Somehow Brazil never fails to give us positive vibes! This time, they come from São Paulo based graffiti artist Nick Alive. Nick refuses to be defined by such a name or style though and rather breaks free of artistic settings, rules and traditions. Breaking free to stay free, so to say. Nick leaves it up to the viewers of his artwork to let the profile and definition of it come alive.
“I do not have any specific reason to do graffiti, I just have to paint and I have to paint everyday”
Nick Alive first encountered the spray-can in 1995, just writing his name around town. A few years later the addiction kicked in: “My first drawing on a wall was in 1997 and since then I could not stop anymore!” Nick his motivations to do graffiti sound familiar: “I do not have any specific reason to do graffiti, I just have to paint and I have to paint everyday” he says.
His works show that Nick has developed quite some can-control since his first tags in ’95! He applies most of those skills to detailed, abstract characters. “I believe that every visual artist (abstract or figurative) creates a sort of self-portrait, just for the quest of self-knowledge which is so inherent to human beings. The difference is that we (portraitists) do it a bit more intense than most! We close our eyes and see the inner and outer world in a different way and, I think, more clearly over time. If you study the life of any artist you can feel it as well, like in a Picasso when you assess his work carefully” Nick explains.
Balance in Sao Paulo
With its 12 million inhabitants São Paulo is an enormous city, and must be interesting to live and work in as an artist. Nick: “São Paulo is a wonderful city in all aspects, but the entire metropolis is also very dirty. Like in any big city, we live so extreme.” One of the positive aspects about Brazilian cities we heard from graffiti artists before is that graffiti is well accepted in communities. “Graffiti is well accepted over here, which gives us more time to think about what we create. Not everyone here feels it that way, but I see peace behind all the garbage, I see balance in this chaos. Everyone has an opportunity to show what they want to show. It is the rush that makes people want everything fast: fast money, fast fame, fast graffiti. I’m still in the relative time of Albert Einstein. I have to do things I like in my time and live, and in communion with the city. I am just doing my part. It is that simple.”
Goals and Future
When we ask Nick Alive if he has a specific goal with his art he gives us a philosophical answer: “My only goal is to paint and I love what I do. Objectives appear over time and if I stop to think about goals, I’m not painting. I like to let things flow.”
With his amazing street work, loads of collaborations and detailed canvas work we would not be surprised to see loads more of Nick his work in the future. He rather focusses on today though. “The future does not exist. Today I did a few drawings and learned a lot. If I wake up tomorrow, I think about what I will do.”