Calligraphy, the beautiful art of handwriting, is one of the oldest, visual, traditional, and philosophical forms of art. But, what do we get when calligraphy and graffiti unavoidably cross paths? The answer is the mesmerizing art of TwoFlü.
Fascinated by the aesthetics found in letters, TwoFlü dares to delve deep into the shape of a word, approaching the challenge differently. His perplexing style is rooted in calligraphy, but playfully moving towards abstract painting, all perfectly blended within street art. Through his hypnotizing artworks, we perceive almost ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) sensation. It is like his artworks present self-medication against the effects of loneliness, stress, and anxiety.
TwoFlü creates sophisticated typefaces that build graphic narratives. His letter compositions convey powerful messages that go beyond the literal meaning of a phrase. Ahead of his new solo exhibition at 2B Art & Toys Gallery, we grabbed a chance to speak with TwoFlü about his art, beginnings, and inspirations.
2B: How did you start? Do you remember your first artwork or mural?
2Flü: My first works on the street were with colored chalk on asphalt in Alcorcón. I was about 7 years old. My first graffiti was in Benidorm and I was 14 years old. Silver, lemon yellow, and black, 2 am. My brother was 10 years old, watching me. Quite an adventure.
2B: What inspires you?
2Flü: I find inspiration in everything. Nature is a great source of beauty but so is a car scrapped and burned in a ghetto, for example.
2B: Galleries, museums, or street walls?
2Flü: Wherever I have the opportunity. Painting buildings on a crane is one of the most wonderful experiences I have had and I love seeing how artists change the urban landscape and provoke dialogue, opinions, and feelings in people who pass by. Which is not achieved by the gray walls of cities. I can spend hours and hours in galleries and museums, but some of my works are better exposed on the streets, hahaha.
2B: Why urban art and not another?
2Flü: I grew up in an area on the outskirts of Madrid and graffiti and hip-hop caught me from the beginning. At the age of 20, I began to travel and for 12 years I lived in a motorhome, so the most practical thing for me was to paint outside, so naturally, I used the urban space as a canvas.
2B: Tell us a place where you always wanted to paint a mural?
2Flü: Building in Mallorca. Plane or ferry or cruise… it doesn’t matter the place.
2B: If you wanted your message to reach a specific audience in a powerful and transcendent way, where would you make your work or where would you place it?
2Flü: I like to choose the spots where to paint very well because my intention is that they are very visible to reach as many people as possible. I would make giant murals here in Mallorca at the airport and in the ports since everyone who comes will pass through these places. Thus it would reach all the groups of one!
2B: Which technique do you most identify with?
2Flü: In these moments, calligraphy is very important to me since I can express and project everything I feel more fluently with it. Using it I seek to create a sensation or a visual effect rather than the clear reading of the message itself for the observer.
2B: If you weren’t an artist, what would you have been?
2Flü: Due to my nomadic life I have been many things: Gardener in Cambodia, Mountain bike guide in Menorca, Technician of the Circo del Sol in Ibiza, Seller of the “Big Issue” in Edinburgh, Sailor on yachts in the Balearic Islands, Graffiti cleaner in Granada, hahaha – and much more. I have always painted, even if it was in a notebook because I feel that if you are an artist you will always be one, although sometimes you have to pay the bills by supporting yourself in other jobs.
2B: Do you think that Street Art today has ceased to be something transgressive and has become a formal category of art?
2Flü: Streetart like graffiti are transgressors when done without permission. Graffiti art has become “normalized” within the culture in general but they always surprise in some way or another. The truth is that they are a novelty within the classic artistic “labels”.
2B: Do you listen to music when you paint, and if so, which one?
2Flü: Music is very important in my creative process and, depending on the moment, I can listen from hard techno to gregorian song, hip-hop, electronica, flamenco, jazz…