Remed

INTERVIEW

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

Sincere.

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

The two parts form a complete poem.

What do you see as the challenges of the project?

My intention is to create harmony. Having little time to feel and say something open and relevant in an evolutionary context.

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

It’s one more artwork. An empty canvas that got filled. An intention materialised. Part of the road. A memory. A possibility.

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 arrived with no idea at all. I didn’t know whether to do something figurative or written, or whether to use outlines, planes or blurs. I waited until I was in front of the surface to look and choose. As the context was unstable, because I knew the work was going to be moving and changing location all the time, I didn’t manage to find a reference or guide to start working with. I only had the proportions of the moving canvas. I also remembered some trucks I painted years ago and the pleasure of making sweeping gestures with a spray. I therefore chose to write and play with my name, Remed (‘el arte como remedio’, or ‘art as remedy’), for the sheer pleasure of it and as a tribute to the thousands of trucks painted by graffiti artists for nearly 50 years.

I took a piece of paper and started to look for new letters adapted to the proportions of the canvas, and eventually found them. Then I had to complete the right-hand part of this side, so I played with the sounds until I found a poem of seven words and three lines. I tried to find a way of writing that would be similar to the title but more calligraphic. I did some trials with the spray on paper before painting the first letter on the truck. Each one is ornamented on a mechanical basis, an ‘L’ repeated on the left. If this is left out, the poem appears clearly.

This side says:

‘REMED (Y)

Art, I Part.

Sincere Act.

Eternal Pact.’

On the other side, I repeated the same process. You find a guiding thread of words and another short poem. I decided to use the same colours, primary tones, white and black. Unlike the other side, the background is dark and the letters are luminous:

‘LOOK

Art Remedy.

Bind Fear.

Love the Fact.’

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?

This dimension of the work is one I like very much. I find it generous. It’s like an honest mural, a conscious graffiti or a flower growing in cement. It’s a surprise, an alternative. It seeks nothing other than to be, and perhaps to broaden the perception of its testimonies.

And the fleetingness of its reception?

I like the chance that it won’t be possible to decipher it completely, the chance that the artist will change viewers while they perhaps imagine another possible reality, another end to the job, another work.

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

Yes.

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

Taking part in this project has allowed me to create with the sole aim of experimenting, learning and sharing. I didn’t have the sensation it served any purpose. I was able to create freely, I hope to have brought beauty. That was the main intention.

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

A project that allows an artist to express himself without a specific purpose and offer the viewer a chance to create without realising it is a gift for everyone. My thanks go to the team of Ink and Movement, the Truck Art Project and Fer Francés for making this possible with their initiative.

Guillaume Alby, alias Remed (Paris, 1978), combines the influence of classic names of twentieth century art, such as Modigliani and Léger, with the ancestral wisdom of the Zellige, a type of hand-crafted Moroccan mosaic with a wide variety of subtle variations in colour, form and size. In a similar way, Remed searches for his artistic truth through simplicity and a universal language of form and colour. After a period of training, he began his career as an independent artist while at the same time teaching the basics of street art to children at schools and social institutions. His meeting with the Algerian painter and designer Mahjoub Ben Bella was a watershed in his creative development, reaffirming his determination to concentrate on artistic production. After moving to São Paulo in 2006, Remed’s career took a radical new turn, and he started to produce large murals, developing a cosmological and spiritual visual language. A tireless seeker of harmony in the world around him and a student of the relationship between mathematics and aesthetics, the artist absorbs the visual style and equilibrium of Islamic art and marks it with his unmistakable stamp. Since returning to Madrid, where he has taken up residence, Remed has progressed further in the evolution of his own style, maintaining a powerful presence on the urban scene.