Urban Nation Berlin – Museum for Urban Contemporary Art opened its doors this past weekend and besides the fact we were there to attend the big day, we also had the chance to interview some of the participating artists and talk about their installations and the importance of this new institution for the urban art scene.
It was just another surreal morning at Lindemann’s hotel in Berlin. Surrounded by legends like Carlo McCormick, Blek Le Rat, Mark Bodé & Ron English during breakfast. But this time, we sit next to David de la Mano & Seth Globepainter.
David have told me he is not very articulate when someone is interviewing him, so I told him would be something casual and no pressure. We accorded to have the interview at 9:30 am. I woke up early and headed downstairs–just to have a coffee and something to eat before our encounter—he was there, having a coffee too, so I just changed the format and decided to record our conversation during breakfast and throw some questions–maybe one here and one over there–with even some unexpected interventions by Seth as well.
Originally from Salamanca, but Uruguay based, David is a sculpture artist. His background, with a Doctorate in Fine Arts, have gave him a different perspective about how to work on the streets. He started to paint big formats in the streets back in 2008 and he hasn’t stopped since then.
He affirmed that “there is always a reason to paint” and his paintings are inspired by what he sees on the streets as well. Almost always in black and white, the silhouettes of human beings coexist with other beings, maybe animal headed or some of them carry spears and finally some are crowded into a dark knot, these characters share a tribal intimacy and together seem to construct choreographies on the walls.
The conversation started when he told us the story of this guy who is covered by tattoos with his designs. The guys sends David pictures of his tattoos, all of them referred to David’s work. –Probably your biggest fan, right? –Seth affirmed. Maybe… yes–David replied.
Exodus, protests and tales characters are some of the main elements in David’s artwork. Reverberations of cave paintings, but with a twist, a much more complex touch, inspired by different forms of concentrations: “those who mobilize against war, cuts and evictions, masses who attend a concert, etc.”, David says.
We distract a little bit and he showed us a collaboration with Hitness and we all wonder where is he now. David says to Seth, “he is from that same generation of Blu, Ericailcane, you know?” We start to criticize the way nowadays we classify artists and their style. “It’s pointless though”–affirmed Seth.
After talking about China and some sculptures Seth will do on his next trip, David suggested to Seth he needed to create bigger sculptures, that his work will fit in a bigger format. “You should do a bigger piece for your show in Paris, like three or four meters. Something bigger would be nice with your shapes and the color your work has, I think might be wonderful, ” –David concluded.
David de la Mano affirmed he loved the experience to paint at the Art Maile in Berlin because normally on other kind of projects, organizers ask him for a sketch and in this occasion, Yasha gave him the freedom to paint whatever he had in mind.–Do you have a piece inside the Museum? –I asked. “No, no yet,” David says. “I did one of the plates for the kick off dinner, some months ago though.”
It’s had you know. I live in a country where the chances to create are very difficult. For example, there’s no paper. —Really? Seth and myself asked. Yes! No joke, I have to go to Argentina, to get paper or whatever because in Uruguay they are running out of everything. If you ask, they just say: We will have it next year… So its impossible.
After talking a little bit more about Seth’s next adventures in China, we all stand up and say goodbye to each other. Seth is heading to the airport soon and David has to go pack his luggage as well. Maybe we will see each other soon, maybe not, but its always nice to have breakfast with good friends. No matter where in the world we are.
Words by Enriqueta Arias
Images courtesy by David de la Mano
Cover photo by Carsten Koall with the mural of Deih