Street artist Edward von Lõngus opens huge new work in Tallinn

Edward von Lõngus
Edward von Lõngus "Final Judgement Day"

A new work by Estonian street artist Edward von Lõngus is set to open at Tallinn's Ülemiste City on Wednesday. "The Last Judgement," which measures almost eight meters in height and weighs over half a ton, was created on a canvas of cold-rolled steel plates as part of von Lõngus' 2020 solo exhibition "Doomsday Cathedral."

Andra Orn, head of the Nordic Baltic Art Center (NOBA) and von Lõngus' representative, explained that the artist's reworking of Michelangelo's "The Last Judgement" fresco from the Sistine Chapel was one of the main works of the "Doomsday Cathedral" exhibition at the Tallinn Biennale two years ago.

In von Lõngus' interpretation, wealth, and its pursuit, are entwined with the search for bliss. At the same time, the piece depicts a modern-day model of society, where the top 1 percent of the population owns most of the world's wealth and the bottom 99 percent scramble for the scraps.

"The effect is both grandiose and sacred, but rather than saints entering heaven, the work is reminiscent of legendary Estonian printmaker Eduard Wiiralt's "Inferno." In light of the crises that have shaken our daily lives in recent years, von Lõngus' work has become increasingly topical, and we can't help wondering whether the seconds remaining till the end of the world will now start ticking by even faster," Orn added.

The large-scale street art work will be on display at the old water tower in Ülemiste City Park (Keevise 3) until June 2023. "For street art, the location and context created by the location are very important, which is why the water tower, built in 1899, was ideally suited for the exhibition of "The Last Judgement," said Orn. 

Orn added that, "although street art is temporary in nature and doesn't have to last for decades, we tested the work, which was created on steel plates, with a transparent varnish. However, it had already corroded, so we have no idea how autumn rains or snow will affect the piece's appearance. It's an experiment that we will be able to monitor day by day."

A virtual tour of Edward von Lõngus' 2020 "Doomsday Cathedral" exhibition can be accessed here.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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