Street art has had a very incredible journey, from tagging in the 80s, to murals and artists such as Bansky putting it on a global platform. There’s one artist whose passion and love for both football and street art combine to make unique pieces.
Ahead of the return of LaLiga artists have been specially selected to install street art across the globe, one of which is the amazingly talented Gnasher who was chosen to create a beautiful mural in Stockwell, London! We managed to chat with Gnasher about how his love for graffiti formed and what the future of street art means to him!
How did you get started in street art?
It’s a long story, I started back in 1987 and it was called graffiti back then. The reason I got into it was because I was really terrible at skateboarding, so I sold my skateboard for some pens and just started writing my name on stuff. I gave up in 1994 and then started back up again in 2009 and now it’s turned into a full-time job.
How does it feel seeing an organisation like LaLiga support street art creation?
I thought it was amazing and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it, it’s a global thing, it’s mad! I know that Gaizka Mendieta liked it because he left a comment on Instagram and that made my week!
With the design how much of it is a collaboration? Do all the street artists get to freely stick with a style or was it more a universally consistent thing due to the other locations?
My style is more photo-realistic and I do all the preparation on my computer. So when I approach the wall, I put up my grid and I know exactly where everything is going so it’s less stressful. I photoshopped it all together and I knew what I was going to do from the moment I started.
Tell us more about your love of street art; Is it beyond the street now, and more appreciated and celebrated?
Back in the 80s, there was a big craze happening from New York and I was obsessed with it. For my school art exam, I did graffiti and I nearly failed art because it wasn’t really recognised as an art form back then. It then started to fade out after that and then it was rebranded again as street art in 2009, there was no difference other than the wording and that it was more accessible to the public. Banksy kind of brought the public back on side and now it’s recognised as art and it’s actually in places like Tate Modern.
Your designs which stand out to me are largely based around popular culture figures around that time, are those conscious decisions of things you just a fan of?
I’m a massive fan of films and things like that, but my real passion is animals, I’ve just got to paint them everywhere. I have never found anyone to be offended by animals so I plan to paint more colourful animal designs.
Do you have a football team you support? Be it Spain, and back here in the UK?
How did you become a fan of Atlético?
I play FIFA with my son a lot and I’m not allowed to be Real Madrid or Barcelona, so I play with Atlético Madrid. But even before that, I used to just enjoy watching them especially in the Champions League, I like Diego Simeone, I like the way he’s all about the team unit, which I pray West Ham can start playing like. Even when Torres used to play with them, they’ve always had a little soft spot in my heart.
If you had to pick one Atlético Madrid player to be able to do a large mural piece on who would you choose?
I think the young exciting prospect João Félix would be good, he’s kind of finding his feet but I think he’s going to need one for the future.
What’s your pick for the LaLiga title as it’s pretty exciting this year?
I have a feeling it’s going to be Barcelona again, they’ve got more of a team unit going at the moment.