A common theme in South American street art is the clash of indigenous cultures with the modern World, globalization and consumerism. It’s one of the themes that Flix explores in Caracas, Venezuela. His work makes me want to jump on a plane and discover a new city. Flix turns everyday objects into colourful robots with a clear Aztec influence, working with a wide range of techniques. We catch up with Flix and ask him a few questions.
Check out this superb Flix slideshow below:
The Origin of Flix
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1976. I loved drawing since I was a little boy. I remember drawing on the walls of my room and the walls of my house. All were completely filled with my drawings! There are still some remnants of my drawings in my mother’s house. I grew up in an artistic environment; my parents are artists and architects, and I am an architect and photographer.
I started painting on the streets seven years ago when I discovered that the streets are a perfect space to express yourself, a place where anyone of any ideology, religion, social status or race can appreciate your art. I chose the name Flix because I like it graphically and phonetically. It is easy to memorize.
I like painting on the street the most; I also make small posters, stickers and canvas paintings. I learned lot of different artistic techniques, from photography to stencil making. After a while I started mixing several of these techniques together to translate my ideas into the street. I use paint, markers, paper prints, sprays, glue, photographs, drawings and creativity. I’m doing more hand painted posters and stencils now because they’re faster to put up on the street.
I like to paint in run-down neighbourhoods, where there are walls and urban elements that have been forgotten and have been deteriorating over time. I like to paint street furniture such as hydrants, utility poles, metal boxes, etc. I want to fill the grey city walls with colour! I love to create a more playful urban environment, where there are elements that surprise, make people think and that break both the monotony and the hustle and bustle of the streets.
My art has been influenced primarily by my experiences; all those dreams, ideas, thoughts and feelings that I have inside, everything I have perceived locally and globally. Since I was a little boy mechanical structures always caught my attention. Today I merge these robotic elements that represent the future, with elements of ancient cultures that represent the past, creating hybrids that where elements of modern city life interact with the traits of past cultures.
My work is characterized by two main styles: The first, where I can create colorful elements (lines and robots) that could be considered as mere decorative samples and the second, in which I expose more figurative and symbolic elements that I believe have greater depth.
I am inspired by issues or activities that deserve criticism: war, violence, global warming, social injustice, consumerism, the imbalance in the organization of cities, etc.
I really like painting in Venezuela. I feel that there are many things to communicate and express to our people. Sometimes painting here is very risky, you have to be aware of the police too. Venezuela has always had a growing artistic movement. Urban art has definitely been growing in recent years.
Several artists are coming out of galleries into the street. I think everyday people give more value to urban interventions; people are beginning to wake up, shirk off their prejudices and appreciate the artistic events that are outside of museums and galleries.
The reaction of the authorities is mixed. Lately in Caracas the authorities have given more value to this type of art, inviting urban artists to create interventions in public spaces for the city.
Other Venezuelan Artists you should know!
There are many great Venezuelan artists. To name just a few, here are some Venezuelan artists who are doing interesting graphic and sculptural work:
- Isaias Villarreal a sculpture artist who works with damaged trees which are located in the city streets (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740489474).
- "Saz" is a street artist who paints faces of people, integrating various Arab and tribal elements (www.flickr.com/photos/saz1o, https://www.facebook.com/saz.oner).
- "Fe" reproduces paintings by famous and important people in the art world in general and placed in the street (http://fecaracas.blogspot.com/, https://www.facebook.com/fe.ccs).
Una gran abrazo!