Tribute to Hyuro, the Argentine Artist Tamara Djurovic

Tamara Djurovic the Argentine street artist also known as Hyuro has passed away at her home in Valencia. Painting across the globe her art was often a powerful outlet. In the UK she visited a few times. Notable murals still exist in Manchester and Aberdeen.

Her work on the street had a surrealist element to it. Filled with character the images she created told their own story. Often depicting women, Hyuro also embraced the landscape around her to frame these images. The buildings and environment themselves often playing a key role in the setting of her murals.

Hyuro mural in the Tunnels in Aberdeen
Hyuro artwork painted as part of the Nuart Aberdeen Festival in 2018

Style and Concept

It’s notable in much of her art that Hyuro also didn’t tend to show faces. The clothing her subjects wear could also be ambiguous. By not quite being able to place the person or the time portrayed it’s a level of uncertainty which prompted the viewer to question more. Speaking to Juxtapoz she said that “it keeps (the work) open to interpretation”.

In the end, if you don’t show time or you don’t show faces, you give more space to the viewer to finish the piece in their own mind, within their own beliefs. It doesn’t close off anything for the viewer, it doesn’t have to be this person. It keeps it open to interpretation. I just give my contribution to a place, and people can finish the meaning themselves. 

Hyuro – Interview with Juxtapoz
Hyuro applying the finishing touches to a mural
Tamara Djurovic aka Hyuro painting one of her murals

Move into Street Art

It was a move to Europe which really prompted Hyuro to experiment with street art. Ostensibly travelling to finish her masters, she got to know artists such as Escif who introduced her to the form. Despite always having a passion for what she describes as the activist muralism movement in South America, it wasn’t yet something she had considered herself. The result was a different outlet and a change in approach. “When I started painting these walls, I didn’t know the possibilities or the opportunities that came with it” she told Juxtapoz. “The travel, the growth, and how it allowed me to share myself to the world”

Painting her first wall in 2010 she has since traveled far. “I try to create images that make us question the system in which we live” she said. Railing against the artificially curated, her work speaks to herself and her own experiences. Placing herself fully within the space at the time. Her street art is very much her own commentary on the matters she is trying to convey.

‘What Remains’ is a mural from Brazil which draws attention to the high death rate amongst women in a society with strict anti-abortion laws

Storytelling and the Streets

Tamara Djurovic aka Hyuro is a storyteller as much as she is an artist. Living in Spain since around 2010 she has possibly her highest concentration number of murals there as well many more throughout Europe. Building up an impressive body of work these are all pieces with things to say. Stories hiding in plain sight amidst the subtle layers of paint.

Much of her body of work looks at social justice. A lot could be seen as a commentary on the role and treatment of women and the family within society. Powerful murals in South America for example address the role criminalisation of abortion plays in the premature death rate of women. A striking mural in Villareal meanwhile is a direct challenge against the Spanish justice system following a judges de-legitimisation of sexual assault.

Hyuro’s work has echoes of community within it

Space and Community

Concepts too of space and community are explored across her work. How people occupy space and how they are seen and portrayed. Community in terms of societal norms and how culture and our upbringing can shape our lives and our societies. In the UK her work in Aberdeen plays on all these topics yet with an added political dimension. Showing two people squabbling but stuck in the same shirt. It is a play on the relationship between Scotland and England. Often co-dependent on one another but in many respects trying to tear apart.

Looking back on Hyuro’s murals over the years her use of movement and shadow too continue to draw us in. We are seeing snippets of real life in her work. Moments, set often in an abstract way yet fully identifiable. She was a remarkable artist. A hugely talented painter whose work on the street allowed her an amplified voice. Tamara and her work will be dearly missed. Her legacy as one of the foremost street artists of her generation will remain.

Aalborg, Denmark (2019) – Keep it Green

Car covered in a green sheet in Aalborg, Denmark

Stavanger, Norway (2019)

Hyuro mural in Stavanger
Part of the Nuart festival in Stavanger. Photo by Brian Tallman

Nou Scene Stavanger, Norway (2019)

Hyuro art in Nou Scene, Stavanger. This was also part of the NuArt Festival. Photo by Ian Cox

 Madrid, Spain – Advertise the non-advertising

A response to the culture of roadside advertising

Besancon, France (2019) – Occupy Spaces

Hyuro mural in Besancon, France
Occupy Spaces mural by Hyuro in France

Nihmegan, Netherlands (2019) – De Plak Collective Restaurant Mural

A mural on the side of a restaurant in Nihmegan

Sagunto, Spain (2018) – Education

Hyuro mural in Sagunto, Spain
Mural in the courtyard of a local primary school in Sagunto, Spain

Villareal, Spain (2018) – Patriarcado

A mural which draws attention to a court case in Spain where the gang rape of a girl was treated as ‘sexual abuse’ by a judge

Werchter, Belgium (2018) – The Dance as an Act of Resistence¨-

Mural at the Rock Werchter Festival in Werchter, Belgium

Belo Horizonte, Brazil 2018 – What Remains

Painted as part of the CURO festival in Brazil. It is a commentary against the criminalization of abortion in Brazil. It leads to many women dying needlessly each year in the country

Heerlen, Netherlands 2018

Woman holds a repaired vase on a wall in the Netherlands

Cotignola, Italy 2018 – Arzdora

A reference to the structure and composition of an Italian family in Cotignola

Reus, Spain (2018) – Womart Project

Hyuro mural as part of the Womart Festival by Rebobinart

Aberdeen, Scotland (2018)

Hyuro mural in Aberdeen
The squabbling twins is an analogy of the relationship between Scotland and England

La Punta, Valencia, Spain (2018)

Hyuro mural in La Punta, Valencia
La Punta is an area of Valencia known for its orchards

Cologne, Germany (2017) – Sharing

Hyuro mural in Cologne
Mural in Cologne for the Cityleaks festival

Oregan, USA (2017) – Reverse sequence of an act of destruction

Hyuro mural in Oregan, USA
Hyuro mural in Oregan, USA

Barcelona, Spain (2017) – Process of occupying a space

Hyuro mural in Barcelona
Mural for the US Barcelona Festival

Cabanyal, Valencia, Spain (2017)

Mural in Cabanyal, Spain by Hyuro

Oostende, Belgium 2017

Mural by Hyuro part of the Crystal Ship Festival in 2017

Aalborg, Denmark (2016) – Transition

Hyuro mural in Aalborg for the WE AArt festival. Photo by Allan Toft

Corato, Italy (2016) – Abandonment

Abandonment, a mural as part of the Verso Sud Festival in Italy

Ragusa, Sicily (2016) – Una donna libera

Mural by Hyuro for FestiWall in Sicily. Pic by Marcello Bocchieri

Fanzara, Spain (2016) – A la Fresca

A tribute to the habit of taking seats out onto the porch during hot nights in Spain

Manchester, England (2016) – War Impact on Childrens Lives

A mural reference to the impact war has on children for the Cities of Hope Festival in Manchester

Fortaleza, Brazil (2015) – Público/ Privada

A mural at the Universidad Federal do Ceara at the Centro de Humanidades in Brazil. It is a reference to how abortion is forbidden in many South American countries. How this is not often spoken about and how it is a taboo not normally spoken about despite being a significant cause of premature death amongst women

Cardiff, Wales (2014) – Empty Walls Festival

Mural as part of the Empty Walls Festival in Cardiff. Photo by Helen Bur

Monterrey, México (2014)

Mural painted for the for Callegenera Festival in Monterrey. Photo by Barrio Antigo

Gaeta, Italy (2014) – Memorie Urbane Festival

Mural as part of the Memorie Urbane Festival in Italy. Photo by Flavia Fiengo

Formia, Italy (2013) – Elimination of Violence Against Women

Painted in Italy as part of the international day of elimination of violence against women. Photo by Flavia Fiengo

Tamara Djurovic also known as Hyuro passed away at her home in Valencia on 19 November 2020. She had been diagnosed with leukemia.

For other articles featuring the work of Tamara Djurovic aka Hyuro, have a look below:

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