Artist of the week September 2020
‘Control and Spontaneity, Virtue and Error’
Artist Martí Sawe was born in Barcelona in 1986 and began to write graffiti at the age of 14, a practice he continues to this day and that was to radically transform his perception of the city. He studied illustration at the ‘La Massana’ Art School. Following his studies, graffiti provided him with the means to combine his work as an illustrator with travel and exhibitions throughout the world.
Sawe is his graffiti nickname, graffiti applied since 2001. The truth is that many graffiti artists face some obstacles when they sign their walls as artists. Exploring the cities and their neglected areas, SAWE is supporting the cities with his signatures as a form of game but never forgetting his artistic growth. SAWE path through graffiti and illustration helped to become who he is today.
Fugu Pizza 2
Control and Discipline
The contrast between the technique, control and discipline he learnt from illustration and the irreverence, flow and disinhibition of graffiti is clear in all his work. Graffiti, painting and experiment evolving in each art work process. Graffiti is force and power. SAWE paints with intensity and dynamism. A tireless explorer, SAWE art works combine technique, control and discipline.
Art is not enclosed in prefixed techniques, art is freedom and originality. Overcoming traditional graffiti boundaries, painting, murals, sculptures, installations and animation art and always deepened by his imagination, SAWE diffuses elements, figures, characters and experimental fields. Colours, symbols, forms, letters styles and details are… all different.
Humor and Reflection
Finding his own narrative, SAWE creates a bond between his subconscious and communication, painting with careless obsession and dealing with daily dilemmas with a peculiar sense of humor and irony. Lighthearted satire leaves the spectator to outline with personal lecture. His letters and drawings break from the norm and are never conventional.
Sawe enjoys eating and the social attributes that come with food. Meals and drinks are present is his paintings. He enjoys going out to restaurants, cooking at home, drinking and chatting with friends. Sharing cozy moments with loved ones. On the other hand, there are other unhappy days when food becomes a guilty pleasure.
A tireless explorer, Sawe taught himself animation and founded the MANSON audiovisual studio in 2014, together with three other artists.
Meet Martí Sawe
From an early age, people always told me I was good at drawing, that it was better to buy me clothes than invite me for dinner. Maybe that’s why I am always drawing food. From an early age, I knew my vocation would be related to drawing. And so it was. After studying illustration at art school, I spent more than ten years working as an illustrator, muralist and, most recently, as an art and animation director. Years of intense work that supplied me with many points of reference and influence.
The result is an eclectic imaginary that arouses curiosity as it is digested. I believe this has led me to a state of continuous enquiry, a yearning to seek beyond my comfort zones. However, I eventually reached a point at which I decided to cut back on my work to focus on myself and find my own language in the world of art.
Almost involuntarily, graffiti is present in everything I do. I have been doing graffiti for 14 years and it’s still a big part of my daily life. I have built my life, my friends, my lifestyle in the city, a feeling of freedom… all around this hobby. It means that many people know me as SAWE. Also, I have been able to develop my own style of letters, a style quite different from the norm.
Although figurative, my work seldom accounts for the reality around us. I am not interested in capturing the world as my eyes see it. My work can often seem dreamy as I try to listen to my subconscious as freely as possible, influenced by outsider artists such as Martín Ramírez, Bill Taylor, Ataa Oko and Adolf Wölfi, for their intrinsic motivation, their spontaneity, their freedom
and their uninhibited use of materials. My influences also include major figures like Picasso and Karel Apple.
My subconscious is always joking around and after a cursory glance, my works reveal themselves to be sprinkled with humour, satire and irony. I like this humour to be subtle, providing the viewer with space for their own reading and refection. From painting to video-art, including sculpture, murals and installations, I try to avoid barriers and to enjoy all the different processes.
Flex God 2
Sawe worked as an illustrator in Montana Colours for several years combining other projects.
His career includes four productive years immersed in the animation world, working with leading brands and artists to produce adverts and video clips and as an art director… In 2018, following his first solo exhibition in New York, he decided to focus exclusively on his career as an artist: painting, murals, sculpture, installations and video-art.