Take a walk through the buzzing hub of old Nicosia and you’ll no doubt notice countless walls adorned with colourful street art. One in particular will leave a lasting impression, running all the way down Pythonos Street, outside the popular Market Company.
The work by the well-known Paparazzi (Achilleas Michaelides) has been inspired by the great Adamantios Diamantis and his work entitled ‘O Kosmos tis Kyprou’ (The People of Cyprus) which is on show at Nicosia’s A. G. Leventis Gallery.
When Paparazzi was asked to jazz up the wall outside the Market Company, he immediately knew that he wanted to create his own modern-day version of Diamantis’ painting.
“Diamantis would go from village to village to spot all sorts of people and paint them. I took photos of all different individuals that I found inspiring from old town Nicosia, as well as all over Cyprus, with many different races in the mix. I wanted to draw the colorful and happy Cyprus, a multicultural country with all different styles of people from all different backgrounds.” The work features approximately 100 people and took two months to create.
Photo credits: Beth Johnson
Breathing life into cities around the island, Paparazzi gives new meaning to empty walls, or parts of town that would otherwise remain derelict, inaccessible or lifeless. A real pioneer in the country, the Georgian born artist began work in the seaside town of Limassol with his expression murals back in 2002, when no one was really familiar with graffiti as an actual art form (but more, just slogans on the walls), with street art largely regarded as vandalism. Now enjoying a reputation as one of the most recognized exponents of street art on the island, Paparazzi is currently based in Larnaca with his own art studio.