We are happy to present a fresh Interview with Spanish artist Taquen. His recent mural of migrating birds near Burgos for our partner StARTer Project, caught our attention and ignited strong emotions. Find out what inspires his artwork, what plans he holds for the future and more interesting information regarding this talented layed back artist. Lets all enjoy slowly!
– Introduce yourself to us
I was born in La Coruña, Spain (1992), but my whole family comes from Burgos. I have lived in Madrid since I can remember. I started with graffiti in high school and ended up studying fine arts in Madrid. Now I have been doing it for several years. I am also passionate about the mountains, where I spend most of my free time.
I am a perfectionist, stubborn and restless.
– Where does your tag name come from?
When I was young, I used to painting graffiti and my name was Take, then I added an N and finally changed the K to Qu. It seemed less aggressive to me and provided a bit more information on my behalf. It has no great secrets.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
It all started as a hobby, a way of spending time with friends. Now it takes most of my time, but it is still something that I share and that allows me to get to know myself and other people in a somewhat more creative way. Traveling to paint is incredible.
Working on the street is very special, very close to others.
– Street art has had a big impact on society in the last few years. Many artists manage to get in the spotlight and try making a career out of it. What do you think about this evolution?
Like all growth or fashion, it has a good side and a bad side. The bad side consists in the disrespect that is being had for shared spaces, for the environment. The figure of the paratrooper artist has more and more weight and quantity is valued more than quality. The good side is that I and many other artists can dedicate ourselves to what we like and that so many people know and support us. The street has endless options, but you have to continue to be careful, it is public and turning art into advertising has many disadvantages.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What is it that inspires you?
Move, change places, know through movement. Look carefully. Listen to a phrase, or read it. Anything. But above all, the changes.
-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 say none. I think that if the streets have something, it is its own sounds, its own noise. It is something that is also part of the environment and therefore of the work.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Myself. I consider myself very critical of my work and perhaps I put too much pressure on what I do. I also think that being consistent with your own message and concept is the most difficult.
-Tell us about your art, like the relevance of the nature in most of your designs.
In nature, and more specifically in the mountains, it is where I feel myself the most, where I am more comfortable. I consider the human being an absolute part of nature and a society far from is a lost society. We must live with animals, with plants, with places … All of this makes me always work and think about topics that include both animals and plants, speaking metaphorically about the human being and our behaviors. For example, to talk about movement and migrations, I can’t find an element that explains it better than birds, free birds.
The colors I work with I always try not to draw too much attention to the environment. My works dialogue both with the viewer and with the space they inhabit.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you?
The smallest, the slowest. The rural world fascinates me. Where the passage of time is appreciated, where the elements remain united and depend on each other. Where human beings still live staring at each other, slow.
Also Kathmandu, Nepal.
-There must be a huge collection of stories around painting on the streets over the years, aren’t there? Could you share one of them with us?
Something very nice happened to me in Castellón, Spain, in 2017, painting for the 12 Artistes 12 Escoles project. I painted a mural on the outside of a school and also conducted a graffiti workshop with the students. The teachers had been in charge of telling them who the artists were, they had seen videos and photos of our work and for this they thought we were famous and important. No one has ever treated me in such a special way as those children. They drew me drawings, banners, asked me for autographs and photos every day. No one ever valued my work as much as those children. I remember it very fondly.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
Mountains and family.
-What do people first think of, or feel, when they see one of your works on the street?
Are you gonna add some more color, right? Haha
I dont really know, I just hope they stop for a second and enjoy it, each in their own way. I wish they didn’t give it too much thought.
-Nowadays most of artist also think how the wall is going to impact the people in internet. How do you think about the use of social media in this field? Is part of the essence being lost?
Totally lost. It matters the size, the color, the sky behind … all this has taken on more importance than the work. It is a shame that this happens and more if we talk about urban art. I think there will never be anything like seeing it in person and enjoying the process as well. Contests, competitions have also come into play … that makes me very sad. Despite this, I must also be grateful for having been able to use the networks to publicize my work, it is a love hate. But instant consumption is placed ahead of enjoyment. This is why I like the towns, rural life, these things don’t happen there and life takes its time, without haste.
-Do you have a secret you would like to share with us?
I’m afraid of being standing, it overwhelms me I think. Although it sure should.
– Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving some day?
Not too wild but I do have a project in mind for a long time. Carry out several murals at the same time, tracing the same route from one to another by walking or running and recording the entire process. Talk about movement in motion, use my body as an artistic tool.
-Tell us about your plans for 2021
Soon I will participate in several festivals such as Grenoble Street Art Fest or Vigo Ciudad de Color among others. I will also travel to Tenerife for the Seis de Doce project and climb the Teide volcano. One bigger challenge in northern France is possible. I also have some artistic project in mind for a long time that I would like to carry out soon, but it needs your time. In addition, continue enjoying friends and family, mountains and nature. Maybe leave Madrid at last. I also have a couple of good friend weddings in my plans for 2021.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Let’s enjoy slowly.
Thank you! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such talented and inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.
Artist Links: www.taquen.es
Thanks to Estela and @starterproyectos (#wallkingstarter)