Spok

INTERVIEW

How would you describe your contribution to Truck Art Project?

On one of the sides, there’s a graphic representation of my name. On the other, there’s a little situational joke: the truck I painted belonged to a drinks brand that’s the competitor of another brand that offers you ‘wings’ if you drink its products, and what I did was to paint a disgruntled and over-excited Mickey Mouse knocking the wings off some wasps with a fly swatter.

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

The graphic style of certain elements coincides, and each side shows my name and my style.

What do you see as the challenges of the project?

The location and the time of year when it was done: Ibiza in summer. I had to decide between painting, enjoying myself and sleeping. You could only choose two (laughter).

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

I often work with humour in my pieces. The format also introduces more flexibility to the solemnity of the artwork, besides its semi-ephemeral character. It forms part of a line I’ve worked on in the past.

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 a totally clear idea. I knew what I wanted to do and how to go about it. I wasn’t conditioned by the support.

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?

The format is fantastic, and unfortunately isn’t often seen. Ninety-nine per cent of the painted trucks you see are the result of illegal graffiti. I suppose it must be startling for the public to feel ‘taken by surprise’. I don’t think anyone will be left indifferent.

And the fleetingness of its reception?

It’s like a good advertisement, which takes you more than one look to process it. The people whose attention is drawn by it will probably feel like seeing more.

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

In my case, I paint buildings that are quite a lot bigger. What’s more, my truck wasn’t very big and the horizontal format makes everything much easier. That meant I found it fun rather than a problem.

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

I love the fact I’ve painted the truck, and I’d be delighted to do it several times a year. For the project, I’ve contributed a different nuance. Like the facets of a diamond, it’s the combination of nuances that gives the project its value.

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

Moral judgments aside, painting on trucks has always been linked to the graffiti movement. Having the opportunity to do something on a mobile canvas is always interesting because it allows it to be seen by many more people.

Spok (Madrid, 1978) is the alter ego of Félix Reboto, one of the most renowned of Spain’s urban artists. His relationship with the world of graffiti began very early, at the age of just 11. Since then, he has never ceased to explore his creative side with the street as a permanent backdrop. With a degree in Fine Arts from Madrid’s Complutense University, he has achieved notable originality for over a decade in his works of urban art. He is also an outstanding painter and illustrator, and has shown his work at centres like Condeduque, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Tate Modern and Instituto Cervantes, as well as at various editions of the ARCO Madrid. His surprising and poetic hyperrealist murals have earned him international fame. It was precisely his participation as a muralist in the successful exhibition Street Art at the Tate Modern (2008) that allowed him to conquer the façades of cities like Santiago de Querétaro, Budapest, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and many others. Among the most outstanding of his latest productions is the mural for the market of Benalup-Casas Viejas (Cádiz) and the energetic feminist work #NosotrasJuntas, created in March 2019 and located in Madrid’s Gran Vía. In Spok’s works, there is a constant dialogue with popular art, design, craft production, fashion and music.