We recently bumped into Spanish street artist Javier de la Riba, inviting him to stroll through places he has lived, places forgotten and rescued by color and geometry. Join us in this short journey!
-Introduce yourself to us with three words.
More than floors.
– Do you use a tag name?
I’m not used doing tags or signing my pieces. I treat the intervention as my signature
-How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
Visual Artist, I think that it is a wide concept itself to feel comfortable. Sometimes in the study and sometimes in the public space or in left spaces, depending on the Project.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
With scrawls, as all. Nowadays it is my work.
– What is Street Art for you? What impact has it had in your life?
Any type of expression in the public space without the intention of selling nothing. They are gifts to the community with more or less impact, with more or less ego. It does not want to say that if it is a question of order it should not ask for money.
I consider muralism street art even if it predates the concept itself.
-Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.
I work in very different projects where I decide the best process to show the message.
In the case of the Floors project, I first visit the site and take pictures. Once in the studio, I start to draw and combine colours taking into account the chosen environment. My intervention seeks to join forces with space, to integrate at the same time as generating a tension between chaos and order, between nature and human action.
–Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
I would like to hear the sound of the spaces where I work. That “silence” is the music that can best accompany my actions.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you?
Mostly walking and walking. Watching other artists work, seeing how they solve their challenges.
-What is the hardest part for you, while working on a piece of art?
Start. Today we have too many stimuli, which neutralizes and disables us. The beginning is the most complicated.
-Do you have an artists you admire and what for?
I’m not used to idealizing anyone, but I recognize that I find the work of Escif, Pejac and Aryz very inspiring.
-Which cities do you think are the most inspirational in Street Art?
I couldn’t answer this. Street Art is just to surprise you and appear in the most unexpected corner. It encourages you to walk without looking at the mobile.
-Do you have other passions apart from art?
I like to cook, I like the mountain and surf.
-Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving someday?
I like uncertainty to see how projects come up and do the most. I don’t know what wild project it would be, but I would almost certainly dare say that it wouldn’t be by itself, it would be by joining forces with other artists.
-Tell us about your art, does it include symbolism, messages or repeated patterns?
Yes, the patterns themselves already have some symbolism. They link you to the concept of home. In the Catalan Countries, there is a long tradition of hydraulic pavement. Space is filled with rhythm by repetition. It is an art that spread a lot thanks to the great weight of the middle class in that territory. It is tread art, popular art.
Apart from this generic reading, each pattern has its own symbolism inspired by the history of the place.
– How long time do your works usually survive for?
It depends on the space and the use it is given. If it is out in the open you are exposed to weather conditions as well as to the intervention of anyone else. The surface is also very important. Currently, there are some patterns that I made 3 years ago that still resist, others that in a matter of months have disappeared. The fact that they are fading seems very evocative to me. Only through implication can we face the grey. We should not tire of colouring as the tendency is always towards grey.
–What do you think people first think or feel when they see one of your works on the street?
They wonder if it is from the original space or a later intervention. I like to place myself in that limbo. From here each one will feel depending on their experiences and their visual culture. I cannot master that.
-Do you have a secret you would like to share with us? 🙂
It wouldn’t be a secret. In fact, I don’t have big secrets. I’m very faithful to the saying “if you don’t want something not to be known, don’t do it”
-What are your creative plans for the future?
I work a lot with the artistic collective Reskate (www.reskatestudio.com). Working with the very inspiring. In fact, the Floors project was born in an action with them. By this, I mean that I have no idea of the plans of the future but that work is emerging.
– How can we be informed about your next actions?
I am used to having the instagram @javierderiba @reskatestudio well updated as the facebook, twitter and the web www.javierderiba.com
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Please don’t read this interview by walking down the street. It would be quite contradictory to read about street art while missing it firsthand!
– Thank you Javier, its been very pleasant to get to know the person behind such great art!