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Monday, August 8, 2011

Living Artists: Ever

Ever getting up in the working class Constitucion neighborhood of Buenos Aires
  • Courtesy Ever
  • Ever getting up in the working class Constitucion neighborhood of Buenos Aires
Here's how you're going to know Ever's work when you're checking out Living Walls this week: He paints massive faces that spew bright mind drops from their eyeballs. That might not sound extravagantly beautiful, but it is — he's one of our favorite artistas callejeros in Buenos Aires, a city that is currently being covered in gorgeous, painterly works (speaking of, we'll be profiling Ever's studiomate Jaz Wednesday in our Living Walls series).

Buenos Aires hasn't always been this mecca of self-expression. During 1976-1983's “national reorganization process,” better known as the Dirty War, a brutal era of government-sponsored kidnappings and murders took the lives of tens of thousands of Argentines. Ever's parents, pegged as anarchists, barely made it through those years. Small wonder that their son's creative output — as Creative Loafing found out when we hung with the guy in his hometown — assigns deep value to freedom of expression, the will of the people, and the fact that cops suck.

CL: What made you want to participate in Living Walls?
E: I've heard good things about this festival. Last year I wanted to participate, but due to financial circumstances I couldn't do anything. I've seen Remed's works from years past and I was fascinated by the images. It's amazing to see how common people come together for a common objective! I love that this is a movement made of people and not of brands, that's the most important thing: that it come from the people.

CL: What will you be doing at the festival?
E: What I like to do most of all, paint! I've wanted to come back to the US for a long time to feel the North American culture and to do my line of work here — which is to say, communicate with the city and see how the city responds. Atlanta is a warm city, with lots of dreams — or with a lot of dreams to fulfill. That's the first feeling I got from it. Let's see what happens.

CL: Why do you do street art?
E: For me, street art is the best way to share ideas, and a certain restlessness that I have. It's something I started doing when I was 16, which is the age when one is discovering things and looking for ways to call attention to themself. The most interesting thing about painting in the streets is the response it generates in people, in the people that see your art every day. Sometimes you start with one idea and end with another, because people help you to see other meanings. I'm not the owner of my pieces — the owner is the street.

CL: Lovely. So what are those shapes coming out of your subjects' eyes?
My abstract shapes speak to what I'm feeling in that moment as the character I'm painting. I try to see their soul, and even if I don't know them I try to discover what they're feeling and what they're sharing with me in their photo. It has to do with explaining how what's inside of them functions.

Mao Tse Tung, run through the mind of Ever, on a piece across the street from the artists studio
  • Courtesy Ever
  • Mao Tse Tung, run through the mind of Ever, on a piece across the street from the artist's studio
CL: What's it like doing street art in Buenos Aires compared to the other places you've been?
E: During my time in France, I realized the value of painting in a city as open as Buenos Aires. In Paris, for example, to paint a person's got to jump, climb, hide themselves, keep quiet, be careful they don't catch you, etc. I admire the people that can paint in Europe like that, but for someone who is used to the peace and a good reception from people, it's can be really difficult to create a work that you really like.

Argentinians place value on a young person painting with [supplies bought by] his own money, and I think that's due to the years of dictatorship our country suffered through, when “freedom” was something prohibited. Back then, young people who wanted to do what we do were disappearing. Now, when people see us painting in the street they feel like we're drawing “freedom,” that we can express ourselves and say what we want. It confirms that an era of horror is over and that now what we're doing is giving color to the street.

Also, the police have more important things to do than arrest me for painting. One time I was painting the face of Mao Tse Tung and a police officer came up and said “that's the fat communist, right?” I was surprised and spoke with him for a half hour about graffiti, and at the end of it he asked me if I could paint in his house, which I'd never do because I don't trust police officers.

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