Tim Marsh is a half-French half Maltese artist who is currently based in Barcelona. He is a multidisciplinary artist who never stops creating and experimenting with different formats and creative fields. We can see him painting from walls to canvas, on lightpainting works, or even skateboards, which are filled by his artworks.
His style is characterized by colorful geometric shapes that address different themes: from animals to social satire, his artworks hide a deeper meaning which eventually invites people to stop and reflect upon what is represented.
You have a solid track career that has allowed you to travel to different parts of the world. Is there a city that you could highlight as a reference for the expression of urban art?
I’m very conscious about how lucky I am to have been able to discover and paint in different parts of the world. And also, every time I ask myself If I should live in the cities I paint, every time I feel that those places are where I would like to stay!
The city I’ve enjoyed the most is Capetown (South-Africa), not only for urban art itself but also for its proximity to nature.
But, until now, I’m still thinking that Barcelona, in urban art terms, is one of the best cities. There’s an amazing scene, people from all over the world come here, on vacation or to stay living for a while, and makes Barcelona being an amazing mixture. It's sad, though, that the town hall doesn’t give credit to the fact that this city could be a referent for urban art.
However, the city that impacted me the most as an urban art reference is Bogotá (Colombia). The government understood that art could be a strength, so the city is filled with colours, murals, party walls…
You are a multidisciplinary artist. We see your artworks, not only on walls but also on canvas, on light painting format, even on skate and surfboards. What differences and coincides do you find on these different styles that you’ve been experimenting with?
I like to produce and to experiment. If I would only paint on murals, I would bore myself, and the same happens if I would only paint on canvas. I think the mixture if everything is what makes me enjoy my job. It’s been a while now that I’ve been doing studio work, and I’m willing to start painting walls again!
I think each discipline can contribute to others. That’s why I try to discover more and more. In the end, it’s always about producing art, but with different tools. And it allows you to discover, to learn and to surprise. I think this is very important in the art world, that I see as a life adventure. Before, when I had an office job, I knew every single day would be the same. That’s so boring! I want to run away from this now, and not knowing what I’m going to do the next day, It’s the best for me!
Your artworks show an authenticity that drives to think that, at some point, is the result if the magic of the improvisation from the execution of the artwork. Is there any previous preparation for your murals? How would you describe your creative process?
Sure! This is something that I also find really important. For each piece, I make a sketch with the main figure, and where are gonna be the lights and shadows areas. Once I make it, though, I guide myself by the moment, by the painting. This is something super fun for me, to discover the artwork while I’m doing it.
When I was a kid, my mum had celebrity quotes on my bathroom walls. One of them was from Picasso: ‘’If you know exactly what are you going to do, why to do it?’’ This quote marked me!
What would you like to transmit from your artworks to the people who see them?
What I like the most through my works is that the meaning is not seen directly. I like to make colorful pieces that seem happy, but when you see them and relate them to the present, you discover a much deeper meaning.
This is what I do with my Poblezoo project. The paintings seem happy and colorful, but each painting is related to the animal condition, and how they suffer.
In the end, I like to say that I paint to make children smile, and for adults to think.
Do you think that the city where you have lived has affected you on an artistic level? How?
Obviously, everything that surrounds us inspires us. And arriving in Barcelona has greatly affected my paintings and my style. First, because when I lived in Paris, the painting was just a hobby. I didn't have much time to paint, because I worked a lot as a graphic designer. And being able to focus on painting makes you better technically, but also reflect on what you want to do, and in what way you want to do it. Another very important thing is seeing, knowing, and painting with many artists from Barcelona. You learn a lot, they inspire you.
Also, something very important is the weather in Barcelona, we are lucky to have the sun, the sea, the mountains nearby ... Here, in January, you can paint without any problem, and so on all year round! In Paris, as in other cities further north, it is very difficult to paint in winter!
How did you discover Wallspot? How do you think the fact of having legalized walls affects a city like Barcelona?
I think it was the first thing I looked for when I arrived. Where you could paint without risking ending up in jail. When I got here, I was in a bit of a tight situation, and I couldn't risk getting caught. And that's why legal walls allowed me to paint more than ever! It's lucky to have these walls, and they allow artists not only to paint walls, but also to continue producing, but also to work on their style, their technique, just focusing on it, and not having to make their piece as quickly as possible! so the police don't catch you!
What I'm still waiting for is that the city council realizes how lucky it is to have all these great artists here to be able to paint more large walls as they do in many other cities.
Would you recommend Wallspot to other artists?
Sure! I always recommend Wallspot when a friend comes from another country. So we can enjoy ourselves, take all the necessary time, and have a nice photo.
But also, for those who live here, it can be very frustrating to have pieces that stay for so little time. So, I would say that the legal walls are great, but I think that you would also have to find walls where the works could stay longer if not, you go crazy!