What is being billed as the largest glass mosaic mural in the world has been installed in down-town Caracas, Venezuela. Made exclusively from Reviglass glass mosaic, it was created by Venezuelan artist Maestro Mateo Manaure and called Uracoa after his home town.
The work has been installed on both sides of the Avenida Libertador underpass, and it has a total length of 1,500 metres per side and an average height of four metres; a total of 12,000 sq. metres. The installation was undertaken by local Venezuelan company VIU Urbana in close collaboration with Reviglass. Colours were adapted to the needs of the artwork in order to meet the requirements of the artist and to gain his final approval. Assistance was also provided by Reviglass to make sure that the materials were correctly installed.
Tiling work started in early July 2012. To carry out the installation, the highway had to be closed. So, in order to minimise disruption to the city’s traffic, all work was carried out at night. The main effort consisted of preparing the surface by repairing and smoothing the walls to allow for a clean installation. Top quality adhesives were used to ensure the longevity of the work.
Mateo Manaure, born October 1926, is one of the most important modern artists of Venezuelan art history. He studied at the School of Fine Arts and Applied Arts , now School of Visual Arts Cristóbal Rojas, where he was directed by Antonio Edmundo Monsanto. He then studied graphic arts in the workshop of Pedro Angel Gonzalez. In 1947 he won the inaugural National Arts Award. In 1952 he began his collaboration with the University City project of Carlos Raul Villanueva where, besides contributing 26 of his own works, he acted as supervisor.
Recently, Manaure has explored abstract art. In 1984 he was appointed President of the Venezuelan Association of Artists. In 2009 the Museum of Contemporary Art Matthew Manaure was inaugurated in Maturin, Monagas State.
This article first appeared in Tile & Stone Journal, November 2012.