Argentinian street artist Hyuro captures human connection. Her street art engages with various conceptions and manifestations of womanhood, all detailed through simple everyday acts, given power both by her emotive style of work and the thoughtful locations of each piece.
At its core, that’s what street art has always been about - painting something in a location that means people will see it and also, hopefully, engage with it. If those terms of engagement provoke thought and reflection on behalf of the audience, even better. The style favoured by Hyuro, a muted palette, reserved subjects and often depictions of motion, as if we’re seeing the events unfold through a zoetrope, imbues her figures with a raw sense of life.
Lived experiences are an innate part of human growth and evolution. Without experience, there is no learning. Without learning, we do not grow. Hyuro’s works don’t teach by telling, but by showing. She details acts that are so natural, they’re often innately disarming, even melancholic in their normalcy. There shouldn’t be a sadness in seeing depictions of human connection but, in a time that we are increasingly starved of it in an honest way, the moments she transcribed become emotionally charged by proxy.
In scenes like a mother breastfeeding her child, or two women working in unison to fold a large sheet, we see different types of connection, from different moments in life, brought to the fore. By animating the scene, giving them a life-cycle, her murals manifest as urban vignettes, reminding us that there are all sorts of people and lives going on around us all the time.
Sadly, in 2020, Hyuro passed away after suffering from Leukaemia. Her ability to capture fragile and honest moments, some of which were autobiographical in nature, feels almost amplified by the fact that there will be no more of them to come. It makes her fans and the street art community more inclined to cherish what’s left, to look at each painting and wonder what may have come hadn’t this tragic event taken place.
Although very well formulated, Hyuro’s paintings felt like they were feeling around for answers, as if she was putting something out into the world to see how it got on. These were sketches, more than gallery-ready final editions. The calculation, not the answer. Those answers she did look for were big, but the questions were far bigger. She looked at entrenched social perspectives, the circumstances and scenarios spawning from a shifting political climate.
Hyuro was, through her work and through the various testimonies published in her wake, somebody who wanted life without the masks, without the bullshit, and at its most raw. Both her own life and the experiences she had of the people and places that her art took her to were enduring, almost conversational subjects of her murals.
As committed to searching for meaning as empowering others to search for it themselves, she didn’t put faces in her art, nor did she make any gestures towards temporal elements. These vast paintings, sometimes taking up the entire facade of a building, could be anybody, at any time. The murals are springboards for the urban imagination to plunge off. The empty outfits she often painted are ours to fill.
Hyuro, or Tamara Djurovic, spent the last years of her life in Valencia, on Spain’s southeast coast. A place she could call home, with its temperate climate, iconic paella and, of course, a thriving art scene. Hyuro's works can still be found there and, hopefully, will continue to be for a long time. She might not be here, but the questions she posed are as relevant as ever before.
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