Hello Nychos, tell us something about your most recent solo show at JLV Gallery, how was the first contact with them and what did you find during the whole experience?
I’ve met Jonathan LeVine a couple of years ago. We bumped into each other on different occasions like Art Basel, he then invited me to the Urban Nation Project in Berlin. ‘Ikon’ was my first solo exhibition with Jonathan, and I was really excited when he invited me to exhibit in New York City. I think it worked out really well and thanks again to Jonathan and his team.
I was also impressed by your murals painted around NJ. Great choice of the characters, super detailed compositions, amazing color palette..Wow, in a word. Tell me some about the production process, how did you prepare for such a work and what kind of reactions did you get?
I had a really great time in New Jersey. ‘The Anatomy of the Empire’s Eagle’ was the first out of the three biggest walls I painted recently.
I painted right next to the highway and it was really cool to see the reactions from all the people driving by. I am just really glad they were all positive and no one drove of the road… Mana Urban Arts Project and Jonathan LeVine were a really big help and I am thankful that they made it possible. The other mural I did in NJ was ‘Stay Weird’ – the Marshmallow Man. That one was not as big but still a lot of fun. I had the ghostbusters soundtrack stuck in my head for days because of this one. It’s always pretty cool to see people stopping when walking by. Especially in the beginning when they try to guess what the finished picture will look like.
I will not miss the opportunity to ask you something that I find in your works: in some of your anatomy representations I read a double meaning: “that’s the way we are” and at the same time: “we are more than what we see”. Are you interested in a way to these issues?
We definitely are the way we are. The human anatomy has always fascinated me – how the body works and what kind of system runs in the background. ‘We are more than what we see’ is a really interesting approach. A lot of people are often scared or grossed out by our inner system. Which I think is unnecessary. We often forget that our body works like a machine with pumps and fuel running through our veins. But besides all the organs and bones we are human beings with more than just anatomy to show.
Even if your attention to details is simply monstrous, it seems you never lose the “big picture”. Everything looks simple even if t’s made of hundreds of lines that create an inextricable plot. Do you think that productive effort is part of the work itself? I mean, beyond the aesthetic choice, what challenges you during the painting action?
Interesting, people always tell me that I constantly lose stuff. (laughs) It’s always important to keep the big picture in mind, especially when the walls are getting bigger. I mean you can be super detail-oriented but you need the proportions to fit, the shadows to make sense and the layout to be clear. These things are really challenging sometimes, if they are not right no detail can fix them. During the paint action there are always challenging parts, sometimes it’s moving the cherry picker while painting, sometimes it’s the location itself. I’m also permanently working on my style, trying new things. I like challenging myself because that’s also a way to improve.
What do you think of today’s street art scene, what’s left today of the original culture?
I don’t think of it in a original culture sense. There will always be street art and every generation will have their style and therefore their own culture. There are different ways to express oneself in street art.
And how do you think they will evolve in the near future, as they multiply dozens of street art festivals around the world, there are many who think that it is a bubble ready to deflate. Too much hype, too many artists, too many festivals … What do you think?
The Street art festivals are a different thing, I do think it is a hype right now. We will see where that leads to.
Artists just need to be careful to not sell themselves out and pick the Festivals that indeed take care of the artists and promote the right idea.
Your production in recent years has been truly remarkable, I do not think everyone understands how challenging is to devote himself entirely to art. How do you spend your days? There have been days off in recent times?
Well thank you! It is challenging but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have fun with it. There are not many days off. Once a project is finished there are already 5 more lined up. But I do manage to get a few solid hours on the surfboard in every once in a while.
At the end of the day I consider myself lucky to be doing what I do and that I can live off my art.
I am pretty curious about your artistic references, who would you highlight between your main influences?
I couldn’t name a main influence, I am a very visual person. Everything around me influences and contributes to my art, which includes other artists. But it would take too long to name them all.
And if you had to point a recent street artist that blows your mind today, who would you say?
There are so many recent street artists that blow my mind. I am super lucky to be able to call some of them my friends. For example Lolo YS, who has been around for a while now and constantly improves. I have worked with her before and look forward to collab with her again. Same with Dxtr, my crew buddy from The Weird Crew who has incredible style. Hopefully we can work together soon again.
Thanks for your time Nychos, then what are you working on for the next months?
The next couple of months I have a lot of things planned, including a comeback to the United States. This fall definitely holds some exciting new things..