Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel has painted the facade of the Valette Castle (1864) in Loiret, which has been abandoned since the 80’s, with colorful geometries and vibrant motifs. The intervention, titled Skull in the Mirror, covers the gigantic home’s facade in a mix of colorful polka dots, and is flanked on either side by two three-story skulls.

 Skull in the Mirror by Okuda

In 1936, during the time of the Spanish Civil War, Republicans purchased the castle, where initially it housed children evacuated from conflict and then later, political exiles. In the 50’s, Spain, under Franco’s rule reclaimed it and used it for holiday camps. Two decades later, the castle was converted into a Spanish school and by 1986 was left abandoned. In 2002, it was acquired by the Pressigny-les-Pins council and a private company.

 Skull in the Mirror by Okuda

As the curators at By Night Gallery and Ink and Movement explain, in this work Okuda connects his “inspired contemporary vision with classic art and the reinterpretation of artists from the Renaissance, from his own universal and colorful perspective, [in other words] through geometric patterns, multicolored and dreamlike scenes.”

 Skull in the Mirror by Okuda

“In this more mature period of my career, to travel and transform space around the world is one of my major sources of inspiration,” says Okuda in an official interview. “The feedback with other cultures has made me feel alive, which is reflected in my creations, which always have a positive outlook,” the artist adds.

Okuda has completed Skull in the Mirror as part of Urban Art Paris’ Label Valette Festival in Pressigny-les-Pins, which also saw 100 artists create interventions in the interior of the building.


all images © Spencer Chopem Down