Hi Dan, great to meet you . I’m really pleased you’ve accepted this interview for StreetArt360. I’m a great fan of your art and i wanted to know a little bit who is behind
theses incredibly creative murals signed Dan Ferrer
First, can you tell us where you are from and where you’re based today?
I grew up in Hortaleza, a neighborhood of Madrid (Spain). I continue near Madrid, working from my studio, although due to my work I am very often moving to other cities in Spain and to other countries.
How and when did you discover art and create your first artworks?
From the time I remember I’m drawing, painting or building, and from a very young age I discovered graffiti, although everything I painted on the street for many years I didn’t do it with any artistic spirit, if not bombardment. Let’s say that in my house I liked to create artistic pieces (drawings, paintings and illustrations) but when I went out, I only understood the street as a place to leave the trail of my name and my crew.
As I grew older, I became more and more interested in the art of all times and I became curious about different techniques, until I reached a point where I managed to reconcile two very separate worlds for me, art and the street. Today I am very happy taking my art to the street. I think I have a greater impact on other people and more conformity to myself creating a penetrating work, than writing only my name.
Where was your first mural? Is it still available to see today?
My first murals date back to the mid 90’s. They were basically letters on visible places as a main street or on the highway, some lasted a few days, others luckily a few years. But it’s been a long time, apart from the photos I keep, there are currently almost none of the first pieces.
Do you paint with spray cans or do you use any other techniques?
When I paint on a wall I use plastic paint (with roller and brushes) for ample areas of color and spray paint to define and detail. I like the degraded and realism of the spray, constrasted with the organic and imperfect of the painting with roller.
Do you primarly paint murals or do you paint on other canvas ?
I paint both. I like to paint canvases because I do not have time limit. I don’t need a lifting platform, I can delay in painting a canvas for a month, going some time to the studio, locked up with myself.
Although the murals on the street have something very special that does not offer the canvas, on the one hand, you paint with the whole body, it is a physical effort that offers your mind very special sensations. On the other hand, both the process and the final work belong to the viewers who will see your work, which will not be limited to being visited in a gallery space, but that anyone will be able to enjoy it and get their own reading. That offer of your work to “all the world” and that installation of your work in the urban space without date of closure, only offers it the urban art. It’s magic.
If you can describe yourself, would you say you’re a Street Artist, a Painter, an artist … or something else.
I consider myself curious, that when he is attracted to do something, he simply does it. The word “artist” is perhaps very pretentious, but I think it would be the most appropriate because I don’t like to label myself. Today, I basically work in mural format and on canvas, but I have tried the sculpture and I have worked many years in digital format for major international brands. Ten years ago, I created a hand-painted clothing brand, and even today I continue to collaborate with brands such as Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein in customizing their garments. I’ve designed magazines, I’ve done bodypainting jobs for advertising and fashion shows … and I’ve even gotten closer to the audiovisual field by shooting my own short films.
Although at the moment I am very focused on what I do today, my personal production of painting, I do not know what discipline I can approach tomorrow, so I do not like to label myself with a very concrete definition.
Where do you get your inspiration ?
I live with my wife. We have two children (3 and 8 years old) and we are waiting for the third time. I am a man who spends a lot of time with his family. When I have a job outside my city, I try to have them come with me. I find a lot of inspiration in our moments together. Natural issues such as “I have to go to work and today I can not play with my son”, “my daughter is creative but at school they do not allow her to develop”, “the years pass and I grow older” or “the people with whom I cross is sad …. and hundreds of more thoughts that go through my head. These abstract thoughts translate into images, and the result is the works you see. My work is basically based on representing the thoughts that all people have in our normal life.
Where can we discover your murals around the world ?
Among murals and collective exhibitions, my work has been seen in cities such as London (UK), Biarritz (France), Wiesbaden (Germany), Milan and Rome (Italy), New York (USA), Budapest (Hungary), Durango Mexico) or Lisboa (Portugal), among others.
What is your personnal favorite mural artwork ?
I think the most successful piece I’ve done is a canvas: “The first stab”. Sometimes, you do a work trying to “tie all the strings”, but before long, you see it with perspective and you realize that you had to have done certain things differently. With “The first stab” I consider that I had a succession of hits, in composition, in color, in the poses of models, in the balance of style, in how the idea is told … I have tried to emulate this success other times, taking into account all those points, but personally I think I have not achieved it as on that occasion.
As for mural work, with “From Lamb to Fox” I was very much in agreement with the facial and corporal expression of the characters, and with “Past, present, future” I think I got it right in the very synthesized way of telling such a complex idea .
Did you collab with other artists ? Do you have any artists you would like to collab with in the future?
In the past I have painted with many people. When I make graffiti, I see more natural mixing in a mural, stepping on the other piece, that a character gets into a letter of yours … but with the current art I do not consider this mixture because I take everything very thought before I start to paint. I have friends who are great international artists, but we each have our own language and we are focused on our personal work, so that collaboration (understanding it as a mixture in the same work) is not something I look for right now, however, it would be pleasant to collaborate with any of them if the occasion arises.
Do you have a “favorite” city where you love to paint ? Is there a dream place around the world you would like to go for a mural artwork?
Any place is good for painting. When you are in any city, you are always close to talking with interesting people, each with its own way of seeing life and art, of very different ages, that experience is very special, as much as the city itself.
In 2013 I lived 3 months in New York with my family, escaping everything. We were discovering the city and I was in a moment to find myself with respect to my art and my life. In all that time I practically did not paint anything, I just observed, enjoyed and lived experiences with my wife and (for that moment) my only daughter. Now that my mind and my art are where they have to be, I would like to go back and paint a great work there, it is Mecca!
Do you have any exhibitions and upcoming art fests in the future?
Most notable is that within a few months I inaugurated my first solo exhibition in a gallery in Houston (USA), although before that I have a collective exhibition in Amsterdam, a couple of mural projects in Hungary, France and some other places where I’m now in talks.
Thank’s a lot Dan. Would you like to add anythging else for Streetart360 readers?
A greeting to all readers. I wish art lovers to arouse their curiosity and much encouragement and energy to artists who are creating art.
You can follow the evolution of my work at www.danferrer.es
Dan Ferrer Artworks Gallery:
All pictures by courtesy of Dan Ferrer