Madrid

I came upon Ramón Amorós‘s delightfully playful aesthetic while street art-hunting in Madrid’s Malasaña neighborhood. I recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to the gifted Madrid-based Argentine artist who will be visiting the US this week.

You are primarily an illustrator. What stirred you to take your characters to the streets?

I’ve been drawing all my life. While studying for my Fine Arts degree, I took a class in wall painting. That was the first time I had a chance to see one of my characters on a large scale. A bit later, while taking an illustration course, I became friends with a couple of guys — including Sr Val and PoyoFrito — who were into graffiti, and I began to be much more aware of walls as an interesting artistic format. So it all began out of the simple desire to see my drawings on a bigger scale. I also really enjoy the dialogue that the public space allows between my work and the people around it.

Your characters are wildly imaginative. Can you tell us something about them? What inspires them? Where do your ideas come from?

Well, the aspect of drawing I most enjoy is making things up…creating stuff that doesn’t or can’t exist. To me that is the most fascinating quality of representation. I have always been keen on characters of all kinds…monsters, creatures, animals. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in animals; my mom used to get me all kinds of books about them — the weirder, the better. Later on, I began mixing different animal parts together to create my own. I enjoy studying features — eyes, noses, mouths — separately to see how I can combine them together to make them look funny or weird.

How have folks responded to seeing your characters in public spaces?

Surprisingly well! Painting in public spaces allows a closeness with viewers that few art forms permit. It brings people closer  — to praise the artwork or even to complain about it. It starts a conversation. I have always had good experiences. I love children’s reactions to my paintings, but what most surprises me is when older folks approach me and say how much they enjoy my work. This is something that I would have never thought possible, as I think of my style as one that appeals to young people. It’s fantastic that public space enables these kinds of conversations to happen!

I came upon your work in Madrid. Have you painted in other cities? 

I usually enjoy painting when I travel. I left a couple of small pieces in Brazil, Senegal and  — more recently — in Israel. I like the idea of leaving a mark in places I enjoy, and I also love the exchange between art, hospitality and the human connection that can come out of it.

When you paint outside, do you work from a sketch? 

Yeah. I usually want to know what the final result will look like. But I also enjoy some space for improvisation to keep things fresh. I usually add a lot of shading and details through lines or dots, and that gives a lot of room for small changes, corrections or additions that happen on the spot.

What’s ahead? 

Right now, I would like to develop my personal work further. I want to take on bigger walls and more ambitious projects. I’d like to connect with galleries and with more artists for collaborations outside of Madrid. I am getting ready to head to the US — to  NYC, San Francisco, LA and New Orleans. I will be in NYC from the 5th to the 16th,

That sounds great! Good luck with it all!

Photo credits: 1-4 Courtesy of the artist; 5 Lois Stavsky; interview Lois Stavsky

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Rich with intrigue, the streets of Madrid showcase a tantalizing array of public artworks. The image featured above was fashioned from discarded matter by the wildly imaginative Portuguese artist Bordalo, Several more images I came upon on my recent visit to Madrid follow:

With Spanish artist Okuda to his left

French artist Pro 176

Spanish artist ZetGraff

Spanish artist Antonyo Marest

Spanish artist Ruina R64

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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The faces featured above were fashioned byMadrid-based Okuda. Here are several more recently captured in Madrid:

Barcelona-based Uri Martinez aka Uriginal

NYC-based Puerto Rican artist Sen2

Argentine artist Barbara Siebenlist

Madrid-based Keru de Kolorz

Photo credits: 1, 3-5 Lois Stavsky; 2 Sara C Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The Tabacalera — a former tobacco factory — in the Lavapies neighborhood of Madrid is now a cultural Mecca hosting over two dozen exterior murals. Curated by the Madrid Street Art Project, the murals — referred to as Muros Tabacalera — change yearly and focus on environmental issues that impact this district’s residents. The mural pictured above was painted by the Italian artist, Alice Pasquini. What follows are several others I captured on my recent trip to Madrid:

Málaga-based artist Dadi Dreucol

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Argentine artist Animalitoland

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Digo Diego

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Nano 8414

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Madrid-based Okuda

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Dubai-based Spanish artist Ruben Sanchez

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Add fuel and Gripface

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Photos by Lois Stavsky

Special thanks to Javier Garcia of Cool Tours Spain for introducing me to this project.

Note: Hailed in a range of media from Wide Walls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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