Tor Marancia is a district situated to the south of Rome’s historic centre known for a urban regeneration project that saw twenty street artists reunited to paint on the façades of eleven working-class buildings. ‘Big City Life’ project created by 999Contemporary cultural association and financed by Fondazione Roma, Campidoglio and VII Municipio has given rise to this open air street art museum. The core of the work was to create a dialogue with the locals in this way the murals had to tell about the history of the district and its inhabitants. American street artist Gaia took part in the event with a composition that reminds to the metaphisical paintings by De Chirico. Each object of the mural has a symbolic meaning. The building is the same where Gaia is creating the mural. The bust is a reference to the sculpture “The boxer” by Aldo Buttini, in Stadio dei Marmi, the sporting centre willing by fascist power that became its symbol. Those in power forced the families to leave their neighborhood for moving to terrible housing conditions exactly in Tor Marancia district. Elder people tell that the houses were flooded and this explains the other symbol of the painting: the fish. On the top of the mural it stands out an orange, that was initially a tangerine, because Gaia wanted to make an homage to people from South Italy who were peeling this fruit in the streets. But, Tor Marancia inhabitants wanted to tranform it into an orange to recall the name of the district. Also, the title of mural is due to the passers-by, Gaia asked the first three words occured to them.
The choice to involve Gaia in this project is not random, because he is very sensitive to the development of the city and the shape of urban environments. His art has numerous social and political references about the neighborhood where he paints and as well, this work is a tribute to his own Italian roots.