Apitatan

What makes Miami so special for us street art aficionados is the incredible mix of cultures and styles that makes its way to the streets of Wynwood and its surroundings. The wonderfully diverse range of characters that continues to surface are testament to this. Featured above is a close-up from a huge mural fashioned by the Italian artist Zed1. Several more follow in this first of a two-part series featuring curious characters recently encountered on Miami streets.

Chilean artists Jekse & Cines aka Un Kolor Distinto

Brazilian artist Cranio

Ecuadorian artist Apitatán

Ukranian artist Aleksey Kislow

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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A multidisciplinary artist and stage designer based in Quito, Ecuador, Irving Ramó recently shared his talents with us on his recent visit — sponsored by Somos Fuana — to New York City  To the delight of us street art aficionados, he painted alongside Colombian artists Guache and Praxis on a wall curated by Spread Art NYC.  While he was here, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

What brought you to NYC?

I traveled from Ecuador for an exhibit featuring my recent work — an investigation into my ancestor’s writings.

What spurred your interest into conducting that kind of research?

Curiosity! I’m obsessed with ancient civilizations that have disappeared.

And while you were here in NYC, I was introduced to you through your mural art! When did you first start painting on public spaces?

I started in Quito about five years ago.

And where else have you done public art?

I’ve also painted in Spain and here in the US in Miami and now in NYC.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand when you paint on a public surface? Or do you just let it flow?

I often use a photo as a reference, and I have a rough sketch with me.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I usually feel happy!

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with other artists?

I can adapt to any kind of situation. I’m happy to have a chance to collaborate with others.

You are amazingly versatile. Do you have a formal art education?

I studied graphic and industrial design. But I am mostly self-taught.

How has your aesthetic evolved through the years?

It changes every day – depending on what I need to express at the time.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

It’s to give visual expression to ideas. To show people that ideas can be real.

Images:

1 In Bushwick, Brooklyn with Spread Art NYC, 2017

2 Exhibit at Martillo in Barcelona, Spain, 2016

3 Gargar Festival in the of village of Penelles, Spain, 2016

4 With La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

5 Close-up from collaborative wall with La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

Photos: 1 Karin du Maire, 2-5 courtesy of the artist; interview Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Among the most exuberant walls in Mexico City are those painted by both local and international artists during the city’s Meeting of Styles festival. I first discovered them on a tour with Street Art Chilangoand then I kept on returning to them. Above is the work of Ecuadorian artist Apitatan. Here are several more:

Mexican painter Diego Zelaya

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Barcelona-based writer Musa 71

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Tucson-based Cyfione

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Main Rodriguez

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Mexican artist YuzuRabia

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French artists Astro and Shane Hello

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Photos by Lois Stavsky; special thanks to Caro for identifying so many of the artists as I was posting Mexico City’s street art on Instagram earlier this month.

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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Inti

Outdoor Gallery NYC author Yoav Litvin recently returned from a five-month trip abroad, where he explored the street art in several key South American cities and towns. I had a chance to catch up with him last week:

Those of us following you on Instagram got a mere glimpse into your incredible adventures on the streets of South America. You visited Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. What spurred your interest in that region?

I was curious. I had seen amazing works from South America online, and while I exploring the streets of NYC, I had met a number of South American artists.

"Gonzalo Sánchez"

In what ways did your findings meet your expectations?

I expected to be blown away and inspired. And I was — beyond any expectations.

"Stinkfish" "APC crew"

What were some of the highlights of your trip?

There were so many!  Among them were: walking around the streets of Lima with Entes; coming unexpectedly upon an art festival in La Paz, Bolivia and being in São Paulo during its 3rd annual Graffiti Fine Art Biennial.

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Do any particular impressions stand out? 

The juxtaposition between Peru’s rich culture and history and its current street art particularly struck me. And navigating Bogota was what NYC was like for me in the early 80’s. I always had to keep my eyes open!

"Marcelo Mente"

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What about some of the challenges along the way?

The biggest challenge — I would say — was the language. And living in the Vidigal favela in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro certainly was an experience.

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Where do you think the street art scene in South America is going? Do you think it will continue to remain so authentic?

It is difficult to generalize as each city and town is unique. But I suspect that it will continue to thrive.

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What’s next for you? 

This Wednesday evening, May 27, I will be speaking about my personal style as a street art and graffiti documentarian, along with the role — as I see it — of the street art photographer.  After sharing some of my experiences in photographing NYC street art and graffiti and publishing Outdoor Gallery NYC, I will speak about my recent trip abroad and present many images of street art that I photographed in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. The event will take place 7:00 – 9:00pm at Nowhere Studios, 582 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

EVENT FLYER

Note: All photographs © Yoav Litvin, 2015

1. Inti, Santiago, Chile 

2. Gonzalo Sánchez “Painters”, Valparaíso, Chile

3. Stinkfish and the APC Crew, Bogota, Colombia

4. Entes & Pésimo & 5. Decertor, Lima, Peru

6. Marcelo Ment & 7. Tarm1, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

8. Nove, São Paulo, Brazil 

9. Apitatan, Quito, Ecuador

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