Interview with legendary brazilian street artist Speto.
When I interviewed Rodrigo Level, the brazilian street artist cited Speto as one of his influences. As a matter of fact, Speto is one the graffiti pioneer in Brazil. Nothing would have been the same without this guy who as been involved in the street art for the past 27 years. Who can beat that?
More about Speto.
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I am Speto , I am 40 years old, I was Born in Sao Paulo City, and I have been doing graffiti over the past 27 years.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
A lot of passion for Brazil and brazilian culture, especially The Cordel style. I portray things in a simple and playful way.
I mix several technics , I do graffiti like wood-carving and everything else as a reflection of how I see the world.
PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR WORKING PROCESS
I began graffiti in 1985 and in 1986 I started to do illustrations for Skate magazines and Record jacket’s . I had two different styles, My graffiti style was very traditional , hip hop based and my illustration style was a mix of everything else , like tattoos, wood carving prints etc- but it was only in 1999 that I
blended both styles. At this stage I was working for a brazilian band named O RAPPA, doing live painting performances during their concerts. I became very skilled and agile doing live pantings ( a concert had a 1:30 hours ) , my drawing was super bold, it needed to be sharp enough to be seeing from far distances – I travelled around Brazil painting for a public of more then 10.000 people at some concerts
and ended up doing more than 360 paintings in total – I’ve learnt so much from this period, from the live paintings. As I started working when Computers were not around, I learnt lots of technics in a classic way and I try to blend them very subtly. The artwork value is in it’s contents, in the capacity of arousing emotion and visual stimulus.
I always study and do lots of research , my mind is continuously painting and processing images.
HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCE YOUR ART?
I came from a neighborhood where the children would play freely on the streets- Riding their bicycles and skateboards , playing with kites ,lantern balloons … My grandfather was a Sambista (samba musician) , My uncle was a soccer player, my father used to sing and my
mother was extremely catholic . All those elements were very important through my childhood and youth. I am a self-taught artist , I did not go to school nor to the University. Graffiti was something completely new back then and there was no school other than the Streets .
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?
There are several , here is the list: Picasso, J.Borges, Samico, Portinari, Lucien Freud, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Ezra Jack Keats, Miroslav Sasek,Aubrey Beardsley,Richard Downs, Clayton Brothers, Guy Le tatto, Thomas Hooper,Posada, Hanna Barbera, Thunder Bird, Russian, tattoos, cartoons, posters, Muhammad Ali etc.
ANY LAST WORD?