John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
If you've ever spotted street art involving pin-up models with kitty heads or screaming flowers, it's probably the work of Chile's Macarena "Macay" Yañez.
If you've ever spotted surreal street art featuring 1950s pin-up models with kitten heads, chances are it's the work of Macarena "Macay" Yañez. The Chilean artist has spent a good portion of the last four years covering urban walls with her hybrid creatures, which she says are meant to "reintroduce the colors of nature in the city."
Macay is one of the better-established female street artists working today, and a crusty old (male) writer might say there's something distinctly feminine about her aesthetic, which brings in bathing beauties, butterflies and colorful birds from the tropics. The artworks of Macay, who is 30 and lives in Santiago, are both playful and disconcerting, as you never quite expect to encounter on the street a group of humans frolicking on the back of a mutant bird, say, or a field of flowers with screaming, lipsticked mouths.
The artist has a show opening on August 9 at the Shoreditch's Red Gallery. For folks who don't live in London, here's a glimpse into her Bosch-like universe of rainbow birds and twisted humanimals. These first few photos show how she recently transformed neglected storefronts in Saint Étienne, France, into hallucinatory orgies of wildlife. Before: