Interviews | Ekosaurio | 01-06-2021

Known as Eko for some people, Ekosaurio for others, and Bebo for others is a self-taught Puerto Rican artist who, at the age of 15, began to do graffiti, which was his first connection with painting and art in general. He studied architecture and then completed two masters degrees, one in furniture design and the other in advanced studies in design. Despite never having taken lessons in painting or drawing, he pursued his dream and his passion for art. Some of his murals can be seen throughout the metropolitan area of San Juan Puerto Rico, and in some provinces of Spain such as Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia.

Your solid career and experience have 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?

One of the cities that marked my life was Berlin, I think it is one of the cities with the greatest expression in public space. From tags, stickers, murals, stencils… Everything, literally, is painted. It is as if the city itself was taking over space through different means of expression.
Barcelona is another benchmark where many artists from different disciplines and nationalities come together. It is a city where many things related to culture and art are happening, but above all "urban art" or interventions in public space. - For example, the Wallspot platform in some way or other influences that more artists or people from different disciplines can experiment by doing some intervention in the urban space due to the legal walls they manage. Besides, various platforms are specifically dedicated to urban art and interventions in public space. It's one of the biggest reasons why I love this city.

You are a multidisciplinary artist who has experimented with different artistic formats and techniques. What is the art form that you like to work with the most?

I really enjoy creating things a lot, I have always had this urge to create and always keep busy. I have experimented with different design disciplines and creative media, but I definitely like painting murals, and specifically the use of the spray. It is very satisfying to see the before and after of work or a mural; it is like giving life to a surface and/or environment.
Coloring is the part of my creative process that I enjoy the most and I that fight with too since I never capture the colors with which I will finally paint. It is part of my creative process to mix and balance the work with different tones, for this reason, each piece is unique. The fact of improvisation is a very characteristic element of my work.

In your Instagram bio, we find the word '' Neormentalism ''. Could you explain what it consists of?

It comes from the Art and Crafts movement (the late 1800s) and one of the pioneers and greatest contributors William Morris, who was a multidisciplinary artist, but was most noted for the natural patterns in textiles. Inspired by this time and in his decorative work, I seek to give a new vision of these floral and decorative patterns. With greater dynamism, adding elements such as light, shadow, and contrasting colors. --Neornamentalism would be a new vision of decoration in the landscape, it is enough with the speed we live and the internet ... –

Your artistic stamp is marked by the natural landscapes that you create, the flora, nature. What are your references? What do you inspire to carry out your works?

My greatest reference is my own childhood and the place where I grew up, it is a beautiful natural environment full of vegetation. At the beginning of my career, I tried to transfer that flora that I saw as a child while finding an element that would identify me as a Puerto Rican artist. This is where the flora is an essential part of my work. Also in the course of my development as an artist, I came across my partner (Andrea), -daughter of biologists- who taught me a lot about the different species and families of plants, their function, etc. Nature and its creations surprise me more and more.
I am also inspired by everyday life, the present, and being alive. I believe that my work reflects these elements with saturated colors and the vegetation that has been a living and essential element for the life of all the species that inhabit this planet. Some of my references are Pastel (Argentina) and Semfreio Bicycle (Brazil).

How do you perceive the experience of painting on a large-format wall?

It is definitely an incredible experience, and the fact of painting in public space already has other consequences. There is a dialogue between the viewer and the environment. It is also a job that requires a more complex physical and planning effort, but always with organization, everything is accomplished. It is also very different to capture the drawing since it is a larger scale, but there are different methods for that, such as grids or reference points. I mostly use reference points to translate my sketches onto the wall.

Would you recommend Wallspot to other artists?

Definitely, since I came to BCN in 2016 and learned about these legal spaces, my mind blew. The simple fact of being able to paint and express yourself freely in a city like Barcelona is incredible. I also appreciate the fact of how much it can contribute to the youngest artist encouraging them to enter the world of the mural or artistic intervention in public space. Particularly for me, being able to paint in these spaces has helped me a lot to continue my development as an artist and muralist, to be able to try different things, and even to meet other artists who become your family.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/ekosaurio/
WEB: www.ekosaurio.art