Spain’s Skount, now living in Amsterdam, is a well-traveled and talented muralist. There’s an obvious human commentary running through his work. His masked characters are influenced by his childhood growing up in small town Almagro, Spain, where there’s a culture of classical theatre.
Check the Skount slideshow…
Of Masks and Men
I began painting graffiti letters 11 years ago, but over time, my self-interest and research in other fields / art disciplines, have led me to other kinds of works such as murals, illustration, painting, sculpture and installations. I like to investigate different techniques and other ways of expressing myself.
My work is characterized by a mixture of influences and different forms of expression! It deals with the creation of a wide range of possibilities: from mural painting to music, canvas based work, performances, video art, sculpture and installations.
Behind all of my work is the notion of “the fundamental necessity of the human being to free his mind, his emotions and sensations that extended over his soul, which have been nourished by everything that surrounds and stimulates him.” I address the fact that the urban environment hardens the individual.
The significance of all my works are difficult to explain in general because each work is different from the others. The masks that my characters have are there for various reasons, which I’ve found over the years. Masks have been used by humans since the Paleolithic period for various reasons, festivities or sacred rituals. Ultimately the mask disguises, hides and/or reveals the identity of the wearer and is part of the spirit of the person who wears it.
Different situations and experiences of my life have made my characters wear masks today (in the beginning they didn’t). My characters are extensions of myself, there’s a spectrum of possibilities for a given situation and masks help explore those.
My main motivation has always been to bring my work to the street, which I think is like an open museum with endless possibilities. Progression is simple: I draw and sketch on paper and then I develop the piece in the place I like. Working outdoors is part of the process of investigating other ways to express myself. I do also paint canvas and make sculptures. I like to use different materials and techniques, without limits. I like to use everything and mix it all together.
There are a lot of artists in Amsterdam but there aren´t many who do things in the streets; it’s usually foreign artists who here and do things. The laws and the police are tough on graffiti and street art.
Recently I was at the Stroke Art Fair in Munch (Germany) where I painted a wall called “Blind Virgin” and the white shadow of her faithful. This fair is cool because a lot of artists from around Europe meet there. For me was really interesting to discover there the artwork of the Greek artist Blaqk.
Then I was invited to Israel for the Castro Street Art Project, where I painted three big murals. Again, the event was really interesting for me. I got to travel around the country and learn about the mix of cultures there; sometimes good, sometimes bad.
I painted one wall in Israel in collaboration with Beastman (Sydney) and Jack Tml (Jerusalem) - see the photo above. There were a lot of good artists like Minjae Lee (Seoul), Alexandro Vasmoulakis and Paris Koutsikos (Greece), Claudio Ethos (Brazil), Kukula (Oakland), etc.
In the future I will continue travelling, investigate new ideas with painting, discover new things and learn about different cultures and people around the World. If possible I won’t stop doing the things I love.