« Each painting is like a step that I need to make in order to develop more as an artist ».
Your username Artez has a little something from France ?
Haha, yes, the initial name that I used while painting graffiti was same like french tv channel – Arte. Later on I’ve added a « Z » in the end because I thought it will sound much cooler !
Few Serbian artists are known, nevertheless you, you never go unnoticed. How did you explain ?
I guess that combination of hyper productivity and similar quality level of most pieces I’ve painted over the last few years had to give some good results. If you are continuously producing new pieces over a longer period of time, people will notice that and the word about your work will spread.
What are your main influences – art and otherwise ?
I am almost always inspired by the location surrounding the wall on which I am planning to paint. My colour palette is created according to the atmosphere of the site and the scale of the elements is defined according to the view points that are best or most common for observing the mural. As for the elements present on the picture, these days I am trying to use them in order to create a story behind the mural. These stories are usually reflecting my way of thinking and trough communicating with the viewers, my murals are supposed to inspire viewers.
Your last wall is called « Balance », what it symbolises for you ?
Temporality of human life is caught in the shape of a candle. Living between urban environment and nature require finding a balance between two opposites that influence each other. In the background you will notice the panorama of Jesenice, industrial city that lies between two mountains. Colour of the city is gently caught in the fabric, maybe as a symbol that we carry our identity where ever we go.
You painted in France for your nikokorto cousin in Paris, with malakkai in Strasbourg, you will be back ?
It is always nice to come back to France, mostly because I have family living there and I try to visit them as much as I can. Usually I don’t have too much time for painting, unless I am invited for a project. Better question would be « When are you going to paint in France next time ? ».
We find your themes of preference in your works (nature, portrait, animals), always with a very human side. You defend a certain idea of the society which you live ?
I love people. And I love animals. Sometimes people can be really hard and put you out of balance, but in the end I always remember how much I like to observe people and search for inspiration in them. After all, I am painting for people – the very moment I finish painting and pack my brushes, my artwork stops belonging only to me – it belongs to them as well.
Animals are honest and people lack that honesty so often. That is one of the reasons why I love animals so much, and it is hard for me to see how people treat them sometimes. Painting animals and nature comes from my wish to promote positive values when it comes to the way how bot of these things are treated by humans.
You collaborated with renown artists all around the world. With whom, you haven’t worked yet ?
I haven’t worked with many artists whose work I admire, but if you ask me who I would like to paint a wall with now, it would probably be some of my friends with whom I didn’t get a chance to share a wall with even dough we met for a couple of times – Sergio Cordeiro, Sebas Velasco, Theic to name the few.
Your walls are bigger and bigger, where are you going to stop ?
I choose the walls that I am offered – better question is when are they going to stop offering me such large scale surfaces. I hope it won’t happen soon, I really enjoy the challenge.
Would you repaint a plane like OS Gemeos ?
I would love to paint a plane, but if there is already an artwork on it I would probably check with the artist if he is okay with repainting his art.
The graffiti misses you ?
Sometimes I really feel like painting with spray cans, but to be honest, I am not inspired to paint graffiti letters. I guess my graffiti days are just a beautiful memory right now !
What’s in your toolbox ?
Brushes, rollers, measuring tape, paper tape, S hooks, cutter, rope.
Are you generally satisfied with your work ?
Yes and no in the same time – I believe that I can always improve, so I don’t allow myself to be satisfied that easily. Painting process makes me happy and I really enjoy it, and when the painting is done I feel complete, at least for a moment. Each painting is like a step that I need to make in order to develop more as an artist. Luckily, there is no final step, it’s an never-ending game that I enjoy playing !
How has your work evolved throughout the years ?
I started as a graffiti writer, painting different styles of letters. Later on I shifted to painting characters, experimented with photo-realism and tried to mix everything I know and create my own recognisable style. For 12 years I’ve been painting only with spray cans – one of the biggest steps in my development as an artist was the shift from using spray cans to new tools that I use today – acrylic wall paint, brushes and rollers.
What do you think the role of the artist in society ?
Artists are there to inspire other to live their dream. At least I believe that is my purpose when it comes to the relation with the society.
What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve faced when doing street art ?
Painting on bamboo scaffolding in Patna (India) few years ago was both challenging and dangerous. It is definitely one of the moments I will remember, mostly because of all those situations where I felt like I am on the edge of falling down.
If i tell you autopsiart, you answer what ?
Virginie Rapin !
What’s next for you ?
I am opening my first international solo exhibition titled « Dreams on canvas » in Galo Art Gallery, Torino, Italy, on 7th of April. The exhibition will the opened until 25th of May 2018. – feel free to stop by !
What is the question I haven’t asked that you would like to answer ?
What is your favourite mural you have painted and why ? would be an interesting question ☺