Andi Rivas

INTERVIEW

How would you describe your contribution to the Truck Art Project?

I’ve come to the Truck Art Project with a cheerful, rhythmic and fast-paced project. Colours and forms that are ordered to create expressions or words, faces, or simply planes of colour.

How do the two sides of the truck engage in dialogue?

My intervention is a sequence of forms/ faces that ‘surround’ the vehicle. The two sides of the vehicle are two parts of a same work, although one of the sides will always be the visible one. That’s why I tried to make them complementary but not essential to each other.

What do you see as the challenges of the project?

Painting a lorry isn’t painting a picture. It moves. Normally we visit the artwork, but this one might pass by in front of your face when you least expect it. I think the challenge of this project is that of making a permanent exhibition in motion for a public that is not familiar with art. For me, diffusion is a challenge in itself and a motivation.

How does this project fit into your artistic development and discourse?

This action forms part of my series of street forms, where colour and form sometimes enclose written messages. A reflection on the purest graffiti.

Some artists admit they arrived with a preconceived idea which they then had to modify, or which grew in other directions when they were confronted with a support like this. Was that your case?

I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, and although you always have to improvise when you confront a new support, I didn’t deviate too much from my original concept. I generally paint on different supports and spaces… The canvas isn’t always the perfect one, or perhaps any can be in its own right.

How have you envisaged the reception of a work like this one, which is found rather than sought out by the spectator, and which doesn’t circulate through the usual artistic channels?

In principle, I think it’ll be a flash of light amidst the grey mass of the roadway, the tiring and half-baked advertising, the lights, traffic signs, more cars… I think it’ll bring a new spirit to the public highway… In fact, it’ll be very entertaining in traffic jams (laughter). I don’t know, I hope it inspires and transmits.

And the fleetingness of its reception?

This is a work that’s apprehended very fleetingly. In that respect, I’ve tried to be concise in the message, making an impact while avoiding a jumble. It has to be an image that’s digested in a short time, as it’s consumed only fleetingly.

How did you tackle the scale? Were you used to it?

For me, the scale hasn’t been a problem. I’m used to painting murals. In that respect, it wasn’t the biggest wall of my life.

What do you get out of participating in a project like this, and what do you think you contribute to it?

A project like this teaches you a lot. I learned from all those I worked with, I learned from other artists I met, I learned from the experience in itself. Apart from giving my work visibility, I’ve come away with fond memories and lessons learned! On the other hand, I think that what I contribute to the project is my own vision between graffiti and art, two ways of going about the action of painting a truck. Art that can be shit or shit that can be art.

What’s the interesting thing about a project like the Truck Art Project?

It’s a very interesting and innovative idea. It’s good for art because of the diffusion. It’s good for people because of the visual education. And it’s good for the firm because of the publicity. Everyone’s a winner. Moreover, a project sponsored with private capital in Spain? It’s an initiative that should be taken advantage of, and I hope it will encourage many others.

Andi Rivas (Cádiz, 1975) has been drawing all his life, but especially since devoting himself to it in a professional capacity in 2001. ‘My activities are born from drawing; that’s the glue which bonds together such disparate activities. If I give the drawing colour, it becomes painting; if I give it volume, sculpture; and if I give it sequentiality, film. In drawing, I find the starting point, the conceptual keys and the basic forms. The technique then does the rest,’ he explains. A well-known artist from Cádiz, Andi Rivas is a lover of iconography and visual humour who is profoundly influenced by the universe of the comic strip. During his career, he has alternated creative projects with personal production, working in advertising, design, exhibitions and animations. A restless traveller, he lived in Madrid, Barcelona, Holland and New York before settling definitively in Bristol (England), where he feels connected with the rest of the world. From time to time, he gets together with friends and paints in the street. As a designer, he has received many important commissions and today works internationally for packaging, mural and video projects. His work has been shown in exhibitions at the CAAC - Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville), Maus Málaga, Glastonbury Music Festival, Museo de la Comunidad de Madrid, Caja San Fernando and others.