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Rome Reports

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Religious Street Art? Local artist says why not?

MR. KLEVRA Street Artist (Rome) "Nowadays street art is very direct, violent and aggressive. But these images are clean and simple.â? The 34 year old goes by the name of 'Mr. Klevra.' He works full time as an engineer and on his free time he designs religious posters.  His favorite style is Byzantine iconography. Over the years he has posted roughly 300 posters throughout Rome and Florence. But he acknowledges that once posted, they are no longer his. They belong to the entire city. MR. KLEVRA Street Artist (Rome) "That actually happened with a poster I made of St. Sebastian. I went to check on it and a woman who worked nearby came out and yelled at me. She said leave my poster alone! I told her, 'I made the poster.' She didn't believe me, she thought I was covering it with graffiti.â? As a Catholic, he says his inspiration comes from a combination of the Gospel, his family and every day life.   With so many churches in Rome, many of them often go unnoticed.  But he thinks it's this type of modern religious art, that leaves an impression and makes people stop, think and reflect. MR. KLEVRA Street Artist (Rome) "Once, an elderly woman passed by one of my Madonna posters and gave it a kiss. Then she just kept on walking. That's a good feeling, knowing that the message gets across.â? His current project is not out on the street, but inside an architectural gallery in Rome. The theme is the Apocalypse. MR. KLEVRA Street Artist (Rome) "I don't do it for fame or notoriety. That just doesn't interest me.â? What does interest him is exposing the message of Christianity, out in the open, in places other than churches, so that all people can be inspired as they go about their daily lives. KLH MG/MR KLEVRA JM -MGZ