by: JC Rodriguez
“Without the classics and that cultural background we wouldn’t be what we are now. We believe in new things but we also think that you can’t ever forget your roots and your background, from the classics we can still learn a lot and create new interpretations that could work in the contemporary time or in a future era." - PICHIAVO
Classic and contemporary combined to form beauty and chaos. The dynamic duo of Pichi and Avo has mesmerized viewers across the world. From the moment they came together in 2007, the Spanish artists have constructed larger than life compositions that connect the current to the past. With the undoubtable influence of classic art to contemporary urban art, the duo create pure poetry. Mythical figures drape large buildings and structures leaving all of us in pure awe. The work is deep and colorful, as one can spend hours looking at layers built upon layers. Their style has been described as both beautiful and performative, and we couldn’t agree more.
In a world so enthralled in the now, it’s good to know that artists like PichiAvo play tribute to the masters while creating an entirely new thing. This is what art should be all about, building on the past and making an even better version for the future. I guess that’s just another example of what life should be about. We asked the duo questions about their beginnings in art and how their work has evolved over time to impact their friendship and solidify their teamwork.
Photo By: PichiAvo Studio
What’s your earliest memory of art?
Avo: since I have memories I remember going to museums with my parents, having art and design objects at home or talking about art.
Pichi: my earliest memories of art are classical drawing books, those ones you use to learn drawing, they contained drawings by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, etc. My mother used to buy them for me so I could learn to draw.
Who inspired you to become an artist?
That’s always a difficult question as we find inspiration everywhere, of course classical painters are on the top of our list, but we also find contemporary artists interesting.
Your work is very much about the connection of classical art mixed with current contemporary urban art, what brought about the idea of combining both of these genres?
As an artist you need to represent who you are and be happy expressing yourself, so during the first years we have been trying different styles, focusing on the technique. At some point, we started thinking that we were lacking personality, so at the end we decided to mix the two worlds we feel that represent us better: on the one hand the graffiti, as we started our careers with it; and classical art, as we are art lovers and it makes part of our cultural identity. We feel that this mix represents us as art artists and as individuals.
More and more people are getting involved in and appreciating art, which is amazing. It’s opened so many more doors for artists like yourselves. Often times we see the new generation only looking at new pop art. Why should we pay attention to the classics?
Without the classics and that cultural background we wouldn’t be what we are now. We believe in new things but we also think that you can’t ever forget your roots and your background, from the classics we can still learn a lot and create new interpretations that could work in the contemporary time or in a future era.
You both have worked together since 2007 and have created some amazing artwork along the way. What is it like working as a duo versus doing your own individual work?
We don’t know how it would be creating our work as individual artists, so we cannot compare. What we can say is that we believe in teamwork to make better and bigger. We only see the advantage of being a team and we would love to grow so we can make more things all over the world that could be a challenge for us, two brains mean more ideas!
What element do each of you bring and how do you balance each other’s vision and ultimately the final work?
We base our work in layers, the same layers that a wall in the street could have, so what we do is mixing our styles and covering each other’s graffiti pieces trying to find a balance in the final result. We both work in the whole art process trusting each other and giving more layers to a piece of art that grows through the artistic process.
If you had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It would be interesting to talk with ancient classical artists like Athanadoros, Hagesandros and Polydoros of Rhodes who sculpted the Laocoön and his sons, or with Renaissance artists to talk about their classical inspirations. There are so many artists we would love to talk with Velázquez is a master painter that would be amazed to talk to and learn.
What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your work?
We want to see our work in different mediums and keep working in our sculpture line, we believe that we can express a lot in 3D formats.
What excites you about the creative process? How do you go about coming up with new ideas?
Creation is always a challenge, that is the exciting point, having challenges in which you can develop ideas in new places. We love spending time with the team at the studio talking about art and mythology, these moments bring up new ideas that then we put together and make them possible in the right moment and the right place, not all the ideas can fit anywhere.
PROVK is about highlighting creatives. We love the idea of where creativity comes from and how it can be lit by anything. When was the last time you saw something and felt inspired to create?
It was yesterday during shopping, we were in a store when we saw this massive LED screen that made us think about possible art installations, let’s see if we can make it happen in the near future.
Image by: Vinni Cornelli
Images by PichiAvo Studio