“Big City Life? a Tor Marancia

Big City Life - Tor Marancia

Open-Air Museum in Tor Marancia.

Twenty thousand visitors each year. This a number that most Italian museums envy and that bears witness to the interest created by the extraordinary cycle of murals, Big City Life, created between 2014 and 2015 in the Roman district of Tor Marancia, also thanks to the patronage of Prof. Atty. Emmanuele Francesco Maria Emanuele, President of the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro Internazionale.

This number is made up of fifteen thousand visits by groups and students, plus five thousand individual visits. An unquestionable success, which crosses national borders, originating from a project conceived, created, and curated by Francesca Mezzano and Stefano Antonelli through the Associazione 999 Contemporary (along with the Fondazione Roma and the Italian Parliament), with the aim of developing, promoting, and disseminating Contemporary Street Art.

In fact, the fame of the Ater complex, where the best international artists have performed, did cross national borders. The BBC presented a documentary on Big City Life, and it was also the setting for the series, “Tutto può succedere” (Everything Can Happen), broadcast by the RAI Italian television network. But that is not all.

During the 2017 edition of the Venice Biennale, Big City Life was chosen to represent Italy as example of architecture that is at the service of the common good.

On TripAdvisor (the global barometer in terms of tourism) the Tor Marancia complex received reviews that ranged from “Excellent” to “Very good”, with a final score of 4.5 out of 5. The same score received by the Musei Capitolini. 

Twenty-one artists from eleven countries worked at Tor Marancia #63: Seth, Philippe Baudelocque (France), Gaia (USA), Lek & Sowat (France-USA), Jaz (Argentina), Vhils, Pantonio (Portugal), Moneyless, Alberonero, Mr Klevra, Domenico Romeo, Danilo Bucchi, Diamond, Matteo Basilé (Italy), Clemens Behr, SatOne (Germany), Reka (Australia), Jerico (Philippines), Inti (Chile), Best Ever (Great Britain), Caratoes (Hong Kong). Each artist painted 145 square meters in 43 days of work, using 974 spray cans and 756 liters of paint.

During the inauguration, Prof. Emmanuele Emanuele stated: “Murals were part of my youth. I saw many between the ‘60s and ‘70s in Los Angeles, Miami, and in Latin America, where I studied and travelled. I consider them a form of art that, with their vitality and effectiveness in communication, are no less than the art that we have consecrated over the ages in museums and galleries.”

In 2019, a mobile app called “Tor Marancia 2.0” was added to the Big City Life project. This app allows visitors to fully enjoy the works of art exhibited in the open-air museum through IOS and Android devices. It was developed by the Megasound company, thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Cultura e Arte (an important part of the same foundation), and it is available both in English and Italian.