Okuda

INTERVIEW

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

The titles of the two pieces, one for each part of the truck, are Infinite Gazes and Inert Landscape. Both are painted with synthetic enamel spray on the canvas tarpaulin of the truck. The main intention is to have two artworks in constant motion all over Spain. I think that’s very interesting, as the work can reach an even greater diversity of people than those who generally look at a mural.

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

Even though they’re two different works, I think they have an evident direct relationship owing to the geometry I base them on. Also, I take the same technical approach. However, what makes them different is that one of them is conceived as a landscape which invites the viewer to enter it, while the other provokes exactly the opposite response. There are three faces observing the viewer and, at the same time, the landscapes are faced by the vehicle during each trip.

What do you see as the challenges of the project?

Perhaps the fact that it’s a living artwork, that it’s constantly in motion. That set me thinking about the idea of a return journey. How does this project fit into your artistic development and discourse? In my case, I think this is a totally new format, in the sense that the result is, as I mentioned before, a living artwork, always in motion. I hadn’t done a painted truck before. That’s another novelty, of course. However, I have done another living artwork of the same type: a first-class train that travels all over India, and which also had an intervention on both sides.

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?

In a certain way, yes. I had thought of doing a landscape and a recumbent body, influenced above all by the fact that this is such a horizontal format. I’m more used to vertical formats, like the ones forced on you by buildings. And after finishing the first side of the truck, I saw clearly that I ought to change the idea for the second piece and make my characters look at the viewer. That created the connection I was seeking, and which has to be produced wherever the truck goes.

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?

Exactly what you’ve mentioned is what most attracts me about this project. Also, because it’s directly related to the start of graffiti, the beginnings of street art itself in the New York subways, where something very similar can be said to have happened: people came across the artworks all of a sudden. That’s magic.

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

To be quite honest with you, it’s even quite small for me. The truck is a fairly comfortable format to work in. The only thing I’m less used to is the horizontality. Buildings imply more vertical compositions. Here it was all very horizontal. But that led to my decision to do a reclining figure, and to my choice of a landscape.

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

What this project can most contribute to me is having a new piece in motion. That’s what attracts me most. As I said before, it reminds me of the piece I have in India, on a first-class train travelling constantly all over the country. I find that idea enticing. On the other hand, what I contribute to the project is above all colour, freshness, and a small dose of the Pop Surrealism that characterizes me.

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

That it’s the first artistic initiative where the artworks, the museum and the exhibition are in constant movement and can reach all kinds of people and all kinds of towns. For some of them, this is the only way they could possibly get to know the selection of artists taking part here.

Okuda San Miguel (Santander, 1980), pintor, escultor y diseñador, ha desplegado su paleta de colores por infinidad de rincones de la tierra cántabra. Sus composiciones geométricas rebosantes de vitalidad están repartidas por pueblos, plazas, campos de fútbol, y hasta un faro. La decoración cromática del faro de Ajo, en la costa santanderina, es una de sus obras más conocidas. En paralelo a su trabajo en la calle, ha desarrollado un camino más personal, donde las estructuras geométricas y estampados multicolores se unen con cuerpos grises y formas orgánicas en piezas artísticas que él mismo cataloga como de «surrealismo pop». Sus trabajos a menudo plantean contradicciones en torno al existencialismo, el universo, el infinito, el sentido de la vida, la falsa libertad del capitalismo, y muestran un conflicto entre la modernidad y nuestras raíces. Sus creaciones han podido verse en urbes y galerías de todo el mundo. Entre sus intereses, «seguir produciendo en mi estudio y en el espacio público; construir pinturas, murales, instalaciones y esculturas que lleguen al mayor número de países y culturas. Hacer sentir cosas a todo tipo de gente. Y, sobre todo, dar color al cemento gris».