The street artist with a PhD whose work is covering the globe
Black and white urban and industrial fantasies integrated into city architecture and grey, post-soviet blocks of flats are the characteristic signs of Polish street artist Mariusz Waras known as M-City.
M-City’s enormous stencil works of art can be seen across the globe, from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro, yet he gets inspiration from his home town of Gdynia – an industrial port built in the interwar period.
Born in 1978, Waras was heavily influenced by the environment in which he grew up.
In an interview with Sztuka Publiczna website, M-City revealed: “In my childhood, I lived near the Gdynia Shipyard, the view from my window was a shipyard with cranes on the left and a large power plant chimney on the right.
“All my company, my friends were also connected to the Shipyard. I visited this place with my dad when I was little, I came to visit him after work.
“It all stayed in my head. Years later, in a certain way, I returned to the Gdańsk Shipyard, being a frequent visitor in the Artists' Colony. It was a kind of return to childhood, this wandering, visiting all these vacant spaces, rooms, machines.
“Today I treat this place as a symbol of the collapse of the shipbuilding industry.”
Waras graduated from the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts’ Faculty of Graphic Design and continued to work there as a teaching assistant.
He broke the stereotype of a street artist being just a step away from a vandal by obtaining his PhD in 2013 and running the Street Art Studio at the Academy of Art in Szczecin’s Faculty of Painting and New Media.
Apart from creating murals, M-City is a graphic designer and illustrator, dabbling with artistic installations and curating contemporary art exhibitions all over the world.
Waras is the chief curator of the 238×504 Hoarding Gallery in Gdynia.