It’s easy to recognise the work of Nuria Mora in the streets of Madrid, the Spanish artist defends her job of painting in the capital’s street, but she does not pronounce the words ‘Street Art’.
Her geometric art and strong tones create a very personals style. As this works of art are in the street they
Build up a relationship with the people from the area or that pass by.
We had a fun talk with Nuria Mora, that told us a bit about her art from her very special point of view.
What would you say to introduce yourself?
Im Nuria Mora and I’m an artist!
Did you study Fine Arts or are you an autodidact?
Well, I would say both things, it’s something that I got from my family: At home we’re all very creative. On my mum’s side there are a lot of artists, paintors and sculptors. My dad is an architect. So I don’t think it’s something strange that I’m doing art. I was born like this, though I don’t remember the first time I painted.
It was natural for you.
Yes, at school when they needed someone to do something related to art they always chose me. It was something normal. I’ve had a close relation with creativity since I was small.
How did your artistic path go?
My most well-known path is the one related to the street. This started in 1999.
I just started to do something and to see were it was going to lead me. I’m a curious person! It was just to experiment.
Nowadays it’s strange for people to start with the aim of being successful, they mostly use the street as a platform to attract attention. In my case it wasn’t like that: There wasn’t a will of being an artist. I just started to paint with the people of my university and with the colors of the street, because they were related to graffiti.
We started painting very different things, when the words ‘Street Art’ had no meaning yet, we didn’t even know what it meant. Actually, I don’t like what people now understand as ‘Urban Art’, it has nothing to do.
Because it turned into something more comercial? Or because its capturing people’s attraction more and more?
I think what happens is a way of manipulating: it’s like the most lovely part of graffiti, it’s an attempt of the city to manipulate something can’t be manipulated. They have named it ”Street Art”, but I don’t identify with that. And before it didn’t use to be like that.
What is your urban art about?
It’s like a curious part of graffiti. I see it like that. Its illegal paintings where the only thing I search for is having my own space in the urban chaos. Well, I guess I try to establish relationships with the place where the painting is done.
It’s also a way of telling the world ” I paint here and where I want to, even if it’s forbidden”. It’s like a speech or a declaration of intentions. The most important thing is to be conscious.
And the space.
Yes! And the space, which you are the owner of when in the moment when you’re painting in the street. You establish your own rules, forgetting about the laws that don’t allow you to paint there. You also create a relationship with the citizens, with the people that pass by and see your work. It’s a relationship that goes by the artistic to other levels, it’s very democratic.
Who is your reference?
I have lots of artists that I could say are my reference, and at the same time not even one: An artist never has to forget that there are a lot of things that sorround us every day, architecture, lines, walls, I like using these elements to get inspiration.
El verano pasado estuviste en Italia, como nació la colaboración con Bolonia y el proyecto de Frontier?
They simply liked my work and called me to paint a big wall in a working-class neighbourhood, a place for social housing.
There were a lot of artists involved, but we went in different times. There were different wals in different parts of the cities. We went in different periods of time so they could attend us all in the same way, they treated me very well, if was very familiar. I connected very well with them, it was great !
THE LAUNDRY ROOM
What are you most proud of?
What would you have been if you weren’t an artist?
I would have been a florist… Or another thing. I change every half an hour!
What would you take with you if you had to leave, pack all your things and go away?
I think I wouldn’t take anything, I would start from zero.
What can we find on your desk?
I don’t have a table, I have a lot of them! In my house, in my studio…
What is your first memory of when you were a kid?
An exhibition with all my drawings. My mum hanged them on the wall of the corridor in my house so my dad could see them when he came back from work. My own exhibition!
If you had to describe yourself with two words?
Mhm… impulsive and happy.
And a city?
A movie to laugh.
The big Lebowski.
A movie to cry.
To cry? Bambi!
Un error que has hecho y que seria orgullosa de repetir.
I made a lot of mistakes… I can’t decide!
I want to see the nothern lights, I want to travel very far on a scooter, on a Vespa or any small size scooter.
© fotos Nuria Mora, videos Frontier, retrato Giacomo Prestinari
Interviewed on December 2nd 2014 by Margherita Visentini.