by Marta Millere in New Art on Wednesday 9 April 2014

If you’re a devoted Imgur or Reddit user, you will have noticed an astonishing photo of street art dating back to 2012, showing a bearded giant struggling to get out of a small house. That small house is in Rennes, located in the French region of Bretagne, and the genius behind this mural is MTO.

We’re lucky that someone shot this video of MTO at work as he was painting this monster of a mural. The giant painted on the timid little house in Rennes is only part of MTO’s project entitled ‘The legend of Fred ILLE & Gwen VILAINE’.

MTO, or Mateo as his mother fondly calls him, is a mysterious street artist who was born in France but currently lives in Berlin, Germany. His work is characterized by incredibly real-looking, detailed renditions of cool actors and musicians from the 70s and 80s, with a dash of red as his signature or around his work as a line to mark off remaining wall-space that other artists could use.

His work can be labelled as street art but we think that it goes far beyond graffiti. MTO has a true knack for capturing the right expression on his subjects’ faces, be it Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Wonder or Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura, to get the most out of them and, somehow, increase the transmission of the message while leaving the passersby intrigued, entertained or even angered.

European cities like Berlin and Barcelona are full of his work, which is often very large: up to two meters high and wide. There’s talk on the web that it usually only takes him around five hours to create his smaller pieces and up to a week for the bigger ones, like the giant struggling to get out of the house.