How would the world appear if it was created using colours, shapes and fantasy alone? Spanish artist Oscar San Miguel Enrice aka Okuda San Miguel creates just that vision.
Constructing a different world, surrealistic and modern, Okuda shows us - through his art – how reality could be interpreted, if only our imagination could speak. Here he talks to PETRIe Contributor Giulia Catani.
Giulia Catani: Okuda, since the age of 17, your work has been visible on the streets of your native city. How did your body of work first start to evolve?
Okuda San Miguel: Always in the streets, in old factories and lost railway walls. In the beginning I used to do letters 3D and sometimes with other elements like puppets. I kept growing step by step in the direction of my own pop surrealistic style.
GC: Did you always have a passion for drawing and painting?
OSM: Yes, I have drawn since I was child. Always drawing in the back row of class at school!
GC: Why did you choose old buildings and streets as the space to expose your work?
OSM: I didn’t choose it… Those were the only places to work without problems, and the streets are the best place to showcase work.
GC: You use eclectic colours and geometrical shapes, mixed with grey and surreal representations. What's the meaning behind them?
OSM: The geometric architectures and volumetric constructions came from my letters. I started to transform those letters into circles, triangles and rhomboids and later I mixed these colourful geometrics with my studio surrealistic compositions. My love for surrealism comes from my academic season.
GC: How long does it take for you to produce one of your pieces - from initial preparation to the final conclusion of the work?
OSM: It depends on each one. Sizes, lifts, scaffoldings. But normally, a four or five floor building is around three or four days with a lift. If it is scaffolding it takes more time.
GC: Do you initially design in small dimensions before scaling up?
OSM: Normally I decide the sketch an hour before, in front of the wall. I don’t usually work with a final sketch though; it’s just in my mind. But sometimes I work with some photos as a reference point. Sometimes I come with my initial ideas when I am in airplanes, I find that is the most inspirational and quiet place to create and to think about new ideas. The feeling that I am over the clouds with my music, I love it.
GC: Your project in the Kaos Temple, known as Skate Church, in Llanera, Spain, is impressive. Where did the idea to paint a Church first originate? And what were you hoping to represent through this particular work?
OSM: The magic of the internet. I just saw a photo from the church and the skate park inside. And I fell in love with it: that mix of old and new told me that I had to paint my own world inside. I met the Church Brigade guys and saw the space in person and I started to think of a way to get the money to do it with my manager and my creative team (Ink and Movement).
GC: You have been travelling all around the world, leaving your ‘signature’ in places like Europe, Africa, South America and so on. How important is it for you to travel and be in contact with other cultures?
OSM: Traveling and giving away my colourful art to the world makes me happy. The contact and feedback with different cultures inspires my work and me all the time. Visiting new countries is my best motivation to keep creating.
GC: What are you working on now? Any future projects lined up? Any particular parts of the world you hope that your work will take you to next?
OSM: I have no limits. I don’t know what’s next, but I want to produce artwork and work all over the world with the same intensity as today. I am very happy to have the energy to do it at the best level. I am creating my 2016 schedule now and a lot of projects are coming in new countries like Romania or Hungary - or my first journey to China, I hope Australia comes too. You can see my news and everything – just like a diary - on my Instagram @okudart.
Words: Giulia Catani
Artwork: Okuda San Miguel
Photography: Elchino Pomare