While graffiti is sadly classified as vandalism rather than art in Singapore, local artists can vent their envy and jealousy on Alfredo Segartori. This well-known Argentinian street artist who is recognizable by his signature handlebar moustache, goatee and bald head, is self-taught and a proud creator of vibrant and colourful mega sized art works.
Ever since he can remember, Alfredo has always been mesmerized by street art, having seen pictures of graffiti from the 80s. His first execution in street art occurred in the early 90s in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he experimented with the aerosol can in his hand, spraying freely across the wall with the idea of creating images of the city. ”I’m inspired by space. An idea of a mural is born just by seeing the empty walls,” Alfredo explained as he brought me through his creation process. ”Depending on the job, the content and the dimensions, I can take a day to a month to complete an art work. I begin by sketching the elements on the space with white latex, laying colours as a guide and then move on to spray. I love working on colors and shapes very much.”
Many of Alfredo’s art works are recognizable by a theme that he likes to tap on: everyday life. “I like to draw everything from figurative to abstract styles, colour to black and white. Several of my murals are like urban mirrors reflecting everyday situations, even its grotesque reality such as portraying victims of the economic crisis and people living in the street,” he said. His canvases comprise an assortment of walls, bricks, veneer, wood, metal…whatever surface he can find and experiment on. Alfredo’s artworks can be spotted on colonial buildings, shops, train stations and walkways in Argentina and Mexico. One of his most ambitious artwork is the Libertador y Suipacha, which covers the entire side wall of the building of the Museo Ferroviario, a railway museum at Retiro in Buenos Aires. There is En la Mesa de los Muralistas Mexicanos, a mural of Mexican artists that can be found at the Insurgentes metro station in Mexico City, Cybertotem de los Colores Vivos which is a 7-tier mural of different coloured faces that stretches up to 7 storeys high, the 20-metre high Zapata at Balbuena in Mexico City DF (looks very much like the artist himself, don’t you agree?), and my personal favourite, Serie Pintor Gris which is the exact replica of the man and his table placed right beside it.
Alfredo enjoys the freedom of expression and the direct connection with people on the large scale with his supersized artworks. Each of his artwork is an anecdote that depicts a unique story and everyday situations. Already, he has gained steady recognition in the Latin mural and graffiti art world, being commissioned by brands and demonstrating his skills at various events. He agrees that Argentinian art has gained greater international recognition than in previous years, now that it has become an urban art paradise with an expanding base of talented artists. Despite his success, Alfredo showed a humble side of himself regarding his biggest achievement to date: ” My five-year-old son Theo, of course.”
Alfredo is currently painting at the prestigious academy in Columbus at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. He looks forward to his next big project at Mexico City to paint at the Museo del Juguete Antiguo de México (MUJAM – a toy museum) and at the Foro del MUJAM, and in April to start a spray paint and mural workshop at the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas in the University of Buenos Aires.
His advice to budding Latin artists: “Express freely and always be curious to explore. The greatest sin of any artist is to copy another’s artwork.”
This article was published on Vida De Latinos’ online magazine, 1 Feb 2013.
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