Continuing with our efforts to connect with contemporary artists around the world for the feature A Dozen, this week we would like to re-expose the work of ABOVE. You can see two of his excellent videos, "Bridge the Divide" in the Column and "When in Rome" here. Like last week we are going to start things off with a couple of videos from the artist’s Vimeo Channel and the follow with our Interview.
Where are you from and who are you?
I’m from earth and I’m human.
You got your start in graffiti, what does your name Above signify?
Many things I believe, mostly challenges, rising to the occasion, and acknowledging that we all fall down and need to get back up…I mean above.
250+ free cans of spray paint to crazy with, it was like being a kid in a candy store! A big thank you to Montana Colors from Barcelona for the Paint!
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2007
Getting your start with the "arrows" in 2002, how have you seen its direction evolve?
I have been aware that my style of artworks really relate the the environment and travel plan. If I’m doing a large tour the works might be more based in quantity rather than quality. If I have more time to observe a location and create a more in-depth piece then I’ll strive to do this. I don’t like to pigeon hole myself into just 1 style of artworks. I like to explore and challenge myself with learning new styles and ways to make artworks. Having said that my works change from doing an iconic "Arrow logo" to large mural style "Word/Play" paintings to stenciled figurative imagery. I think all my works however have a big relationship with their site specific location and positioning.
From Estonia to Brazil, you have traveled widely- where would you like to go next?
The world is a big place. There are many tempting locations I am focused on touring these next years. S.E. Asia, Africa, Moscow to Beijing, Australia, Middle east, north and south poles, on and on and on.
A Dyslexic is able to find Amor in Roma without much effort! Many people associate Roma with being Romantic. I personally associate Roma with sore abdominal muscles due to leaning over and hanging upside down while painting backwards from a rooftop all night.
Ailati, Amor, 5002
What has been your favorite work of art?
None and all of them at different times. I like the works of art that make me get an adrenaline rush from executing them in the street. The one’s that give me a nice feeling of accomplishment.
Your wordplay pieces have been executed throughout South America, how do you choose a proper location?
I walk around a lot just observing and seeing what presents itself.
Being on Capital Hill in Seattle reminded me of being on Haight Street in San Francisco because of all of the open and visible drug use. The exception was that on Haight street people smoke weed, while Capital Hill there were shooting Heroin.
"It’s all fun and games until you step on a dirty needle."
- Junkie Proverb.
Seattle Washington, U.S.A. 2004
How do you use video to better expose your art?
I like documenting my artworks because the majority of the time I use the site specific location incorporated into my artworks (see previous answer). A photo is just 1 angle and I like to strive to have many different angles and timing in my artworks. Thanks Vimeo!
In your video, "Bridge the Divide," that wall is monstrous, what inspired you to make this piece?
Pink Floyd’s song as well as the fact that I was painting on a large brick wall. I kept whistling that song while I was painting that letterstyle. …All and all, you just another brick in the wall…
It was a calm Sunday afternoon and I was leaving for Mexico the next morning. I had some left over paint and some time on my hands. 2 hours later and a few beers with some friends, this piece was completed.
Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2008
What tips can you give to people that want to travel around the world on a shoestring budget?
Pack your backpack with what your taking, Then unpack it and throw out 1/2 of the shit you packed and thought you needed. Passing off counterfeit money is best when buying more than 50% the price of something so you don’t get too much suspecting as to why you gave 100 Euro bill for a pack of gum? Tie your shoes in double knots so when your running you don’t trip on loose laces. Have fun and keep your head up.
It seems like you know people in "high and low" places, how do you make so many connections?
Hanging around the right places at the wrong times.
"Dejando lo mejor para el final"(Save the Best for Last)
Many/All of the Buildings in this Industrial Zone in Bogota were being torn down and re-built. I can only assume that this building was soon to be demolished, and chances are by now it already is!
What inspired you to give away 100% of your profits from the "Giving to the Poor" print to charity?
The fact that I didn’t want to exploit the homeless woman in the photo to my financial advantage. I wanted to make a comment and show how sick as people we can become not taking care of our fellow humans. It felt great to have sold out and donated a large chunk of cash to 2 selected homeless shelters.
Can you please in detail describe your alchemical practices that help achieve a levitated state of existence?
It’s all broken down on my website in the Frequently Asked Questions. http://goabove.com
Ri >> Chpoor (Stealing from the rich and giving to the Poor)
The good intention excuses the bad action- Portuguese Proverb
Lisbon, Portugal, 2008
When will your world domination be complete?
When the aliens come to earth and get me out of here. Then its another story.
The relationship and co-dependency of both characters in need of
the others interaction to find happiness is both sensual and vulnerable.
Madrid, Spain, June 2009
Posted: October 22nd, 2009
at 2:22pm by Koookiecrumbles
Comments: 3 comments
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