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Street art goes tropical

Graffiti artists Victoriano and Szabotage tag Phuket


By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Saturday 15 November 2014, 10:00AM


A set of fresh eyes span the outer wall of Anthem Wakepark in Kathu with colours that scream out to motorists: “Get in the water!”

That’s the work of Spanish graffiti artist Victoriano and his English counterpart Gus “Szabotage “ Szabo. Both artists dropped by Phuket for a week of tagging public areas around the island, complete with their own unique signatures.

“This is normal for me, it’s what we do. I travel the world and paint. It’s what we do,” Victoriano said.

The artist has done installations around the world, including Las Vegas, Boston, Dubai, Helsinki, Paris, Barcelona, and his beloved second home, London.

He first picked up a spray paint can at 17 years old and now, at 33, he is one of the top Spanish graffiti artists and one of the most renowned muralists in the western hemisphere.

British-born Szabotage, meanwhile, has become one of the top graffiti artists based in Asia (he lives in Hong Kong) in just the five years he has taken up the skill. An architect and interior designer by trade, Szabotage’s skills with the spray paint cans have been sharpened with an obsessive drive to perfect his artistry with intense daily 12-hour sessions.

The mural that sits outside of Anthem Wakepark is a product of an intimate love affair with colours, street art and a desire to enhance the space around them.

Just in time too, since this mural will have several thousands of eyes upon then as the Anthem Wakepark hosts the cable ski event in the 4th Asian Beach Games, which will take place between November 14 and 23. (The cable ski event takes place November 16 –18).

“The eyes are very symbolic. They are a huge statement. When you drive past, those eyes hook on you and crave your attention,” Szabotage explained.

It took the two artists half a day to finish the mural, which was one of many that will sit outside for public consumption. In addition to the eyes, the duo also painted a large mural inside the wake park and two other public displays on the outside of Brian Woulfe’s interior design business, Designs by Woulfe, in Kathu, including one of Kate Moss.

“I love all colours to be honest. I just love throwing it together, most of my work uses the whole spectrum. Colours can teach you a lot of things, they work so well together, I love finding the right combos to pronounce the things you want. It’s an internal game really.”

Both artists said this will not be their last time in Phuket so islanders can expect more from these two in the years to come.

“I will definitely come back, it’s gorgeous here and there are so many beautiful surroundings. There’s much to inspire you here,” Victoriano said.

 

 

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