as a way for its transformative properties to symbolize “the end of a negative moment and, at the same time a stimulus, to start again in small steps to breathe again.”
The project calls for artists to paint basketball courts in five communities near Bergamo, which was hit particularly hard by the first wave of COVID-19. The organizers noted that sports are a uniting force that brings together people of all ages and is an important moment for socialization. In particular, streetball allows community members from all walks of life to come together in their shared love for the sport. By using outdoor basketball courts as a canvas, the project is welcoming the community back as life slowly beings to return to normal.
For his part, Petani hopes that his work will bring serenity to the players and spectators. In pulling together his composition, the Italian street artist used the lines of the court to help guide his work. By focusing on the harmony of lines, shapes, and volumes, Petani has created a functional and aesthetically pleasing piece of art and is a celebration of streetball. The colors of the plant's leaves shift hues in different areas of the court, which draws the eyes across the dynamic composition.
As the world begins to open its doors, and communities again begin to congregate, Petani's work is a reminder to appreciate the air we breathe.