Art is Tra$h

When did you first start creating street art?
In 2009, after doing an exposition in a gallery in Barcelona. I wasn't successful and the Spanish crisis moved me onto the street. I've used painting as a weapon to protest against the establishment. 

Can you remember your first piece?
Yes, on a broken bit of wood I painted a character criticising politicians. With a text that said: Looking for a decent politician.

When did Art is Tra$h appear? And is there a conscious message your work provides - wrapped up in a commentary on today's society perhaps?
Art is Tra$h is a paradox, a phrase with a disguise and a mask. It's a critique of society in general. Of the human being, with their virtues and defects.

Does your unique style have any influences from the art world?
I don't have any academic qualifications in art. I have a mixture of all the artists that I studied on my own.

There is a strong sense of humour and down-to-earth wit in your work. Which suggests you want to allow the onlooker to smile with you. Does Art is Tra$h have an agenda?
One of the most important things in life is a sense of humour, it's a virtue which not everyone has. It's like art, not everyone can see it.

The work that you create is often very transient - it gets disposed of - is this another key element of your approach to street art?
I believe that what I do is near to real street art. It has the ingredients that I think are necessary and authentic, like, for example, improvisation and the ephemeral. The life and death of an object that was important in daily life and was abandoned in the street to die in the drain. My intention is to make the most of these elements in a short space of time, to communicate my vision of the world in which I live.

Can you explain more about your working method.
It's very simple, I go out on to the street without preconceived ideas. I generate inspiration from the position of the rubbish that people put out in the street.

You mentioned it was hard to make your work in more 'cleaner' cities, such as Berlin. Given your prolific output this summer in London, should we be glad that London produces so much trash?
London is not a very dirty city. It's difficult to find decent rubbish to make an installation in the street. Every city has it's way of collecting rubbish. Many people live in big cities and it's normal that they're not perfectly clean. 

Has your work evolved? 
There's nothing like painting on rubbish, doing it for free and constructing something from nothing, knowing that it has a short life span. This is Art is Tra$h. Developing it outside of the street loses all the power and authenticity. I can construct things in a town hall or a factory, but that would be premeditated and over-studied, not the same.

Do you plan to visit other cities?
My intention is to speak and respond in rubbish, about rubbish, on the rubbish which each city generates.

• Gracias a J. H.

All artwork, text and images © Turnpike Art Group 2022.