Finok (VLOK) and Gueto (L163, ADEPS, PV), writers from Sâo Paulo, were in Barcelona a few months ago. This is a whole day with the guys rolling around the city, sharing different secrets, a whole bunch of laughter, a mess of spray cans, and stuff to eat and drink. Here are a few pieces below in the interview that we did.
Gueto (L163, ADEPS, PV)
163 is the criminal code in Brazil for damaging property. If they catch you painting a bus, metro, or anything like that, they use this code.
The main thing is to always be cautious, whether in Sâo Paulo, Barcelona, or anywhere in the world. If you’re careful, you can paint anything you want, anywhere you want. Maybe it’ll be easier in one place than another, but if you want to, you can paint anywhere.
Maybe in Sâo Paulo there are more places you can paint without having to ever cover over the graffiti of someone else. You’ll always be able to find another wall that you can paint. Here in Europe, you’re generally dealing with cities that are smaller than Sâo Paulo; they get saturated. I understand that sometimes you have to cover over other graffiti, but there’s a certain respect involved.
For me, the memory that I’ll keep with me always is the cultural clash; our reality in Brazil and South America is so different. And it’s important what that brings you, it helps you learn. This is something which I’ll always keep with me…
I write with VLOK, which is my group from Sâo Paulo that also has a ton of friends all over the world, including here in Spain, who we consider to be part of the group.
For me, Barcelona has a ton of things that I like, not just graffiti; it’s hot, so the climate is similar to Brazil. Also, I think that the graffiti scene is very strong here. There are other places with strong graffiti scenes as well, and Sâo Paulo is one of those places, but it still has room to grow. Here it’s very strong, also because lots of tourists come here to paint, and they generate movement. You don’t really get that in Brazil. Lots of foreigners come here and paint the entire city.
In Sâo Paulo, what’s normal is to paint openly, without hiding, allowing yourself to be easily seen, so that you’re showing people that you’re doing something positive. Here, it’s the opposite. You can’t let yourself be seen. I think that in Sâo Paulo and maybe all of South America, graffiti is seen differently. Here, people don’t like it; you might be using millions of colors, but people just don’t care.
Sometimes, in Brazil, we ourselves see that what we’re working on is turning into something fairly ugly, but people might still like it. We try to convince them that it’s not pretty, that just because it has lots of colors it’s not necessarily pretty. Sometimes, here in Barcelona, graffiti is more ‘graffiti’ than in other places, you know? Though, in reality, graffiti is no more… it no longer has an meaning.