graffitimundo interviews Pum Pum for her new exhibit “Galaxia” in UNION Gallery
graffitimundo: What or who introduced you to art?
PumPum: I was always interested in artwork really. From a young age I used to go with my parents to art openings, I spent time looking at art books at home, and most of all I was accustomed to watching my father, who is a painter and sculptor, at work.
gm: Where did your unique cast of characters originate, what was your inspiration? What do they represent for you?
PP: I always loved drawing and as I began to develop a mini universe of animals and a little girl (who you might say is a sort of self-portrait), I started to have a lot of fun with it. Based on these characters I started to experiment with different supports, different languages and techniques. I have continued on with these same characters over time because I still maintain that connection with a playful, almost infantile side of painting.
gm: What was this year like for you? What kind of projects were you involved in?
PP: I don’t usually plan out the year ahead of time and this year was no exception! Things developed as the year progressed and I really enjoy it that way. I like surprises and I like it when I get to see certain dreams taking shape and becoming reality. This year a lot of new projects, trips and exhibits came about that I loved. I got to try out a lot of new things that I really enjoyed. I got to know different people and places, and had a lot of great new experiences.
I pay a lot of attention to detail and I really try to take advantage of the relationships and interactions that are developed thanks to this discipline.
gm: Are there any specific artists that have affected your work?
PP: I don’t tend to have artistic “idols” but I really admire many of the people in my community: artists who happen to be friends of mine, people I cross paths with during trips, exhibits, or in day to day life in general. I feel so lucky to be able to say that actually many of my friends are my favorite artists. That happens to me a lot! It’s inspiring and means that I’m always learning as well.
gm: How did you get started painting in the streets? How did you learn?
PP: It was literally like a game to me. I was going out to accompany friends who were painting in the streets and I started to give it a try alongside them to see what it was like to change scale and format. I really didn’t know much about it at all, I was just looking to have fun. I always liked observing the way that other artists work, that’s really the best kind of school there is!
gm: Lately you’ve been experimenting with new formats like projection with acrylic mobiles and now working with wood. How do these new experiments affect your creative process? What inspires these shifts and how will we see these new materials and formats reflected in your exhibit?
PP: I love trying out new methods and techniques. This year I experimented using the development of different layers to generate depth, sometimes minimizing color in order to prioritize material. It is a constant game of trial and error, like with any experiment. This is what most interests me in thinking about using this premise as the basis for this exhibit.
I’d like to continue on a pathway towards volumetric work, towards 3 dimensional space while referencing 2 dimensional forms. I’m interested in dividing the forms that I typically use into deconstructed pieces.
gm: What’s the relationship between your street art and your studio work? Are your murals affected by new experiments in the studio, or vice versa?
PP: The two are always developing in parallel but with some points in common. I always take something of my studio work into the street. I like developing ideas on a small scale first. In the studio I work out details, materials, etc., and then I see what I can possibly translate to murals, at times reinterpreting something of the test tube context that I find in studio work.
gm: In your latest murals you’ve begun to include aerosol in addition to your paintbrush work with latex. What brought on this change?
PP: I’ve always used aerosol for details, but as I had access to a larger palette of colors this time I used it almost as the primary medium. I like the coverage you can get with it especially for creating dark backgrounds as I’ve been doing lately. What I most like to do though is to continue combining techniques in general. I love the way a paintbrush with acrylic paint, a watered down ink and aerosol can coexist in the same work.
gm: Lately we’ve seen that a lot of the artists that dominated the local scene before are bringing their artworks more and more into the context of galleries and international street art festivals. With this type of evolution happening in the trajectory of so many of the scene’s principal artists, what do you think the future holds for the Buenos Aires street art scene?
PP: Everything is constantly in movement, and that’s what’s healthy about a scene, in any field. What most interests me personally is developing works and using them as the basis to generate murals on city walls – so that the two support each other mutually. I like to think rhizomatically and to be able to expand on the things that I’m generating, and I hope to be able to continue on this path next year. There are lots of plans, but as always I hope things will continue to come together on their own. I hope to continue working with consistency, and realizing new ideas, plans and dreams.
“Galaxia” by Pum Pum opens Friday, November 13 from 7pm at Galería UNION, Costa Rica 5929 Buenos Aires.