When I first came across SpY’s work earlier in the year I was intrigued and eager to see more. A few weeks ago the Spanish urban artist updated his site and with it, a plethora of fresh ideas. Not wanting to leave it there we got in touch to find out more.
How do you describe your work and what’s the most common misconception?
I want my pieces to be a parenthesis in the automatic urban inertia. Little bits of intention that hide around the corner to surprise those who allow themselves to be surprised. Equally full of irony and positive humor, they appear to pass on a smile, incite reflection, and favor a more awake conscience.
How long does it take to go from initial idea to execution?
I don’t have a defined method. I look for the best way of developing my interventions, from the location, the idea, the development and production of the work all the way to the documentation and the encounter with the pedestrian. Sometimes the place suggests the idea. There are times that a social circumstance leads me to develop an intervention. Other times an idea takes me to a place and in other works I simply want to communicate something and I look for the best way to do it. I try to be receptive to the dialogue of the city, that has for years been the framework in which I have expressed myself and communicated my ideas.
Has your work ever got you into trouble?
Not always, although there are pieces a bit more daring than others, I am usually very careful with respect to that.
Do you spend time around the public pieces to gage reaction?
Many times I see the reaction of the people towards the work and generally they have positive opinions. There are those who see it as a free and selfless act and identify with it and others who see it as vandalism.
When people encounter the works they realise that they don’t have an institutional aspect nor seem like they have been authorized. With this there is someone who dedicates their time to carrying out these interventions freely and spontaneously. If the recipient likes the work, he sees it as a romantic act and carries a part of that intervention with him. This whole process is part of the work from the moment it is born until it dies.
What do you consider a successful piece?
The piece that connects with the person, that makes him react in some way or another, that awakes the conscience, that brings a smile, that makes the person who sees it an accomplice, that communicates, that hatches from its urban routine.
One never knows. I have many pieces prepared. Each work is presented as a new proposal and as a new challenge – I have just finished a wave of them that will soon be seen in the street or on my webpage.
- "Where’s my community?": Skin Deep and POC on the need for diversity in the film industry
- Jee-ook Choi conveys complex ideas using fine linework and muted colours
- Photographer Mehdi Lacoste on working with Actress
- French designer Victoire Coyon’s understated portfolio
- Unit Editions’ upcoming book on the unparalleled work of Paula Scher
- A creative composite of illustration: ten years of Christoph Ruckhäberle’s Lubok
- A new national identity: Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands Wales
- Graphic design gems: Chicago gang business cards from the 1970s and 80s
- Photographer Dougie Wallace captures the super rich spenders of “Harrodsburg”
- “Romance in a sort-of fantasy world”: photographer Molly Matalon's new work (some NSFW)
- Studio Michael Satter’s sophisticatedly simple graphic design portfolio
- Harry Pearce and Pentagram create a new identity for Pink Floyd’s record label