Interview with PichiAvo, the Spanish street artist duo that just enchanted Paris

Interview with PichiAvo, the Spanish street artist duo that just enchanted Paris

1 April 2021 0 By Séverine

What a pleasure to be able to share this interview done with PichiAvo. This duo of artists from Valencia has brightened up the heart of Paris, revived the culture in the Latin Quarter and distilled a wave of colour in our hearts. Those of you who have been following my adventures on Facebook have discovered them creating this magnificent fresco that we will be able to admire for six months before it is transferred to the Necker hospital for sick children in Paris. This monumental work was completed in the rush the day before a our new Parisian lockdown and I thought, for a moment, that this interview would never happen. But here we are and I share with you this privilege and my happiness to do this first interview for the blog with this duo whose work I particularly appreciate.

 

PichiAvo devant leur fresque à Paris dans le Quartier Latin

Le duo PichiAvo devant la fresque Parisienne finalisée – Crédit Photo ©Stéphane de Sakutin / AFP

 

You are just ending a magnificent work in the heart of Paris; what is your feeling?

Happiness to be able to finish a project we have been working on for some time, it is always a satisfaction to finish a work.

 

What was your inspiration for this work?

Mythology, as in many of our works. in this case we wanted to represent the water of the Seine with Poseidon; and culture, the art of Paris and the Latin Quarter with Niké, representing the victory of culture in these difficult times for the sector.

Naissance de la Mythologie Urbaine des artistes PichiAvo à Paris

Niké et Poséidon prennent vie sous les pinceaux de PichiAvo – Photo @Altinnov

Like all duos, you are two people with two different personalities. Who brings what to your creative process during the preparation of a new work in your studio?

We both bring the same thing to the table and it is very important for us that there is no individualism.

 

Watching you, I had the strange sensation of seeing a single brain with four hands! An amazing and extremely fluid coordination. How did you get to this point and was it obvious as of the very beginning in 2007?

With time we have been understanding each other, since we started painting together we already understood each other but with time we have been adopting the best of each other to improve the works of art, today everything emerges without thinking, fruit of the work of many years.

 

You work with music, at the very beginning of your work we could hear the melodious piano of Ludivico Einaudi and then we progressed to faster and more rhythmic music like Latin pop! How does music accompany/support you during the making of a fresco and does it have an important place in your life?

Music is an essential part of when we work as well as silence, but we do like to be accompanied by all kinds of melodies, normally we go from classical music to black music but as the world is so global everything merges and Latin, classical and current rhythms appear.

 

You mix lettering, graffiti and ancient figures with a lot of poetry, which artists and trends inspire you? Do you have any mentors?

Our graffiti beginnings have been inspired by the 80’s/90’s New-York era so all those artists of that time have inspired us, as well as the French/German era of 2000. With all these influences we have experimented to create what we do today.

mur de graffitis par PichiAvo dans le quartier latin de Paris

Une centaine de graffitis réalisés par PichiAvo constituent le fond de leur oeuvre – Photo @Altinnov

You both come from Valencia and are an integral part of the influence of Spanish culture in the world. Do you still see something of Spain in your work?

In terms of colour, we do see a very Mediterranean relationship, there may even be an unconscious relationship with the Fallas of Valencia. In terms of the subject matter, Valencia has Greco-Roman roots in its history, so there is a direct relationship with our work. We have always wanted to represent with our art who we are and our roots.

 

Voir cette publication sur Instagram

 

Une publication partagée par PichiAvo (@pichiavo)

You met when you were painting in the streets of Valencia… what remains from that time?

Nowadays we paint in the same way but with more resources, it is important to maintain that passion to work in the street.

 

We, the public, know that urban art is ephemeral… Sometimes we are sad to see a work disappear, sometimes we are happy to discover a new work… There are many feelings for those who love a work when it is no longer there. How do you, as artists, react to this? Even if the end of the work is scheduled, like at the  Houston Bowery Wall en 2017

When you know what is going to happen and it is planned, nothing happens, because it is part of the work and part of people’s memories, that is beautiful. If we were looking for an “eternity” of the work, we would do it differently.

Houston Bowery Wall - Pichi & Avo projet en cours

Houston Bowery Wall New-York : PichiAvo recouvrent, en partie, leur Mythologie Urbaine de graffitis

Just before offering us this new work you made a beautiful poster for Street Art Mankind and its #freechildren campaign, could you tell us more about it?

It is a very nice project that we invite people to discover, to be able to make a work to give visibility to a problem that human beings have is what has led us to make this piece. We believe that with art you can tell stories and through these help.

 

Voir cette publication sur Instagram

 

Une publication partagée par PichiAvo (@pichiavo)

In which incredible or unimaginable place would you dream of painting your Urban Mythology?

Now that space travel is so fashionable… Why not take graffiti and mythology to Mars? Elon Musk can help us!

I hope with all my heart that we will find this duo that enchants us on earth before we can go to Mars 😉

 

A creative process orchestrated with disconcerting fluidity

No article or interview will be able to share this pictorial orchestra that PichiAvo has offered us. They pass the rollers, brushes and spray cans to each other without speaking; they work side by side in small steps and move forward at high speed. They master the different painting techniques with incredible ease, as if it were innate, and do not hide the pleasure they feel when they do graffiti as they did in their early days. The pleasure is there and it is contagious. So for those who haven’t followed them; here is the link to the “live” I made , in French and English, on facebook, which can help you to better understand the evolution of this beautiful creation:

And as I know that some of you are not adept at “social networking”, I have put together a slide show that shows the different phases of the project in chronological order.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Do you have to go to the Latin Quarter to admire this fresco by PichiAvo?

 

I shouldn’t even ask this question, because it’s obvious; it’s just beautiful, full of colour and hope for culture, which is suffering a lot at the moment. To see such new works in the heart of Paris is quite rare, even if we have the Boulevard Paris 13; this realization is integrated with magic in the Latin Quarter and comes to give again life to the Boulevard Saint-Michel so deserted since the pandemic.

This monumental work by the duo PichiAvo would not have been possible without the incredible work of Quai 36, an artistic production company, which with conviction, passion and also solid partners enchants the public space and offers our eyes magnificent creations. For this project the partner was none other than Groupama Immobilier. If you follow the blog, you may remember the fiery article I wrote about the #1096 Street Art project in Versailles and well, it was Quai 36 again! Let’s keep an eye on them because I bet they have some nice surprises in store for us in the near future.

To conclude this discovery of the universe of this incredible duo, I invite you to join them on their Facebook or Instagram , and on my side, as I know they will read these few lines, I would like to thank them warmly for the friendly exchanges we had, and especially, for having accepted this interview with a modest blog! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the very nice team at Quai 36 and Adèle from the agency Communic’art 😉

As the interview was conducted in Spanish, you can find the whole interview under this last picture which shows how much this duo is in symbiosis when they devote themselves to their art.

As for me, I’ll see you very soon for new Street Art adventures 😉

Séverine

PichiAvo en travaillant les détails de Poséidon- Photo @Altinnov

Acabáis de finalizar una obra magnífica en el corazón de París, ¿Qué sentís?

Felicidad de poder acabar un proyecto que llevamos un tiempo trabajando, es siempre una satisfacción culminar una obra.

 

¿Cuáles han sido vuestras fuentes de inspiración para esta obra?

La mitología como en gran parte de nuestras obras, en este caso hemos querido representar el agua del Sena con Poseidón; y la cultura, el arte de París y el Barrio Latino con Niké en representación de la victoria de la cultura en estos tiempos difíciles para el sector.

 

Como todos los dúos, sois dos personas con dos personalidades diferentes. ¿Quién aporta qué en vuestro proceso creativo durante la preparación de una nueva obra en vuestro estudio?

Ambos aportamos lo mismo y es algo muy importante para nosotros, que no exista el individualismo.

 

Observándoos, ¡Tuve la sensación de que sois un sólo cerebro con cuatro manos! Una coordinación impresionante y extremadamente fluida. ¿Cómo habéis llegar a este punto? 

Con el tiempo hemos ido entendiéndonos, desde que empezamos a pintar juntos ya nos entendíamos pero con el tiempo hemos ido adoptando lo mejor de cada uno para mejorar las obras de arte, hoy todo surge sin pensar fruto del trabajo de muchos años.

 

Trabajáis con música, al comienzo del proceso se podían oir las melodías del piano de Ludovico Einaudi y después habéis cambiado a ritmos más rápidos como el pop latino. ¿De qué manera la música os acompaña durante la realización del mural y tiene ésta un lugar importante en vuestras vidas?

La música forma parte esencial de cuando trabajamos al igual que el silencio, pero sí que nos gusta estar acompañados de todo tipo de melodías, normalmente pasamos de la música clásica a la música negra pero como el mundo es tan global todo se fusiona y los ritmos latinos, los clásicos y los actuales aparecen.

 

Mezcláis el lettering, graffitis y figuras antiguas con mucha poesía, ¿Cuáles son los artistas y las corrientes que os inspiran? ¿Habéis tenido mentores?

Nuestros inicios del graffitti han sido inspirados por la época del 80/90 de NY por lo que todos esos artistas de la época nos han inspirado, a igual que la época francesa/alemana del 2000. Con todas esas influencias hemos experimentado para crear lo que hacemos hoy.

 

Los dos venís de Valencia, y formáis parte de la cultura española en el mundo. ¿Veis en vuestras obras algo de español? 

En cuanto al color sí que vemos una relación muy mediterránea, incluso puede existir una relación inconsciente con las Fallas de valencia. Por la temática, Valencia en su historia tiene raíces grecoromanas por lo que hay una relación directa con nuestro trabajo. Siempre hemos querido representar con nuestro arte quiénes somos y nuestras raíces.

 

Os habéis conocido pintando en las calles de Valencia… ¿Todavía pintáis en la calle de la misma manera? ¿Os da ganas de hacerlo?

Hoy en día pintamos igual pero con más medios, es importante mantener esa pasión para trabajar en la calle.

 

Nosotros, el público, sabemos que el arte urbano es efímero… A veces nos entristece ver una obra desaparecer, a veces nos alegra descubrir una nueva. Los sentimientos son encontrados entre aquellos que aman una obra y que ya no existe más. ¿Vosotros como artistas qué sentís? Aunque el fin de la obra esté previsto como en el caso del Houston Bowery Wall de NY.

Cuando sabes lo que va a pasar y está planificado, no pasa nada, ya que forma parte de la obra y del recuerdo de las personas, eso es bello. En caso de buscar una “eternidad” de la obra, lo haríamos de otra manera.

 

Justo antes de este proyecto en París habéis realizado un cartel estupendo para Street Art Mankind y su campaña #freechildren en NY, ¿Qué nos podéis contar sobre ello?

Es un proyecto muy bonito que invitamos a la gente a que lo descubra, poder realizar una obra para dar visibilidad a un problema que tiene el ser humano es lo que nos ha llegado a realizar esa pieza, creemos que con el arte se pueden contar historias y mediante estas ayudar.

 

¿En qué lugar improbable o inimaginable soñaríais con pintar y dejar muestra de vuestro UrbanMythology?

Ahora que los viajes al espacio están tan de moda… ¿Por qué no llevar el graffiti y la mitología a Marte? ¡Elon Musk puede ayudarnos!