Spaik in Mexico

Click to view large
Click to view large

Spaik’s recently worked on a mural in the Cultural  House in Colon, Mexico, titled, ‘Somnolencia Infinita’ (‘Infinite Somnolence’) 

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The title does not offer a strict description of what is displayed in the mural, maybe the intention is to highlight the many potentials a cultural center can offer to its community: the characters are lively, folkoric and enthusiastic.

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Spaik is recognized by the use of rich, cool colors and local aesthetics, while still reaching the appeal of a wide audience,  as well as his creativity in the manipulation of surfaces and structures.

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Photo courtesy of Spaik

Tim Hans shoots… Ronzo

Ronzo 1

Tim Hans visited London recently, where he met up with seven artists for our continuing “Tim Hans shoots…” series, where Tim photographs some of the world’s most interesting street artists and graffiti writers. First up from Tim’s London trip is Ronzo, for which Laura Calle conducted this accompanying interview:

Laura Calle: Can you tell us a brief story of what inspired you to create materials for public urban spaces?

Ronzo: Sometimes you just get new ideas from walking through the streets and talking to people. Most inspiration comes through that and through other artists, what’s happening in world right now, music, film, popular culture and many other things. You see spots in the city and you see opportunities. You think: This would be a great spot to do something… It’s a great gift to have but also a bit of a curse. Ones you start – you can’t stop!

LC: What’s it like to set up a large scale sculpture in such a densely populated city like London?

Ronzo: It’s good fun. You need a truck with a big crane. Also pray that the roof doesn’t collapse and a massive monster crushes everyone walking by. But once it’s up, the sun rises and people on their way to work stop, thinking “WTF – Where did this come from?” It’s beautiful.

LC: What are the main differences you experience when making sculptures for the streets versus murals in public? Do you think the public interacts with those mediums differently? How so?

Ronzo: Sculptures are just a bit more of a niche. They take 1000 times more work to do. That’s why nobody does them I guess. But that’s great – It that makes them more special when you spot one. Also cool – You can walk around them. You can’t really do that with a painting. (But paintings are cool too)

LC: Does your audience influence your art or the approach you take to your pieces?

Ronzo: Tricky one. The feedback you get from an audience always filters back into new work of course. Although I want to do keep doing what I think is dope. And not the other way round. Of course your audience finds it interesting too in the end.

LC: What’s next for Ronzo?

Ronzo: Big tingz. New paintings, new sculptures, new installations. Details are classified top secret at the moment but will be revealed through the year. Please stay tuned…

Photo by Tim Hans

Seimiek’s take on street art’s move out of the city

Siemiek in Canta Gallo, Peru

I spoke briefly with Peruvian artist Seimiek about a trend in street art I’ve seen a lot of in the past 2 years, one that that extends street art outside of the city and interacts with a new audience; perhaps forming new intent and meaning behind the works done by artists who’ve started to put colors in forgotten towns.

Siemiek in Canta Gallo, Peru

Laura Calle: I’ve noticed a lot of street artists have started to put up works outside the city, how do you think this changes the dynamics in your art?

Seimiek: I went outside of the city in search of new places to paint, in which case I did find new spots and the experience changed into something that gave me new ideas. New places, new ideas.

Siemiek in Canta Gallo, Peru

Laura Calle: What was your initial reason or purpose that has influenced you to paint in places like Canta Gallo?

Seimiek: I wanted to find new spots. When I went to Canta Gallo for the first time, there was a reaction by people that made me want to continue working there. I think, that that is what has made the whole experience so awesome. People will tell you, “come here, paint this spot, here here!” and then you go and finish painting that spot and they tell you how much they like it or how why they aren’t into it. That’s what made me come back. The difference in painting in the city is that you will finish something, sometimes you finish it only half way, and you leave the spot to sometimes find it gone in a few days.

Siemiek in Canta Gallo, Peru

Photos courtesy of Seimiek

INTI returns home


It’s been a while since INTI has worked in his homeland of Chile, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this mural at the Museum Cielo Abierto San Miguel.

INTI is known for his large scale portraits of single characters, but here we see a stylized metamorphosis of half good half evil, or maybe the natural vs. the cultural.

“Resistance is not Terrorism”. Click to view large.

A smaller, but quite political piece in Valparaiso, Chile.

Photos courtesy of INTI

el Decertor in Huachipa, Peru


Last week, el Decertor began working on a small township called Huachipa near Lima, Peru. I spoke to him about the context of his pieces and asked for a bit of background about the environment he works in.



I chose this mural because it has a direct view from the hills, it is titled “Porvenir” (“To Come”) because of the elements I used: the brick symbolizes the future of a town that is emergent, the boy is the heir to this dream and apparent progress. There is also a plant growing from the brick, which is a repetitive element in my work that I generally associate with resistance, strength, and faith.



This area is home to some brick enterprises and factories, the land has a clay-like texture, which is the key material for the manufacturing of bricks. It is a very positive activity for the families in the areas, whom mostly make a living from that industry. This area is rapidly growing in its population, therefore families living there have to organize and mobilize their rights effectively, so that they have property over their homes. Frequently, they are kicked out by “land owners” or “companies” who don’t care about the community that is being built, nor the amount of time and effort families dedicate to this area.



In addition to the brick companies, there’s also a large area where grass is grown to sell for profit by square meters. I did this intervention at a high point in a hill where you can see in the landscape the brick and grass companies. In the Andean world, hummingbirds are a good luck charm and if a person runs into one it signifies something good is to come.


Photos courtesy of el Decertor 

Entes and Pesimo in Pamplona Alta, Peru

Pesimo & Entes
Pesimo & Entes

Last month, Entes and Pesimo participated in a grassroots project Alegrarte in Lima, Peru. This initiative stands out to me, particularly because of its focus to exist outside the city’s various arts districts. Alegrarte focused on bringing artists, such as Entes & Pesimo to decorate, revive and uplift Pamplona Alta, a shantytown in the outskirts of Lima. This is the project’s first go, and I’m hopeful that more attention will be brought to areas such as this; areas that do not have a potable water source, roads, or available long term educational opportunities.


Pamplona Alta is home to hundreds of families that settled in the mid to late 1980s, as a response to violence brought by The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), a revolutionary group known for its violence and extreme measures of political revolt. This growing township still struggles  with developmental and infrastructural dilemmas; thankfully artists and various non-profit organizations aim to beautify the town in more than one way, and as a response I’m hoping to see more attention brought to larger scale problems. Art is powerful, voilà!


Photos courtesy of Entes & Pesimo

Elian and Pastel in Wynwood, Miami

Elian + Pastel in Wynwood. Photo courtesy of Pastel.

Argentinian artists Elian and Pastel collaborated on various pieces during this year’s Fountain Art Fair in Wynwood, Miami. Both artists exhibited works inside the fair, as part of a collaboration curated by Atlanta’s public art non-profit Living Walls.

The above collaboration utilizes use of fleeting, temporary mediums that captures Elian’s and Pastel’s playful and meaningful interaction with public art. Pastel uses chalk as his medium; creating organic relationships with weather and the passing of time, while Elian’s repetitive lines will remain and play with the empty space that evolved through the lapse of time.

Pastel and Elian at Fountain Art Fair. Photo courtesy of Pastel.

This collaboration was one of my favorites that I saw in Wynwood this year. Both pieces communicate with each other but also have the ability to stand on their own as separate works.

“Divorcio” by Elian. Photo courtesy of Elian.
“Cachaça” by Pastel. Photo courtesy of Elian.

Photos courtesy of Elian and Pastel

Spaik and Painters in Cali, Colombia for the First Biennial of Public Art and Muralism

Spaik. Click to view large. Photo courtesy of Spaik.

Last week, the first Biennial of Public Art and Muralism took place in Cali, Colombia; inviting 33 artists, 17 international artists. This is a pretty big deal given that Cali is a medium scale city that has struggled with drug cartels and violence. In recent years, the city has made efforts to develop more positive outlets for communities through various non profit and government ran projects. Considering Cali’s context, bringing  together international artists to create murals and workshops proves that the development of community awareness to nurture cities, towns and neighborhoods is spreading via public art throughout various geopolitical boundaries. Festivals like this are inspired by street art movements in Europe and the U.S, and although some headliners in Cali’s Biennial of Public Art and Muralism are from those countries, most artists and speakers are Latin American and I can only predict that more festivals (organized and headlined by Latinos) are going to take force in Central and South America in order to give agency and more local cultural context to those artists and their communities.

Here are some works by Spaik (Mexico) in the Stadium Pascual Guerrero, Cali.

Photo courtesy of Spaik
Spaik. Photo courtesy of Spaik.

And here are some works by Painters (Chile) in the Stadium Pascual Guerrero, Cali.

Painters. Click to view large. Photo courtesy of Painters.
Painters. Photo courtesy of Painters.
Painters. Photo courtesy of Painters.

Photos courtesy of Painters and Spaik