Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Gustavo Peres a.k.a. Hannap travels around the world and leaving a trail of tags behind him. Currently, he’s away from his home base in Barcelona while he travels around Israel. No matter where he goes, he loves learning about the locations he paints. “I’m more interested in the sociological aspect of street art than styles or techniques,” he insists. “I do not think about my style. It’s something that emerges over time and just changes.”Hannap’s name stems from a childhood habit. He recollects, “When an adult said something that seemed like bullshit, I would say, ‘Hannaproudious! You do not know.’ I felt like the word had some significance in English.”
As a child, he spent hours drawing. One of his first memories is of recreating a picture in his house. “It was an image of a bottle of water lying horizontally,” he recalls. “Inside the bottle, there was a landscape with houses, animals, plants, and people. I remember drawing this picture, but I drew it up side down. The whole scene happened left to right, but I am left handed so I drew it right to left.” Although his childhood years are behind them, he taps into that innocent creativity when he paints. “I think we’re all very spontaneous as children,” he explains. “Everything is closely linked to our instinct, to abstraction, and the nonlinearity of thought. I’ve tried to preserve this quality as I got older.”
When he’s not painting, he can often be found doing yoga, cooking, or playing the guitar. All these activities feed into his creative process. Hannap draws inspiration from the people around him. From his family and yoga instructor to artists on the Internet, everyone contributes to his work. While he’s never been scared to post in the streets, he says, “The biggest fear is to shine and be happy.” This fear drives Hannap to paint and share his work. “Feelings move me,” he adds. “I’m driven by very intimate feelings like desire, fear, courage, and curiosity.” In general, he’s not concerned about sending a message or becoming famous; it’s all about communication. “I think drawing and painting have magical powers,” he says. “My message is only to generate health, happiness, and love. I want to bestow good things on my family, my friends, and society. It all depends on what I feel.”
When asked about the future, Hannap replies, “My goal is to continue doing what I like: being connected to the world, sharing affection. Technically, I want more flow between each: feeling, thinking, and doing.”
According to Hannap, street art owes a lot to old school ‘80s taggers. “Graffiti started the whole story,” he insists. “It was about protest, so the art was in the streets. Today, there is much more freedom, less political interest, and more social acceptance.” In the future Hannap believes that street art will continue to grow and change with cities. “I’d like to be increasingly integrated with the people and the city,” he explains. “I think there will be more possibilities in terms of style and technique. I’m optimistic.”
Thanks, Hannap! For more shots, check out his web site. I'm currently in a field in upstate New York at the Camp Bisco music festival, but I'll be back on Monday with the news and plenty of stories.