Painting in an abandoned soap factory, French artist Seth takes on Rome’s urban planning problem

Painting in an abandoned soap factory, French artist Seth takes on Rome’s urban planning problem

Artworks created in decaying spaces are nothing new.

We’ve all seen sprawling graffiti on the walls and floors of abandoned buildings, haven’t we?

Untended structures seem to have some sort of an irresistible allure that beckons artists to create something in them.

However, French street artist Seth’s (real name:

Julien Malland) colorful paintings and installations in Mira Lanza, a long-since-deserted soap factory in Rome, Italy, make use of the space to pose a sobering question:

Why do we just leave things to rot?

Art organization 999Contemporary mounted the project, which consists mostly of paintings of children, to put Rome’s problem with urban planning in the spotlight, as well as juxtapose innocence (represented by the children in the works) with decomposition (symbolized by Mira Lanza).

“This place [built in the 19th century] has been abandoned since the factory closed in 1957. Since I was a little boy there have been plans to turn it into a museum, student accommodation, something,” Stefano Antonelli, the project’s curator, told the Guardian.

“But nothing has ever come of it. So now, we are asking the question: what is the destiny of the Mira Lanza going to be?”

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