Street-Art is the passion behind Man-oMatic´s works. I met Andrian by the old Carmen Market lot in Huelva, Spain, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.