Spidertag, congratulations for your success in the Artzine Prize 2018! Your piece #4 was our jury’s favourite artwork in the category of Urban and Pop Art. Can you tell us the story behind this piece and why did you chose it to enter the prize?
I’m really happy to have won the prize. It feels weird, though! I don’t usually enter competitions, so this one was a cool surprise. My piece #4 was the first artwork I crated with my new materials. That’s why it is so important in my career. I spent 2 years looking for new materials, from 2013 to 2015, and it was a very sad and enthusiastic moment at the same time. Then I found the 4 pallets of this unusual dimensions and loved the idea of a quadriptych; it was challenging and I liked that.
You started your artistic career back in 2008, and since then you’ve been exhibiting your creations on the streets. How were your first steps in the world of urban art, and what moved you to start creating your art?
I started in art very early in my life. My first artwork was a 2 m x 2 m mural I made for my grandparents when I was 9 years old. I spent between 3 to 4 years attending art classes after school, until my passion for basketball took over, and made me forget about art for many years.
Then eventually I got back to it attracted by the fun, crazy side of street art and its questionable legality. This changed everything for me one more time and forever. Since then I've only been digging deeper into my art, until the last big change that was the discovery of the new materials that give shape to my work now. So, yeah, I love art and I love street art, and inside this movement I always try to do something different, unique and special.
Where do you find the inspiration for your artworks?
I play with the environment. One of the most important things for me is to find the right place, the location that really inspires me and with which I can connect, because that place will be my creative process’ source of power.
Since 2015 you’ve been working with a unique set of materials -flexible light cables that work connected to batteries-, that makes you a pioneer on the contemporary urban art scene. How did you come across these materials and what is that they provide you that makes them so special for you?
One day I was in a shop looking for nails when something caught my attention. I was so attracted by that thing that I finally bought it. Then I came back home, and when I tried to make it work I broke it. It was exactly in that moment when I felt something unique; like an eureka moment: after almost 2 years looking for a new material, all of a sudden I knew I'd found it. Since then, I haven't stopped learning about the neon-cables and experimenting with them. It was the rebirth of my career.
Also, this year around summertime I found a new type of material that allows me to do things that I couldn't achieve with the "old" neon-cables: now I can create interactive murals as high as I want, that have the ability to last a lifetime.
Your first outdoors mural made with interactive material is permanently exhibited in the city of Estarreja, Portugal. How did you live this experience and what is the story behind this artwork?
The mural in Estarreja was a new challenge for me. I had some technical issued in the beginning that complicated things a little, but I ended up solving them and managed to complet my project successfully. It became my first interactive mural, as well as a groundbreaking concept in the current street art scene, which makes me proud and happy.
From the beginning I knew I wanted to experiment with symbolism within geometry and abstraction. I started sketching my ideas on paper, exploring with colours and shapes and exploring how to best combine it all with the interactive factor, which I was very excited about. Finally, the mural turned out to be a big success; locals loved it and it had a great circulation all throughout the Internet.
What is the “Neonmetry” era?
It’s a word I made up to name the concept that I’m developing in my art.
Your body of work includes installations and murals that you perform and exhibit outdoors, and also studio pieces such as your awarded #4, that open a door to take the essence of Spidertag’s art home. Are you planning on starting to create more pieces for sale in the near future? What would you say to those collectors who would like to purchase ‘a Spidertag’ to take home?
The pieces I make inside my studio are a very important part of my body of work, and a challenge too. My main media are the streets, and my studio pieces have to carry the urban essence the same as my murals: this is not easy at all, and it moves me to constantly explore new ways to achieve my goal. At the moment my studio work focuses on prints with the aim to create limited edition prints of my street art, in various sizes and techniques.
Which would you say are the greatest satisfactions your career as an artist has brought and brings to your life?
I must admit that I cried a few times looking at my artworks. Sometimes it’s so difficult to make them happen… so if you solve all the problems and you make an amazing piece, then finally you rest and enjoy a deep intense feeling of joy and satisfaction that is impossible to describe with words.
What projects are you immersed at the moment?
I am currently involved in a few projects in Spain that will keep me busy until the end of the year, and I am also preparing the agenda for next year which looks promising, as it involves big street art projects around the Pacific area. My main goal at this point is to create my interactive murals all around the world, to establish this new concept that I’ve built and developed in the international Street Art scene.
Where can we find Spidertag when not working on his art?
Thinking, researching, developing and experimenting looking for new ideas and ways of making my dreams real. Also working in the lab where I collaborate with technicians to find the best ways of production and innovation…