The COVID-19 coronavirus has disrupted every aspect of life; social distancing and isolation have become a common practice. Even during this devastating time, artists remained active and tried to capture the effects of the virus through their lenses.
Some artists focused on the eerie silence left behind by the intense lockdowns from March to June, while others tried to find ways to spread hope, motivation, and courage even in this bleak time. Unsurprisingly, many graffiti and street artists have incorporated COVID-19 themes into their work this past year.
As the virus is under some control, and lockdowns are gradually being lifted across the world, people have started stepping outside with precautionary measures. Muralists are taking this as an opportunity to utilize public places to showcase art and spread awareness. Toilet papers, face masks, and disinfectants are some of the common subjects of street artists. However, others are emphasizing boosting immunity, enhancing will power, and staying fit.
Here, we share with you some of the most creative COVID-19 themed art adorning cities all over the world. These contributions are popping up with each passing day as artists are becoming more and more involved. Some well-known murals related to COVID-19 are:
The gratitude, dedication, and support provided by healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 crisis are the most common subjects in street art. One graffiti artist in London did a commendable job highlighting the contribution of doctors during the pandemic. In the mural picturized above, the artists paid homage to junior doctors.
He specifically highlighted the contributions of resident doctors because they are constantly putting their lives at risk, work more, and are paid less in comparison to the senior physicians. However, they are still working day and night with full enthusiasm. An artwork specially dedicated to the resident staff boosts their morale and show them that their contributions are appreciated.
At a time when street artists were focusing on common pandemic related themes, Italian street artist Laika took a different step and focused on the restaurant staff. Since eateries are now opening, Laika focused on a Chinese restaurant owner, Sonia, wearing a fully covered gown along with a face mask.
Sonia’s message in Italian translates to “There’s an epidemic of ignorance going around… we must protect ourselves!”The artist tried to give a message that though the restaurants are opening, precautionary measures are still important. People working at the restaurant are equally affected by the pandemic. Thus, they are back to work but at risk and following new operating procedures.
Another great example is seen in Amsterdam, where the famous street artist FAKE painted a nurse with a Superman logo, titled Super Nurse! The nurse is shown wearing a mask, which is a typical representation of COVID-19. What is unusual is that she has the “S” logo of Superman on the front of the nurse’s uniform, reminding everyone that nurses, along with other frontline workers, are the true superheroes.
The idea is to highlight the exceptional role played by the nursing staff in this condition of turmoil. These nurses are putting their life in danger serving the COVID-19 patients. Not just in the critical care unit, they are also doing the testing. The artwork received great recognition and appreciation globally, and it was selected as a digital art installation in London.
In Germany, another street artist, Uzey, took up his paints to encourage people to stay strong despite the hardships the pandemic has brought. The art shows a fully covered person carrying a pack of COVID-19 germs in his hand. The picture reveals that no matter how covered a person is, the virus is everywhere. Thus, maintaining social distance and practicing isolation is the only safe solution. Various colors used in the artwork are intended to bring some light to the colorless life these days. This street art gives a friendly message to humanity and tries to boost morale.
In Indonesia, a campaign related to COVID-19 murals started in August 2020. This street art in Jakarta quickly gained popularity as it depicts the message very clearly and powerfully. It highlights many things: firstly, it shows that the man is carrying a shield, which is somewhat similar to a mask, and therefore subconsciously, you are made to think that wearing a mask is the best defense against the virus.
Secondly, it brings a message of hope for the masses – it gives strength to the affected individuals for regaining their health. People who are still in a state of fear can also get some motivation from the thought-provoking art. It shows that we can fight and overcome any germ or virus, only if we have the will and if we take the right measures.
Some fans even interpreted the painting with respect to organizations that stood firm to safeguard society. Most notably, healthcare and human service organizations, but also small businesses and individuals initiated small efforts to help their communities from the financial and emotional effects of the pandemic.
For instance, many individuals started campaigns to buy from small businesses in their community to keep them from going out of business. Similarly, small businesses, like cleaning companies, started offering door-to-door and contact-less services for the safety of their clients.
Another street artist drew this painting of a nurse who is covered from head to toe in a gown, gloves, and face mask. She is portrayed as an angel of love with colorful wings. The artist showed how the nurse is ready to go for work. Such contributions for supporting the doctors, nurses, testing professionals, and the janitorial staff seems valuable in this crucial time. These people are the real heroes who are diligently performing their duties in high-risk areas.
In short, COVID-19 murals are brightening the streets across the globe. From humorous and playful styles to more serious and sympathetic themes, street artists have done an excellent job highlighting the issue. From highlighting the importance of healthcare workers to aiming at reviving the mood of infected individuals, each has highlighted the importance of working through the pandemic together.
Along with the artists mentioned here, tons of other artists like Pebsy, Pyritt, AFK, Jesus Cruz, and many others have made valuable contributions. They’ve expressed a collective feeling of fear, rage, and frustration developed during the lockdowns and isolations. And they have also helped us in regaining lost hope.
Thinking out of the box and taking out time in stenciling and painting the walls is a commendable step in uniting the society in this unprecedented time. Was one your favorite?
Nouman provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for carpet cleaning.