Julien Raffin

Santos train station, Avenida Brasília


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This urban art intervention is part of Julien Raffin’s "La Folie des Grandeurs" series, an ongoing reflection surrounding breathless human evolution, modernization and industrial progress, and the impact these developments have had on natural ecosystems. Questioning the gap between the bright future that was initially planned for our species and the planet and reality we have been living over the past 80 years, it explores the challenges that face humanity today and the urgent need for reinvention.

The mural features one of Portugal’s most recognizable landmarks, the “25 de Abril'' bridge, a name that reflects the date of the revolution that set the country free from 48 years of dictatorship. It represents values of freedom and connection, echoing the desires of open-minded people who believed in a brighter future. It is a message of hope supported by social and industrial progress. A testament to the idea that nothing is gained without tolerance, resilience and love shared as a united community, and how our everyday actions are what cultivate and preserve this legacy.

Julien Raffin (1985) is a French artist based in Paris expressing his visual creation through the medium of analogue collage and playing with historical and cultural references, in rupture with our contemporary lives. His work offers a poetic and dynamic narrative where compositions in colour and black & white come into opposition, revealing the contrast and dissonance between the past and the present in a disruptive harmony.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Underdogs Public Art Programme, which has been transforming public space in Lisbon since 2013 in partnership with the Galeria de Arte Urbana (GAU) and the Lisbon Municipality, is revealing a new format, where artists are invited to create work that raises awareness about climate change – arguably the most important challenge facing humanity in the 21st Century.

photo credits: Christcost.a