A mural for a 'frustrated, fragile' Europe

Culture

Glowing curves

Guillaume Bottazzi, a French artist based in Brussels, is defying the unpleasant Belgian winter to complete a mural that will be a permanent memorial to the victims of the March 22 attacks in Brussels. Immense curves in glowing colors - yellow, ochre, red and mauve dominate - are taking shape behind the scaffolding, embellishing an otherwise dull facade at Place Jourdan.

Culture

Fries with a view

Bottazzi began his project at the end of October and expects to finish by the end of the year, weather permitting. At 16 meters by 7 meters (52.5 feet by 23 feet), the vast mural is visible from every corner of the square. The best view is from the popular Maison Antoine fries stand, which attracted German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU summit earlier this year.

Culture

Black, yellow, red

With lips painted in the Belgian national colors to "show empathy for the victims" and outfitted with a brush, headphones and around 1,000 songs, Bottazzi spends seven days a week on the scaffolding, making the most of the Belgian capital's short daylight hours.

Culture

Festive finery

Bottazzi's influence at Place Jourdan doesn't end with the mural. This year's Christmas decorations echo the forms and colors taking shape overhead. The local supermarket, in need of some reconstruction work, has been covered with a screen that was also designed by Bottazzi (seen here in the background).

Culture

Maelbeek memorial

The nearby Maelbeek metro station, site of one of the bomb attacks in March, has also been redesigned to commemorate the victims. The station's tile portraits by artist Benoit van Innis, seen around the world in media coverage, became iconic symbols in the wake of the tragedy. Van Innis was asked to create a memorial at the station and was inspired by 20th-century​ poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

Culture

Restore, not repair

During the bomb attack at the Brussels airport, a well-known sculpture by Olivier Strebelle was damaged by the explosion. The airport, together with Strebelle, chose to restore the popular work rather than repair it, so it could serve as a reminder of the victims. Restoration work, which began in late November, is expected to take six months.

Culture

Comics in solidarity

Following the attacks, artists around the world responded by showing their support with art. Iconic Belgian comic book hero Tintin was a popular choice, and many French artists, like cartoonist Plantu, chose to express solidarity with their stricken neighbors.

Culture

Simple and spontaneous

Using simple colored chalk, hundreds of people scrawled messages of hope, love and support in the days after the attacks. Makeshift memorials, like this one at the central Place de la Bourse/Beursplein, were covered with flowers and impromptu artwork.

For the last six weeks, French artist Guillaume Bottazzi has been creating a vast mural in honor of the victims of the Brussels terror attacks.