The glaring intrusion of advertising’s florescent night – the stirring it causes inside your head and heart as it demands attention. This is not normal, yet we have tried to normalize it, this shallow gaudy preening cousin of fire. Muralist Sebas Velasco makes a hunt of this sort of late-night urban scene with photographer Jose Delou. Like reporters on the city beat, they play interviewer and sociologist, ultimately portraitist.
Today we have a Latvian chef and a Swedish chariot of a more recent vintage, a Volvo. The parking lot is a depository, now also a stage. The family wagon in the glow of the Swedish hypermart; the modern hunter, circling the prey for dinner.
A young master painting in the Old Master vein, perhaps, this Spanish poet captures something between the past and the future. Sebas Velasco is not yet 6 years out from his Masters in painting, yet he is bringing imagination and emotion to his mural work that gives you a longing to know more.
Along with the photographer, friend, and longtime collaborator Jose Delou, Velasco has been traveling the last six weeks from the Prado in Spain through Germany, then Sweden. Bringing depth to the surface, his portraiture stands astride the beauty, and decay; a romantic alienation found only in the modern metropolis.
While you might hesitate to mention the Spanish and Old Master painter Goya for fear it might complicate the conversation, Velasco is showing us how he will continue to build the image that will captivate. In some way, his manner of capturing the character is familiar, compelling, and somehow impossible.
There is a discernible difference between mural festivals created as commercial endeavors and those led by artists, like the Murart 22 in Ontiyent in Spain. It captures the city’s light and the alignment with the culture. Here we see Sebas Velasco musing over a local waitress whom he and photographer Jose Delou met over a meal one night in this city.
A perfect figure to represent the night glow on the outskirts of Ontiyent, Claudia is cast in the cooler tone of industrial neighborhoods, the warmth vanished under this street lighting. Known for his unique portraits, Sebas reveals her delicate features under the hum of cool gas station lights. The compelling result is balanced and elegant, well within its element.
We’re looking forward to more thoughtful work from Murart 22 with artists Mantra, Marina Capdevilla, Lidia Cao and DULK.