Tuesday, January 19, 2010

December 2009: Villas in Barcelona

Rodrigo Villas is no slouch. While the winter weather may be cooler than usual in Barcelona, Spain, he's been out painting and already snapped shots of his 2010 pieces. What a busy guy! This Brazilian born artist shares a bit about Rio's style, Barcelona's scene, and what he has planned for the new year. He writes:
"I started tagging as all children from my school did at around 10 years old. That was really funny and exciting but we were just kids playing around in Rio de Janeiro. At that time, I got to know the few graffiti pioneers back then, such as Eko, Acme, Lets and a few more. I never stopped admiring them. There were no good graffiti supplies at that time in Rio. Those guys were responsible for keeping the scene alive and inspiring the next generation of street artists. That was like 10 years ago and right now there is a third generation in Rio really rocking. "
"I think that style is one of the most difficult things to explain or discuss. If it's real for you, I mean, if it's your true style, it's the most personal thing you can share with other people. I always try to be true to myself and keep my work developing in this way. I guess it's not just aesthetic; it's somehow the way you see the world. I think world doesn't need a revolution, just some restructuring. That's my belief and that's what I try to share in the streets."
"My favorite places to paint are the places that I try to understand better. I like to interact with people, listen what they have to contribute, and even let them participate. In Rio, I usually go paint in a favela that is near my place in Ipanema, called 'Favela do Pav√£o'. Last year we made a nice documentary about how graffiti can be a good way to start a city / favela relationship. I strongly believe that painting cities is important for claiming public space, but more often I go into places that regular people don't even know exist. It´s a good way to make these places part of our everyday life and to make people pay attention to the people living in those places. I think a lot of street artists today are just painting in streets to promote themselves and get famous. That's just ego, and it doesn´t bring anything positive."
"Rio de Janeiro is very liberal about graffiti and street art. I think that most of the time it's between you and the owner of the wall. If he doesn't complain, it's all right. One day, a really heavy police patrol car stopped and a lot of cops came out of the car carrying huge weapons. We were really scared, but the chief just said, 'Hey! Nice work!' and one of then took a picture with his telephone."
"I just finished a serie of graffiti attacks here in Barcelona called 'My Little Playground'. That was a tribute to all my friends that become fathers and mothers this last year. That was a really 'baby boom' in my circle of friends and I tried to make a tribute to their love! I'm still running my character project called 'Love Bird'. That is another kind of street art and it's just a little point of color in the middle of the city. It's my way to make visual poetry. The bird represents a lot of personal stuff.The birds are always on trees or some high point to remind people that it is important to look the sky sometime during our stressful days. Discovering a bird on the street puts a smile on people's face and that what I´m looking for. I want to spread love!
Also, I'm planning a big installation that I would like to finish in a couple of months. I'm trying to construct something that can be a middle point beteween the street art work and a piece that can integrate some ephemeral and ethereal elements into an inside space."

Obrigado y gracias, Villas! For more updates on his projects, visit his website.

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