TYREE GUYTON

THE HEIDELBERG PROJECT
1955- | USA

House of Soul © Heidelberg Project
House of Soul © Heidelberg Project

Having grown un on Heidelberg Street and witnessed the tragic effect of the Detroit riot as a child, Tyree Guyton set about cleaning up the decaying area with the help of his grandfather Sam Mackey, his former wife Karen, and neighborhood children. In 1986, using the refuse they collected, Guyton began to transform the street into a massive open-air environment. In constant battle with the authorities since he began work on his project, Guyton continues to decorate abandoned buildings, vacant lots and pavements with all manner of discarded objects such as shoes, toys and old bicycles. His own paintings and messages cover the area, as well as the brightly painted polka dots that have become the trademark of the Heidelberg Project. Through his art, Guyton highlights the problems of poverty and urban ghettos, aiming to save forgotten neighborhoods and inspire people to use and appreciate art as a means to enrich their environment.

Nato e cresciuto ad Heidelberg Street e vedendo sin da piccolo i tragici effetti delle rivolte di Detroit, Tyree Guyton decise di ripristinare l’area in disfacimento con l’aiuto del nonno Sam Mackey, dell’ex moglie Karen e dei bambini del vicinato. Nel 1986 incomincia a trasformare la strada in un vero “environment” a cielo aperto, utilizzando i rifiuti raccolti nell’area. Continuamente in lotta con le autorità, sin dall’inzio Guyton decorava edifici abbandonati, lotti liberi e marciapiedi grazie a svariati tipi di oggetti di scarto, come scarpe, giocattoli e vecchie biciclette. I suoi dipinti e messaggi coprono la zone, così come i pois a colori vivaci che sono diventati il marchio di fabbrica dell’Heidelberg Project. Attraverso la sua arte, Guyton mette in evidenza i problemi della povertà e del degrado dei ghetti urbani, con l’obiettivo di salvare i quartieri dimenticati e ispirare le persone ad utilizzare e apprezzare l’arte come mezzo per arricchire il proprio ambiente.

The Party Animal house
The Party Animal house
The Motor City Lot © Heidelberg Project
The Motor City Lot © Heidelberg Project
The Number House © Heidelberg Project
The Number House © Heidelberg Project

For more info: The Heidelberg Project

Text from: Outsider Art Sourcebook

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