Interview with VINZ FEEL FREE and Vernissage @ INOPERAbLE Gallery

Last week I attended Vinz Feel Free‘s Vernissage “Usual Misdeeds” @ INOPERAbLE Gallery in Vienna. Vinz is a street artist from Valencia, Spain. The artist paints animal heads on large-scale photographies of human bodies and pastes them on the streets. His studio works show a similar approach: with collage technique he creates a background out of old documents such as certificates, love letters or bills, prints on them and finally paints the animal heads using enamel or gouache.

I met Vinz at the Vernissage last friday and wanted to know more about his artistic approach…

Enjoy my interview with Vinz Feel Free!

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artpjf: To begin, please introduce yourself briefly.

V.F.F.: Who I am is not important. I think the really interesting thing is the message of my work, not the messenger.
artpjf: Do you remember the first piece you did on the streets? What was it, and where did you do it?
V.F.F.: The first piece was a wheatpaste of a nude man squatting with his eyes looking the viewer. I pasted the piece on a wall of an abandoned lot where should be a school.
artpjf: You use different kinds of animal heads for your protagonists. Parrots for free/naked women and men and reptiles for businessmen and police officers. Could you briefly go into a bit more detail about this kind of iconography?
V.F.F.: This is related to the iconography of various religions. Birds and naked people are extracted from the book of Genesis in the Bible. Mayas, Aztechs, Sumerians etc. talk about the figure of reptile as the animals which take control over us, like police in our world. And the frog appears in Apocalypse scenes and is responsible for Humanity disasters. This is why I use them to build men in suit characters.
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artpjf: A couple of month ago there were big riots in Valencia with police brutalizing peaceful student protesters. As you explained me at the vernissage, your work refers at some point to this happening. Could you try to declare why this situation in Valencia is so tensed up? Why does the police act in such an inhuman and brutal way? How is the situation for students in Valencia now?
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V.F.F.: Education in Valencia is a delicate theme. They have cut budgets and most students lack of equipment and infrastructure such as heating or media. Teachers have spent months without collect sallary, and decided to hold a peaceful strike to attract media attention.
Police, who serves the government instead of the citizens, used brutal force to prevent a repetition. They were so aggressive that most of the population sided with the students. I tried to document and report the situation in a wall and some of the works exhibited in “Usual Misdeeds” in INOPERAble Gallery.
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artpjf: What makes you feel free?
V.F.F.: Personal freedom ends when another one begins. It is very difficult to perform acts of freedom without bothering anyone, so, up to what point my freedom reaches? I think from my skin to inside, I rule.
artpjf: Upcoming projects?
V.F.F.: I usually work into 3 or 4 projects at once, most of them still secret. My next solo exhibition will be in July at Andenken Gallery, Amsterdam. And… I can talk up here!
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For more pics check out VINZ FEEL FREE’s and INOPERAble flickr photostream.
The exhibition at INOPERAbLE Gallery runs till 05.05.2012. If you are in Vienna, make sure to check it out!
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