2019 is a special year, but not only for Montana Colors. While we celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary, an artist who’s closely linked to us is also celebrating his 20 year career. PEZ is an iconic character in the streets of Barcelona who has been spreading smiles via city walls around the world for over two decades.
To celebrate this beloved birthday, Montana Colors has released a Limited Edition can with this charismatic artist from Barcelona. And as every birthday deserves a party, this exclusively designed spray can of limited production will be presented today in an event programmed at the Montana Shop Barcelona – Gracia.
To get acquainted with PEZ’s work and accompany such an important event, we had a little chat with him to bring you an interview that’s as casual and up close and personal as his style is.
You are one of the few artists who have more than one limited edition can. Do you think that means anything?
I don’t know if it means anything. Really, for me a second collaboration with Montana is a pleasure and honor. Maybe it’s just that I love Montana very much and Montana loves me very much… I don’t need to say it any more clearly, after 20 years of painting and using what I think is the best brand of spray paint in the world, it’s always an honor to collaborate with the brand.
Explain a little about the composition of the design. How did you think of it?
I extracted it from a wall I did in Bogotá in 2019. It’s a very updated design of what I’m doing now… combining graffiti elements like letter blocks with the comic style that I’ve always labeled, “Barcelona happy style”: a fresh, fun and colorful style.
“(In that time) We could never have imagined that we were going to paint entire buildings.”
Your pieces have always had a distinct personality. What things have changed about your style since you started up until now?
In the beginning my style was very basic, always characterized by the “smiling fish” character. In recent years it has evolved in such a way that I’ve created my own universe through different compositions that are currently very geometric. I’ve added a lot of color and balance to the compositions so that the character isn’t so isolated. I’ve searched a little more for the presence of characters from a universe that’s very influenced by graffiti and pop-art. So far the idea is always to evolve the style and change while taking from what I’ve been doing in recent years, but always trying to find a solid scheme in which the characters are sustained in a world of color and joy.
How do you think street art has evolved over these 20 years?
In the last 20 years, street art has evolved incredibly, from what we did before to what we do today. We could never have imagined that we were going to paint entire buildings. I also see that everything has evolved a lot in terms of techniques, compositions and on a technological level, street art today spreads to the general public much more easily, thanks to social networks. Street art has been able to get involved in these new technologies to obtain worldwide recognition.
“My life has changed a lot because I am a father and apart from having my job, my passion and my hobby, I have two children to support and educate.”
And your personal life… has it changed much?
My personal life has changed a lot in some aspects and little in others. Currently, I paint more in the studio than in the street but I keep bombing and doing murals and tags. My life has changed a lot because I am a father and apart from having my job, my passion and my hobby, I have two children to support and educate whom I dedicate as much time to as possible during the day. That also means that I have to organize my free time in order to be able to do what I like most, which is painting. My main concern at the moment are my two children, for whom I struggle every day to move forward and feel very happy to share my time with. So, I paint less than before but I take more advantage of the free time I have to paint.
Are you still living in Colombia? How is PEZ’s relationship to Barcelona at this moment?
I currently live in Colombia where my wife is from. We went there to live for several reasons. My relationship with Barcelona continues. I feel very linked to Barcelona seeing as though I spend the three summer months there. Whenever I come to Barcelona I have the idea of doing some project, seeing my friends and not losing contact with the city, which I often miss a lot. Bogotá is a much more chaotic city and much more dangerous in terms of crime, but there’s much more freedom to paint. Even so, I miss my city which is where I have always known how to move around and where I like to take walks to be able to enjoy what’s being painted in it.
“Painting is my hobby and passion and I hope to be painting for another 50 years if life allows me to.”
Over these 20 years, what have been the best moments?
I think there have been many good moments in my life. Every year and stage has had them. But I think the best years were the first three years I started painting. Everything was new, everything was to be discovered and everything was very impulsive. I would see a wall and I throw myself at it to paint, without thinking twice. Now everything is much more premeditated.
After 20 years you don’t seem to have tired of painting. Is there anything about painting that has tired you?
I’m not really tired of painting at all, it’s the opposite. Painting is my hobby and passion and I hope to be painting for another 50 years if life allows me to. Actually, I can’t think of anything things that’s got me tired of graffiti. I enjoy painting, but am perhaps less obsessed. Something that was a priority before was trying to be everywhere in every city. I currently enjoy doing a large mural more than many small ones.