Pioneer of the graffiti movement in France from the mid-80s, Juan-Pablo “POPAY” from Ayguavives lives and works in Paris. Renewing the American canons of Hip-Hop graffiti under various influences (Comics, Free Figuration or Modern Art…), Popay, virtuoso tagger, master of calligraphy, is one of the first European artists to have renewed the genre by decorating his frescoes of picturesque characters, prolific landscapes and feverish ‘Freestyles’, lyrical and organic abstractions of great strength and real chromatic variety.
He was already an outstanding ‘writer’ and colorist in this emerging movement on the fringes of the art market, which did not yet call itself ‘Street Art’.
In terms of medium, Popay very early diversified its plastic activity, at the turn of the digital shift, not confined to the street, not content with traditional tools, aerosol and marker. He produces a multitude of works on canvas, but also illustrations, in a wide variety of fields: fanzines, flyers, posters, record sleeves, advertisements, comics. He also learned about computer graphics, compositing and cinematographic special effects.
In parallel to the quasi-purist activism of clandestine and urban painting, based on the example from across the Atlantic, Popay’s style breathes new stylistic freedom, between Punk, Alternative Rock, and Hip-Hop.