Add Fuel to the Streets! The Amazing Tile-like Pieces by Diogo Machado

Add Fuel (Diogo Machado, 1980) has been building a solid reputation as a visual artist and illustrator in recent years. Having first created a unique visual universe populated by sci-fi inspired, fun-loving creatures, this Portuguese artist has recently redirected his attention to reinterpreting the language of traditional tile design, and the Portuguese azulejo (glazed tiles) in particular. Filled with humor and mental games, his vector-based designs or stencil-based street art reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail.

                             

Memorie Urbaine- Italy- Photo: Ines Vilardouro

Memorie Urbaine- Italy- Photo: Ines Vilardouro

 

We see you combine Street Art pieces and illustration.  How do you define yourself as an artist?

Well, I have a university degree in Graphic Design, which helped me a lot with my work as an illustrator (and artist), to get to know all the digital tools, computer programs etc. I don’t really define myself as a Graphic Designer, I haven’t work in Graphic Design for almost ten years now. Illustration was always my passion. I’ve been drawing since I was a child and when I felt that Graphic Design wasn’t the right path for me, I turned my direction towards freelance illustration. I did (and sometimes still do) a lot of cool and nice projects with awesome clients. And that is also something I include in my art. My illustration world is present in the art I do now. I combine both of them. I plan a lot digitally for my murals but sketch all the works by hand, actually it’s a mix.

Atlantic Sailfish by Add Fuel

Atlantic Sailfish by Add Fuel – Photo: Irina Karishcheva

What are your artistic influences or sources of inspiration?

I combine lots of different elements. The work I’ve been developing in the past years around ceramics, patterns and tradition obviously has a lot of influence from traditional Portuguese culture, but I always include my own personal touch, my universe. A mixture of sci-fi, cartoons and (soft) horror. I’ve been working on re-interpretations of traditional elements, so I do a lot of research in books and Internet about patterns. Currently, I’m including figures in my works as a complement for patterns, so I’m also looking into old paintings, drawings and engravings.

Add Fuel More than metal – Cascais – Photo: Rui Gaiola

From a unique visual universo full of sci-fi inspired characters and themes, lately you have reinterpreted the traditional Portuguese tile design. Tell us more about this shift in your career.

Yes, it’s been quite a ride!! As I mentioned, I worked as a Graphic Designer for some years. However it was not fulfilling me, so I steered my career towards illustration. I did a lot of nice stuff, collaborations with MTV, Red Bull, Nike, both, solo pieces and collective shows. I even released an iPhone App called “Planet Fire”, a cool little wallpaper generator.

Add Fuel- Walk Talk, Azores- Photo: Rui Soares

Add Fuel- Walk Talk, Azores- Photo: Rui Soares

 

Then in 2008, for the first time,  I had the chance the work in my hometown in a project called “CascaisArtSpace”. At that time, I was working as an illustrator, but I wanted to do something that defined me as part of the city I grew up in. Then I took this idea a step further and decided to look into something that would define me as a Portuguese. This specific project consisted of a printing on a huge canvas to be showed in the city train station.  So I tried to image how my work looked like on a wall. In Portugal, many buildings are covered with tiles, so it  made sense to explore that field. I included my illustration in a (now looking back) simple pattern and used the 17th century colour scheme of blue and yellow. It worked quite well and I was really happy with the result, so I really felt I needed to explore that further.

I checked out some ceramic techniques and got some machines for my studio to make tiles, because at that specific time, I felt like I had to put my work in the streets, return my tiles to the streets. I´m still exploring that area, but now I use the ceramic tiles to do limited editions and unique pieces, but switched to stencil for murals.      

Ceramic Work by Add Fuel

                        

Recently, you have participated in MurosTabalacera in Madrid. Tell us more about this project. Why did you decide to take part in this project in Madrid?

In early 2015, February, I visited Madrid and viewed murals in Muros de Tabacalera. Coincidentally, this year I was invited by Madrid Street Art Project to take part in this new edition. Madrid is such a nice and vibrant city and specifically Lavapiés neighbourhood. Moreover, it’s the closest European capital to Lisbon, so I really wanted to be a part of this, I couldn’t refuse. Portuguese and Spanish cultures have a lot in common and I tried to represent the connection between both cultures in my mural.  I also added the touch of a King both countries had in common in the 17th century.

Add Fuel FLIPPED in Muros Tabacalera 2016 – Photo: Add Fuel

What projects are you currently involved now or in a near future?

This year has been crazy!! I started off with going to the US for the 352 walls project, then, I went to Italy (Memoire Urbane) and Australia (Public 2016). During the summer, I’ll be mostly in Portugal, up and down the country. Then, by the end of August, I’ll go back to the US and in September and October,  I have a few more projects in September and October in Europe, but I can’t speak about them now. And in between, studio work, edition/ceramic releases and working on new pieces for shows.

                                                

Are you familiar with Amsterdam Street_Art scene? Have you ever worked here?

Not really, sorry. I know of some festivals and artists, but I’ve never been to Amsterdam (work or leisure!!). I guess it’s about time, right?

 

Add Fuel UPWARDS DESCENT Perth PUBLIC 2016

Add Fuel UPWARDS DESCENT Perth – Photo: Luke Shirlaw

Currently, there´re many interesting Street Art projects going on in Portugal and many Portuguese Street Artists are internationally well known. Can you give us reasons to explain this Street-Art Golden Age in your country?

For some years now in Portugal there are in lots of interesting projects and artists. I think by 2008 the City Council of Lisbon opened a department called GAU (Galeria de Arte Urbana) and since then the City Hall has been opened to new ideas and projects. This has promote different associations and institutions such as Mistaker Maker and Underdogs in Lisbon and Circus in Porto, (just to mention a few). These organise events and promote artists in these areas.

                                              

I guess that people also appreciate art pieces in the street.  They embrace them as enriching elements for their cityscape. I have to say that this is only my opinion, of course, and above all I’m happy and feel blessed to be able to contribute with my art.

 

Add Fuel METRICAL GEOMETRICAL EXERCISE Albany

Add Fuel METRICAL GEOMETRICAL EXERCISE Albany – Photo: Add Fuel

 

In your opinion, what is the impact of Internet,  Web2.0 and digital revolution on Street Art? Does it have an impact on your art? What art webs or artist you follow?

Impressionism started in France in the 19th century, Expressionism in the early 20th century in Germany just to mention a couple examples, and these very localized movements didn’t “explode” in the way Street_Art has exploded.  Information and ideas travelled slower in the past. I think that Street Art can be considered the first global movement in human history, and art history in particular and this is only possible thanks to the Internet. And we’re talking about art in the streets. If you’re casually walking down the street and you see an amazing mural, stencil work or past up piece, you can just take a picture with your cell phone and post it online and all of a sudden someone in another part of the globe can see it. We live in the future!

                             

Add Fuel COMVIDA

Add Fuel COMVIDA – Lisbon – Photo: Rui Gaiola

A challenge for the future? I’m working on some new techniques with ceramic, looking forward to reach that point where I’m happy with the results and will actually start doing something with that. I my murals I’ve been inserting figures, that I painted freehand. I know I can still work on that to make them better. And my constant challenge is always thinking about new ways to work with a square.

Add Fuel - Photo by Bewley Shaylor

Add Fuel – Photo by Bewley Shaylor

ASA Artist Interview Series With TUCO

Hey everyone! Great to hear from you again! Check out our latest blog interview with TUCO.

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1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we need to know?

To begin, many thanks to ASA Team for interviewing! In the near future, I’m very happy to have my first solo show in a very friendly gallery called Art Bref in Paris. I will begin in June. I try to develop my hybrid fiends called ‘manimals’ but for this event, I choose a theme, which looks really important to me. Balance and imbalance. In French, it is called “Des Equilbres”. And of course, continue to paste various stuff on streets and in the countryside!

2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?

Actually, I often use wood for making my artworks. I collect different kinds of wood, different tree species… I really love sawing, sandind, dyeing, touching, smelling wood! I like the idea to realize a different support each time. I plan to use other mediums soon such as maps, books, suitcases…

3. How do you look at the Dutch street art and graffiti scene?

To be honest, I’m not an expert about Dutch street art. But I follow very precisely the great works of Ives One and Sjem Bakkus. I was lucky to meet them in Amsterdam last year following a participation in a group show at the GO Gallery. And I hope to come again to visit the great Amsterdam. Of course, I check the walls and canvas of The London Police. Who doesn’t appreciate their stuff in fact?

4. What is the next step in to the future of street art?

Wahou, so complicated question! I don’t really know… Maybe, just a thing that should never die for kids and for everybody, in fact… Keep drawing, pasting, and writing on walls for pleasure!

5. If you have to choose, which city would you like to conquer next?

It’s again so hard to answer… but if I have to choose one today, I would pick Reykjavik. I went one time in Island, and I dream to paint a huge manimal on a wall there! I like this contrast between a city and the nature… But I really want to paint in so many cities. London, Barcelona, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Lisboa, Tokyo…

6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own
progress of the last years?

Thanks you for the compliment! Well, it’s very difficult to stand back from things and judge your own work in fact… Anyways, I try to improve myself as much as I can. I continue to discover mediums and techniques, and of course keep dreaming again and again.

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7. You’re a very dedicated artist who travels around the world. Is there any advise you
can give to younger dedicated artists and your fans?

I started painting quite late… I think I was a little bit shy to dare making something in streets.
I feel I’m not really credible to give some advice, but if I have to write one, it will be something like… Dream! And dare!

8. What is the biggest change in the last twenty years if you look at the street art and graffiti scene?

Maybe the fact that now, many people like to discover and search new drawings and pastings on walls. The “image” has changed the last few years, we no longer talk of vandalism but art now! 

9. What is your favorite work of the last year?
The next one!

Zosen – the Interview with the Bandit

Zosen Bandido‘s amazing works are not new in Amsterdam Street Art’s blog, as we have seen some of his collaborations with Mina Hamada, the Japanese street artist whom we interviewed a few weeks ago.  Born in Buenos Aires, Zosen Bandido (Bandit in English) moved to Barcelona when he was almost a teenager and there he started his artistic career, though today you can find his works all around the world.  Zosen’s pieces are colourful and filled with geometric patterns and symbols that create his unique fantastic worlds and are able to immerse the viewer in a vivid universe.

Color Mountain by Zosen and Mina Hamada- Photo: Zosen

Color Mountain by Zosen and Mina Hamada- Photo: Zosen

Zosen, tell us about your latest works?  What projects are you currently involved in?

In the past few months we have been very busy. I’ve been travelling a lot with Mina Hamada, as you know we often collaborate. We have visited Paris, where we painted a mural with 2Shy.  We coordinated the 4th edition of La Escocesa. Also we visited Poland and Houston in US, there we painted an amazing mural.  That was fantastic since in Houston it´s difficult to find new street art pieces apart from traditional letters and tagging.

Gotowe Mural by Zosen and Mina- Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Gotowe Mural by Zosen – Gdansk- Poland- Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Back in Barcelona we painted a huge wall. To be honest, I am not so interested in so big formats. Many artists seem to compete to see who can paint the biggest mural. It´s so exhausting!  And also I think that this short of interventions boosts gentrification process in historic districts and I don’t want part of it. It’s very sad when people have to leave their homes because rents are too high for them.  Later, we took part in three collective exhibitions, one in Paris called Barcelona Mia (My Barcelona),  other in a gallery in Madrid, A través del muro, Through the Wall, with relevant artists of Spanish artistic scene and finally we were in Family and Friends in Delimbo. A collective show with friends, like Okuda San Miguel, Remed, Nano4814, Hell’o, Jon Fox and Mina.

In Penelles, Lleida, I made a mural with Mina at the GarGar Festival and right now we are in New York working in some local projects.

Photo: Zosen

Mural by Zosen and Mina Hamada in Wynwood- Miami, US – Photo: Gustavo Amaral – Click here for amazing Wynwood video!!

A busy year! What’s next?

Well, in June I’ll present a stop-motion video and two murals for Genesis Project in Metric Market and then in July we’ll run the 5th edition of La Escocesa´s Mural Festival.

Work in Process- Photo: Elena Murcia Artengo

Work in progress- Photo: Elena Murcia Artengo

Are you familiar with Amsterdam’s street art scene? Have you ever worked there?

In 1997, I visited Amsterdam for the first time with Mash, a graffiti-bomber from Barcelona. It was amazing to see all those pieces by masters like Sender, Zedz, Shoe or Delta, a pioneer combining 2D and 3D pieces.  Amsterdam is one of the most significant cities in terms of urban art. Many Amsterdam artists are benchmarks of European street art. They have created many new techniques and were pioneers in many fields. Other artists, a little younger, like Bfree or Lennard Schuumans, are doing their own contributions and are interesting too.

Tree of Life - Canvas by Zosen- Photo: Zosen

Tree of Life – Canvas by Zosen- Photo: Zosen

Tell us about La Escocesa Project! 

La Escocesa was a former industrial complex located in the district of Poblenou, Barcelona. The development was initially dedicated to the production of chemical products for the textile industry, and dates back to 1852. Since 1999, it has become a creation space and meeting point for artists, which had previously been in short supply in Poblenou and other parts of the city. Hundreds of artists and crafts people from different disciplines have worked in its facilities since then.

Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Mural in Gdansk (Poland) by Zosen – Photo: Lukasz Glowala

Now we are in fight too because in Poblenou, a district where there were many textile mills in the past, but not now. All were closed down, only chimneys remains as historic heritage. But there are many new hotels in the area and our space is resisting urban development pressures. Like other artistic or social projects of its kind, La Escocesa is a threatened space. We almost don’t receive subsidies from public bodies, so we get our own funds and our artist pay a token fee to maintain the facilities.

Mural by Zosen - Córdoba- Argentina: Photo: Zosen

Mural by Zosen – Córdoba (Argentina) – Photo: Kosovo Gallery –

You often collaborate with Mina Hamada. You define yourself as an anarchist. What’s it like working with a person from a different cultural background like Japan, a country where people are supposed to be so disciplined and respectful of public spaces?

Normally, I like working with other artists. When I met Mina she already painted graffiti. Actually we met in a workshop that I hosted for the Picasso Museum, and she attended. She painted with spray and I saw her technique was very good. She comes from the area of illustration and had experience in illustrating books for kids. Mina is not the typical Japanese woman. She’s a free spirit, born in the US, but brought up in Japan. She loves listening  to punk music. That surprised me! She looks angelical, but she’s got a wild side! We are both into veggie food too. So we share many views and we both belong to the alternative part of society;  that’s why I think our artistic relationship has run its course well.

 

Tigger and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Tiger and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Devil and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Demon and Vase by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

You are like Yin and Yang, aren’t U?

Yeah! Fire versus water. She loves colours and so do I. When I paint with her I try to adapt to her style. I work more figures, more graphic aspects. Our collaborations show homogeneity and look as just one piece. We don’t use sketches. It’s an organic creative process. Each one respects the part of the other.  A natural dialogue between two artists. Something fresh and spontaneous!

Drinking Jub by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

Drinking Jug by Zosen- Photo: German Rigol

What are the effects of Internet and digital shift on street art? Does it have an impact on your art?

I don’t like the fast pace of modern life too much. However, I do like being up to day with new technologies.  The democratisation of media is fine. You don’t need to be affluent to afford these technologies and make your own creations. In the 90’s, it was not easy to document our pieces and other stuff since having a video camera was not cheap. It’s important to record the pieces for the future, like Marta Cooper or Henry Chalfant  did.  However, I don’t like when artists compete to achieve “likes” in Facebook, and some new street artists are into this.

Mural by Zosen

Mural by Zosen  in Cologne (Germany)  – Photo: Rodrigo Mirando

Today there is an information overload. I like reading or watching what I’m interested in. Information is infinite, but our lives are not, so you need to stop and limit the time you spend in front of screens and other devices.  That’s because I not very active in street art social media nor web2.0

Photo: Zosen

Canvas by Zosen and Mina Hamada – Photo: Mina Hamada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASA Artist Interview Series With Roy Schreuder

Check out our latest ASA artist interview with Roy Schreuder!

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  1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we need to know?
    Thanks! I will be travelling a lot this year. In June, I will paint some big walls at Roskilde festival in Denmark and later this year I will travel around Germany, Portugal and South-East Asia to get some work done there.

  2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?
    I mainly paint walls, electricity boxes and other objects in public space. Every now and then I work on canvas or wood, like I did for my exhibition earlier this year. When it comes to paint I only use spray cans, besides the occasional bucket of latex paint. Spray cans still seem to be the best and fastest tool to produce strong images on walls. I try to push myself to progress in use of colors and to make pieces fit in their environment.

  3. How do you look at the Dutch street art and graffiti scene?
    I think we have a really big and diverse scene here. In every aspect of the scene whether it is street art, legal graffiti or train writing, there are guys that try to push it to the next level. The scene is always changing and evolving, so that works as a good motivation.

  4. In your opinion, what is does the future look like for street art?
    Who’s to say? To be honest, I don’t have a clue. Street art is widely appreciated nowadays and it seems to survive the hype. I think more and more cities will ask artists to brighten up their walls and make them a bit more interesting.

  5. If you have to choose, which city would you like to conquer next?
    There isn’t one specific city. However, I would like to travel to cities or smaller villages that have not been exposed to a lot of street art and graffiti yet. In some of the big cities there is almost an overkill of murals and pieces, so it might be more interesting to work in areas where it is still something special.

  6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own progress of the last years?
    I think it has been a good step to mainly do freehand work, next to my stencils. Now most of the walls that I paint are freehand and it just gives you a lot more options to work with a specific spot and freestyle a bit more. Therefore the results also get more surprising.

  7. You are a very dedicated artist and travel around the world. Is there any advise you can give to younger dedicated artists?
    For some reason most writers are into travelling and getting their name up abroad. In almost every city there is a friend of a friend that has a good hook-up. Crash on their couches and return the favour when they are visiting your city. For me, this has been a great way to meet people around Europe and I would recommend anyone to do the same.

  8. What is the biggest change in the last twenty years if you look at street art and graffiti scene?
    Haha. You should ask the old schoolers. Even though many people see it as a negative change, I think the internet has done a lot for the graffiti scene overall. It’s incredibly easy to find likeminded people and stay in contact with friends abroad. Also the flow of inspiration is pretty much endless. I think this is one of the reasons why styles and subjects painted by different artists got so diverse.

  9. What is your favorite work of the last year?
    The experiments with positive and negative images I would say. I think they turned out pretty well and there is still a lot of space to explore that further.
  10. You won the first Dutch Street Art Award for Best Talent. How did this made you feel and what does it mean?
    It’s nice to get credits for the work that you do and almost surreal to get an award for it. I am happy with the award and it has a nice spot on the shelf in my house.

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Graffiti Pop – An interview with Antonio de Felipe

As one of the most internationally renowned Spanish artists, with 25 years of professional success during which he has displayed his work in multiple countries, Antonio de Felipe landed a triple somersault with his Graffiti Pop Exhibitions, with an artistic approach that has put him in the lead of Spanish contemporary art and which has connected with the greater public. He welcomed me to his New York-style studio in the center of Madrid, Spain.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Tell me how the project came about to collaborate in the street art project for the Miami Marine Stadium.

When I started to work on the series about music, I had already had it in mind to do one about graffiti. I had been working on it for 2 years, and I went to Miami, where I went to Wynwood, the Sistine Chapel of graffiti, and the possibility came about to do something there, through the Stephans who wanted to prevent the Miami Marine Stadium, a work by a Cuban architect, from getting knocked down. The possibility came about to participate in a renovation project for the stadium, making it into a maritime center, a museum, and a sea-front park as a public space for all kinds of events. It was a great experience, a wake-up call to work harder, having worked with artists from around the world and having left my footprint using graffiti concepts with a pop style.

The Beast - Antonio de Felipe

The Beast – Antonio de Felipe

You are a renowned artist with more than 25 years of experience in the field. What drew you to urban art and to participate in a project like this?

Today, Street Art belongs to the collective imagination. I am interested in its topics and I give them another reading, my own personal approach. It’s also a way to assert that there are big artists in the world of Graffiti and Street Art.

What new subjects have you tackled in his exhibition?

I feed off of everything that has caught my attention in the last 4 years. At the same time, this is an homage to a kind of art that is sometimes underrated. There are people who are geniuses like Banksy, with a very coherent and interesting artistic discourse, but his work also is highly valued in the art market. This could be seen as contradictory. On the one hand, you’re making social criticism and criticizing the system and at the same time you are part of that system.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

In your Graffiti Pop exhibition, we have seen that you reinterpret urban artists, some with recognized international prestige such as Basquiat and Banksy.  Are you in contact with the world of Spanish urban art?

Not very much. I am not in contact with many graffiti artists. I didn’t see it as necessary. I have taken from urban art what interested me for my work and I have interpreted it from my own point of view. On the other hand, they are also a somewhat closed group. Many artists in urban art see me as kind of a novice. I don’t really understand their point. I’ve made tributes to street artists and they have been bothered by it. It’s a way of paying homage to them. It is a reinterpretation of what I am constantly seeing; it isn’t copying. Certain urban artists have seen it as an intrusion. I am one of the most copied artists in this country, and I take it with a good sense of humor. If they’re copying me, it’s because what I do is good.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Would you like to participate in a similar project here in Spain?

Of course, I would love to. I think that the way to promote urban art is with the dividing walls, to increase the esthetic of the cities and improve them. It’s a plus. Yes, I would love to participate in projects that are accessible to everybody.

If the local governments promoted this type of project, it would be an option to get to make the cities more beautiful.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Where does your nickname, The Beast, come from?

Hahaha, when they saw me working in Miami, they told me, “Your work is fucking amazing! You’re a beast!” They saw me as a dude with a lot of energy when I work. It was a nickname given to me by others. The phrase was really funny to me, so I created the image of The Beast, which is like Wolverine, but instead of claws, I have brushes.

I read in an interview that as a Valencian, you create in order to destroy, and urban art is often fleeting. Is this related?

The concept of Graffiti Pop was more than an exhibition of paintings. I did short-lived works and once they were finished, they were covered up. This is very much connected to the spirit of the Valencian festival, Les Falles, something created in order to be destroyed. It was interesting to me to play with the duality of exhibiting works that touch on hyperrealism, combined with short-lived works.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Was it comfortable for you to work with the Street Art materials themselves?

Years ago, I worked with airbrushes, and I worked as an idea man in an advertising agency in the pre-computer era. We did everything by hand. I had been using an airbrush since the 80’s. And I haven’t used it since, and neither the spray. I’ve had to get with the times, to use different nozzles, stencils, and use masks. I’ve combined it with my visual language which is acrylic and paint brush on canvas, so it’s been very enriching. An interesting experience. I think this is the series I have created with the most energy and drive.

Audrey by Antonio de Felipe

Audrey by Antonio de Felipe

What impact do you think the digital revolution and the Web 2.0 has had on urban art?

I know that some graffiti artists make graffiti in order to put it online, once they have the photo, which is permanent, they forget the work. It certainly has been useful in popularizing graffiti and urban art.

My favorite social network is Instagram, because it is the most visual. I use it like a travel journal, a logbook. It gives access to people so that they can follow you.

You have exhibited your work in many cities and countries. Which countries would you like to exhibit your work in where you haven’t yet?

Many. For example, New York is like the golden dream in terms of Pop Art. My artistic idols are Warhol and Velázquez. The classics constantly appear in my work, along with the playful nature of pop.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

What projects are you working on currently?

This catalog with a very urban esthetic, like a newspaper. I’ve done books before and this is a fanzine. I have given the design painstaking care up to the last detail. I am very meticulous. It comes from my time spent working at the advertising agency. I don’t limit myself only to the work, but to everything, the image, etc.

I’m also doing work on paper for collectors who are starting out. In this way I can reach a younger audience, so that they can have access to an original work at a more accessible price. This allows me to be free and they work really well. I realized that Graffiti Pop was attended by people from different generations. This was fascinating to me, because this series is very visceral. It has connected the most with all kinds of people. With this exhibition, I have lost my fear of excess, something I learned in Miami. The exhibition has to be excessive. I tried it and I think I succeeded.

Work in progress - Antonio de Felipe

Work in progress – Antonio de Felipe

Well precisely this, excess, is what Antonio de Felipe showed me at all times, an excess of generosity, friendliness, and professionalism. Without a doubt the features of any great artist.

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

Graffiti Pop by Antonio de Felipe

 

 

Wild Welva, an amazing Street_Art project

Wild Welva is an incredible Street_Art project going on in Huelva, Spain. I had a coffee with Seba Ventana, the man behind  Wild Welva and we talked about his artistic career and his projects.

How do you define yourself as an artist?

I don´t regard myself as a graffiti writer. Often, all Street_Art is considered as graffiti, but it´s not. I´m an urban artist because I paint in the streets, not for galleries. My art has no sense indoors, inside a building. I rather paint outdoors, close to nature. Once my artistic piece is in the street is not my work any longer, but it belongs to the city and is part of urban furniture and equipment. It belongs to the people who look at them.

Horse by Wild Welva Huelva, Spain

Horse by Wild Welva, Street_Art piece in Huelva, Spain

When did your start painting?

When I was a little kid. I loved painting animals at that time.  Wild Welva is a new project I started one year ago or so, but I´ve been working with stencils and on canvas much earlier.

Where does the name Wild Welva come from?

It´s a phonetic approximation of the Arabic name of Huelva, Wild Huelva.

Lion and lamb by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Lion and lamb by Wild Welva, Street_Art piece in Huelva, Spain

What are your artistic influences or sources of inspiration?

Recently, I´ve known incredible street artists thanks to webs like Amsterdam Street Art that shares a lot of amazing works and interventions. I do like Levalet or Alexis Diaz´s works. I think they are amazing! I also love antique engravings of animals and Modernist Art that combines nature and animals, and comics too. For example, Adrian Tomine can tell a whole story with just a single image. I love that!

Although, formerly, I liked painters like Goya or Velázquez, currently I´m into contemporary artists. To be honest, I think contemporary painting is far more interesting.

Flamingos in Paris by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Street_Art work in Paris, France

What´s your artistic education background?

I´m a self-taught artist. When I was a little kid I began painting.  I´ve worked with artist  communities, like Laca Digital Colectivo, but I did not have a formal education.

What projects are you currently involved now or you will in a near future?

As part of  Wild Welva Project , I´m involved in a crowd-funding campaign with We the Vandals, a web site in Poland that support street artists. They proposed me to choose a project and I decided to paint endangered wild species in Paris. So far, the campaign is good, so if everything goes well, I´ll go to Paris in spring.

Monkey by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Monkey by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What materials and resources do you currently use in your street art projects or Works? 

Paper! Since my artistic technique is paste-up so,  tons of paper! A special weather resistant paper. You know sunlight is intense here in Huelva and the rain too. I was hard to find the right one, but finally I found it. Also, I use special markets. Currently, I ´m using acrylic paints to add some colour.  Some colour looks good in black and white drawings!

Monkeys and Easter

Monkeys and Easter

In terms of formats, I like big size formats. My aim is to achieve bigger formats and sizes in the future.  My works are like big jigsaws, a collage, and you need to fit all pieces together. Often, I need help because it´s really difficult to paste-up big size pieces. First, you have to glue the wall, then the rear side of the paper should be glued too, a bit of varnishing… It´s really a very ephemeral work. Much more ephemeral than graffiti!!!

Doves by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Doves by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Tell me more about Wild Welva project. How did it start? Any change?

Wild Welva started thanks to a sort of vision I had one afternoon when I went for a wals.  I love marshlands and flamingos and I often go to the flamingo wild park in Huelva outskirts. It was amazing! All those flamingos so close to the city!  I thought it would be a great idea to bring flamingos to the city. So,  I started painting flamingos all over the city. Later, I started painting other non-local animals and exotic species. I realized that I spoke through these animals, in a way they are me.

Rhino and baby by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Rhino and baby by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What are the themes or issues that prevail in your current work? Any evolution along the time?

Wild Welva is a project focused on animals and nature. Formerly, I made some interventions with more social criticism. You can see a social aspect in what I do now, but I´m the source of it, it´s an emotional art. Some people may say they find an ecological side in my works, for example in the locked monkeys, but that´s their own interpretation, not mine.

Flamingos in Finnland

Flamingos in Iceland

In your opinion, what is the impact of Internet , web2.0 and digital revolution on street art?

Very important without a doubt, I think that today a street art work is not complete until it´s uploaded. We all strive for good photos once the piece is finished. It´s exiting when one of your works gets hundreds of likes in social media after a few hours. Years ago reaching so many people was impossible for street artists. Now, the web is a global neighbourhood.

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Flamingos by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

What do you think about Huelva as a street art city?  What are people or authorities’ attitudes towards street art?

Huelva is now under the media focus in terms of street art. People have changed their attitude towards street art. Thanks to Man-o-Matic´s job, street art is well accepted in our city and people are proud of their street artists and their open air museums. Man-o-Matic has made a great job in that sense! The quality of the pieces and murals is high compared to other street art works you may find in other cities.

Born to be wild by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Born to be wild by Wild Welva, Huelva, Spain

Public authorities have a positive attitude in regard to our works. Even they have cleaned up the lots where murals are made. An example of how art can boost urban regeneration in degraded urban areas. Formerly, street Art was associated with vandalism .

Work in process

Work in process

Would you like to work in other cities?

In Malaga, right now Malaga is becoming an important street art city, in the area called Soho, you can find amazing interventions. I´d like to paint in Paris too, it´s the paste-up capital.

Man-o-Matic, a passion for Street-Art

Street-Art is the passion behind Man-oMatic´s works. I met Andrian by the old Carmen Market lot in Huelva, Spaon, where many of his works can be seen.

How do you define yourself?
I ´d define myself as a graffiti artist, a creator. My family backgrounds are far from graffiti world and art in general, so sometimes I don´t feel comfortable when people tell me I´m an artist. But, yes, you can say part of my work goes beyond graffiti scope. A graffiti artist, a maker, a creator!
Graffiti is an artistic trend that has evolved since its origin when graffiti artists were mainly writers. However, graffiti shows a wider scope now, I feel a graffiti artist though I don´t write letters or tags. There has been an evolution in graffiti. Graffiti origins showed a demanding and non-conformist character that I try to do the same in my work, so in that sense I cannot see important differences with first graffiti artists!

ZAPATO

Platonic society by Man-o-Matic

When did your start working as an artist?
I started working in 2007, when economic crisis began. At that time I worked as a graphical designer for a firm. Working conditions got worse and then I decided to move on and started my career as an independent artist. So, everything started at that point.
What´s the meaning of your tag-name?
Man-o-Matic comes from man and automatic, it’s an acronym. The nick tries make you reflect  on the fact that sometimes we act and behave automatically, like machines.

What are your artistic influences or sources of inspiration?
When I began, my first source of inspiration was Logan, a graffiti writer. For me, Logan´s work, a graffiti artist from Seville, was a hip-hop and rap hallmark. Later, as I grew up with no artistic references around me, I got powerful influence from 3D images. This had am important impact in my life as an artist. Those shorts showing future worlds. That´s why I´m into volumes and trompe d’oeil so much.
Sadly, it was hard to access the artistic world here in my town, Huelva. I spent my childhood in a nearby little town where artistic world was far away, a cultural desert. Some people find pop art characteristic in my work, it´s something that came naturally, it was not my aim.

WORDERLAND

Wonderland

What´s your artistic education background?
I did not have a formal artistic education, but rather I´m a self-taught artist. Some friends of mine gave me some advice about what to buy and how to start painting and I began to paint in Mazagón and Huelva during weekends. Hardly ever I´ve seen artists working on graffiti, only maybe four or five times in my life-time. I didn´t have the chance to see how others painted, so I had to do it by myself, alone.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

What projects are you currently involved/working or in a near future working in?
Currently, I work on projects for many small and medium-sized enterprises, today these are almost the only sponsors you can find in not-big cities like Huelva. Also there are some projects abroad, at least, I´d like to make one project abroad; however, it´s not so easy. Also I´d like to expand the open air museum in the old Carmen Market and some projects with local institutions.

David

David

What materials and resources do you currently use in your street art projects or Works?
Sprays mainly, I know there´re other means to achieve certain artistic goals, but I´m stubborn and rather use sprays. They allow you a great deal of artistic freedom too.

Old man

Old man

Have you seen any progress or changes in formats or means?
A medium- sized mural is the format I mostly work on. Bigger formats require extra means, like lifters and others, which are expensive and not to easy to use.
Canvas and, sometimes, wooden panels when I need a more rigid format.

Crow

Crow

What are the themes or issues that prevail in your current work? Any evolution along the time?
There’s a degree of social criticism in my work. The current economic and political situation we are immersed in. I´m sure another world is possible, a more human society. I´d like to rising awareness in people about these social issues. There´s too much noise around from TV and other social media and it´s difficult to focus on real problems. I try to provide people with a different perspective so they can look at the problems from a different point of view. Much of my work is about this, maybe because these are the values I grew up with at home as my mum has been a social worker.

Lady Pop

Lady Pop

In your opinion, what is the impact of Internet , web2.0 and digital revolution on street art?
Very positive ´cause Street Art works are not longer ephemeral and social media can boost street art interventions since anyone can see your works at anywhere in the planet. Of course, there´s always an extra feeling when you can look at street art works in the places where they are, but that´s not always possible. For me, art is communication, a communicative act. The web2.0 is a good way to communicate your artistic works and personal views about art and life in general.
On the other hand, you don´t need traditional social media, like TV, newspapers or magazines, it´s easier now to communicate and show your work to the world. Currently, the web has became “the street”.

Kid

Kid

What do you think about Huelva as a street art city? What are people or authorities’ attitudes towards street art?
At the beginning it was hard, but little by little people began accepting my work, and now I think they are proud of it and enjoy my interventions. Graffiti is widely accepted in Huelva now, even by authorities and police, partly ´cause I always showed respect for public spaces and buildings. Also my realistic style helps to engage the public´s interest.
In what other cities have you worked?
I´d like to work in many cities and it´ll be a great experience. However right now I´m focus on my work and it´s difficult to find the time for travelling.

Work in process

Work in process

ASA Artist Interview Series: OX ALIEN

Our latest interview is with Rotterdam based artist, Ox Alien.

1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we need to know?

Thanks, most of the time I don’t plan too much ahead and most walls I paint are self initiated and found on the same day I paint them. But an annual trip to Berlin is in the pipeline and thats always good fun for spreading some Oxies. I am currently working on a new series of canvases for some upcoming shows.

2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?

For my canvases, I normally use acrylic paint, latex paint and markers for outlines. My favorite size has got to be an 80cm x 80cm 3d canvas. For walls, I use all kinds of mediums, latex and all different kind of spray paint. I really like the idea to make something colorful from an old grey wall, so people will notice it and beforehand would have never notice the wall.

3. How do you look at the Dutch street art and graffiti scenes?

The scene in Holland is not that big and most of the guys who have been painting for a while know each other. But a lot of writers who paint traditional graffiti don’t like the street art scene and I don’t know why. The other way around, its not like that. In my point of view its all the same. Everything painted with spray paint is graffiti. In the seventies,  they already painted subway cars in New York with characters, but they didn’t call it street art yet.

4. What is the next step in to the future of street art?

It’s getting bigger and bigger. I think there are gonna be more galleries in the Netherlands who will show street art. They simply can not go around it anymore. It is here to stay. Hopefully in the future it will be more accepted and we will see a lot of great projects.

5. If you have to choose, which city would you like to conquer next?

I have got a lot of cities in mind but Miami and Guatemala city are for sure on my bucket list at the moment.

6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own progress of the last years?

For me, it all started with a pink flying head with one eye as an “O” and one eye as an “X”. Lately, I created a whole bunch of characters who are coming back time to time. Like an Oxtopus and a centipede, and making huge piles of characters is really fun to do. Of course, painting everyday improves your skills.

7. You are a very dedicated artist and travel around the world. Is there any advise you can give to younger dedicated artists and your fans?

There is no such better thing for me to combine holidays with painting walls. Just to leave your characters behind in a far away country on an old wall somewhere is just awesome. Also the experience of meeting artists and hang out with them is great. You will see a side of the city you won’t normally see as a tourist. For example, meeting Frenemy earlier this year in Ho Chi Minh City was good fun. We made a really crazy wall together and connected straight away. Before I go on a trip like that I normally contact some of the local artists beforehand to check if they are up for some painting. Instagram is great for that! 

8. What is the biggest change in the last twenty years if you look at the street art and graffiti scene?

The biggest change for me is when I switched from painting graffiti to making characters. Normally the graffiti that I painted was illegal and in the night. Nowadays, you get a lot of response from the people on the streets because they can see straight away what you are making. If you make letters most of the people can not read it and the only thing they will come up with is… Nice colors. Without any permission you can easily get away with painting characters on a wood wall at a construction-site right in the city centre. So you can see street art is really integrated.

9. What has been your favourite work in the past year?

I really like the “Frozen” wall I painted together with Joachim, K-Shit and KBTR in Belgium not long ago. It always works when you stick to a color theme.

Amsterdam Street Art Foundation Wants Your Stickers For One Of The Biggest Walls Ever!

The Amsterdam Street Art Foundation wants your stickers for one of the biggest walls ever!

We starting up a new project for 2017/2018. We want to create one of the biggest sticker walls ever made to date. We are still in search for the exact location, but we start to collect as many stickers possible.

So feel free to send us your stickers or stickers of your friends. This way you can be part of this unique project somewhere in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Please send in your stickers:
Amsterdam Street Art
Prinsengracht 64
1015 DX Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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ASA Artist Interview Series: DERM

Thanks for tuning in to our Amsterdam Street Art Interview Series with Derm.

1. We are a big fan of your work. What is coming up that we NEED to know?

My first expo has just become to an end at street art gallery Artifex in Antwerp I made a serie on canvas and I printed some digital work.I was satisfied with the result and the reactions.Now the summer is on its way so it is time for painting some walls.I also like to See if i can reach a new level with the stuff i have learned during the winter time . I want to go and paint on a few events and i’m also planning a trip to eastern europe. I hope to get all the way to Bulgaria, my dog and I. A bunch of spraycans and we’ll see…

2. What mediums do you use at the moment to make the artworks and are there any new progress in new mediums or formats?

I still love spray cans alot. If I go out to paint a wall it’s always with spray paint. I even get greedy when I’m in front of a rack of cans. It’s like candy. When I made my canvasses I make sure they where big enough so I could work free with spray cans…Now they don’t fit in most regular living rooms. During the winter, I painted some digital things and I learned a lot. I believe the learning process is faster then using real paint. I used brushes and paint a lot for other things. I used to paint decors for theme parks a lot, I guess you pick up something out of everything. Now I just use my airbrush and brushes for my scale models “Yes, I am a nerd.”

3. How do you look at Amsterdam as a street art city?

I’m not visiting Amsterdam enough to know well what is going on there. I guess Amsterdam will be always Amsterdam as a city known all over the world, so the street art there will be seen by many people.

4. What is the next step in to the future of street art in your opinion?

I don’t know. I’m not really up to date when it comes to street art. It was graffiti that got me hooked. I do notice that thanks to street art, that it all becomes much more appreciated by the general public. And more and more and more people see it less as vandalism. So, it’s going in a good direction I guess. 

5. Your a real city kid. Which city would you like to conquer next?

Haha, well, I am a country side kid. Maybe it was the punk gang from the police academy movie that made me fall in love with graffiti. But it was in art school that I came into contact with graffiti for the firs time. Of course, I like to come into a city and see lots of graffiti, but I always love to retreat as well. So any city where the people are nice, the weather is good, and there are no bricks… Just smooth walls. 

6. I have seen a big progress in your artwork. What do you think about your own progress of the last few years?

It is hard to have an opinion about your own work. The satisfaction is mostly of short duration. It just feels good to continue and keep doing what I like to do the most. Maybe in the end, it is not about the final piece but about the moments that you are truly into it. 

Derm hasselt dorpstraat street art 1