When it comes to street art in north Africa, Pazzesco is an artist from the scene that lives in the thick of it. We are extra happy to speak with upcoming Algerian graffiti artist Pazzesco, in an effort to discover what its like being an artist in that part of the world, what inspired him and what drives his inspiration!
-What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
I prefer soft drinks such as Coca .. But during working hours I prefer a mixture of milk and chocolate. And sometimes mojito.
-Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
I am Houssem Eddine Boudjenana, an Algerian graffiti artist from the coastal city of Jijel .. People here call me Pazzesco, which is an Italian word meaning “crazy, and this word has become my nickname in the field of graffiti .. I graduated from Jijel University in 2018. I have a master’s degree from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences .. I loved drawing since my childhood. My father was a calligrapher, and I learned many things from him.
– Where does your (tag) Artist name come from?
My nickname is Pazzesco ..I like this pseudonym because it spared me a lot of trials and prosecutions by government agencies, especially when the issue of graffiti is political.. I was unknown to them.. and the government erased many of my graffiti works at the beginning of my career. And even now I still sign my murals using the name of pazzesco.
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
Personally, I don’t like to describe myself among people as an artist .. This depends on public opinion .. There are those who consider me an artist and I am happy with that, and there are those who see me I don’t deserve this title and I respect his opinion .. There are those who call me on the basis that I am a graffiti mural artist , and there are those who need me as a calligrapher. Or a designer or even a sculptor sometimes . Finally, the important thing is the work that I submit carries upscale values, according to my point of view.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
I started drawing at an early age, but I stopped this art for many periods .. the real start in street art was 2016 .. I and a group of fans of the local football club called “JSD Jijel ” drew a mural that glorified the history of the club and the result was impressive for me and for For everyone. With the passage of time I continued to paint murals, it became a habit and a hobby in my life before it turned into a passion .. I became more searching in the field of street art and trying to develop more day after day and all this despite the obstacles that I encountered in my career .. I am one of the founding members of a group practicing street art.It is called “SA Battalion” and we helped each other overcome the problems of poor funding because we work as volunteers and have no income .. Street art to me now is an addiction that I have really become obsessed with this art. I loved it and I cannot give it up.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
The first thing I often do after eating breakfast is to browse the Internet and social media to find out about the latest developments in street art as well as the latest works of my artist friends via Instagram and Facebook.
-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?
Music always gives you enthusiasm and pushes you to do the best and I choose the tracks according to my mood .. But often while at work I listen to local rap musicians such as “ZEDK _ NIRMOU _ SOOLKING _ ZAKO ، and also rai music, especially the late CHEB HASNI and I also listen to international singers like ALAN WALKER _ MALUMA MAROON 5 and KAROL G
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
If you notice my work, you will find it completed with various techniques .. Graffiti – Calligraphy – Portrait – Landscapes … and others. That is why the sources of inspiration for me are many. I can draw inspiration from history or local heritage from books and sometimes movies and other times from my inner feelings which is difficult to describe .. Even the place where the wall is located plays an important role in the source of inspiration.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
I think that the most difficult stage is the composition of the final image of the mural in my mind, this is before the work begins .. After the beginning, I fall into the problem of lack of means of work, especially since our country does not meet the minimum requirements of street art, because this art is very rare here .. There are no good brands of spray or caps.
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
I follow a lot of street artists around the world and we exchange experiences with us .. But I like Odeith because this artist is transforming old places into works of art using 3D technology. I also like the artist, insane51. His murals are unique and you can only see them using blue-red glasses .. They accomplish street art of a high standard.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
London, Berlin and NewYork.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
I like going to the sandy beach, carving on the sand, and watching football, whether my local team or international football, and in my spare time I play football. I also love traveling and sports in general
-Do you have a special project that you hope to achieve some day?
Create giant murals with my crew “SA Battalion”.
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
I paint with different techniques, and every mural I create has a special message .. I try to employ influential figures in my work to have a wide resonance and often the best subjects of peace, reject wars and racism, and adhere to human values.
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
It varies according to the location and the natural factors affecting the wall .. But I use the Varnish to keep the mural for as long as possible and last for years
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
The majority of people love art and beauty and encourage this art, which is rare in Algeria and North Africa in general .. People want more street art, and we, in turn, must go out with this art to where the public is, and it should not remain confined to cultural homes and museums.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
My creative plans in the future are to spread more art in the streets and cities of Algeria and North Africa .. I seek to create my own technique in street art that is a mixture of calligraphy and portraits, and I seek to participate in international festivals in the future.
-Is there a little wish you have that not many people know about?
People here appreciate our art, but they don’t know that we do not have products in our country of big street art companies like Montana colors, Molotov and Loop . We work with low-quality products.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Thank you for your time and for your support. Street artists around the world. My warm greetings to everyone from Algeria.
Thank you! It’s been wonderful to get to know more about the person behind such inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.