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2012 Gilf! Mural

New York-based street artist Gilf! was commissioned to create a mural for the 2012 Beethoven Festival. Her piece, Sinfonia Eroica was installed at the National Pastime Theater in Chicago.

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Sinfonia Eroica, 2012

Artist Statement

The creative arts have always been at the forefront of societal revolutions. Whether music, dance, or visual art these creatives push the boundaries of what is conceptually viable in their cultures. Beethoven was no different with his groundbreaking work largely influencing Europe during the French Revolution and the Enlightenment Period.

Parallels can easily be drawn between today and that time period. With the rise of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movements our inter-connected world is evolving at hyper speed. As a street artist I find the opportunity to create a visual dialog with the world is the best way to voice my outrage. Exposing those who abuse their power, and offering a polar perspective to the standard views of the American public drives my creative spirit. Inspired by Beethoven’s unyielding drive in the face of many of his life’s obstacles, and his pure indignation for aristocracy, “Sinfonia Eroica” shows the vigor of the creative genius in his most visceral form.

The title of this piece comes from the composition Beethoven originally dedicated to Napoleon but got so mad at his politics that he scratched Napoleon’s name out, retitled to Eroica and dedicated the piece to one of his patrons.


Gilf! is a contemporary street artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BFA in Fine Art and subsequently moved to Brooklyn. Recognized as a strong voice of the current street art scene in New York she has been included in various group shows throughout the country as well as multiple solo shows since her interior debut in 2010. Motivated by her outrage at our culture’s lack of response to the crumbling structures of society she choses to voice her disdain through spray paint and installation work. While recognizing that a positive voice is needed to create change she works to inspire her viewers while simultaneously causing them to take pause and consider the ramifications of our societal actions.