Nerone mural in Seoul, Korea 2018

The Evolution of Nerone – Interview with Street Art Master

Ahead of Nerone’s solo exhibition “Digitalia” at 2B Art Gallery in Palma de Majorca, we had a brief moment to catch up with this famous street artist and have a word about his fabulous street art. Nerone is a French street artist who rose to fame with his iconic signature. His art represents a fresh breath in the world of street art. And that is a fact. There’s no denying that Nerone’s art has an effect on everyone. It’s safe to say the artist is more than an A-lister in the art world. Quite frankly, Nerone is a genuine street art master.

Nerone mural at Muralfest London
Nerone mural for Muralfest London

Resonantly ambiguous, Nerone’s artworks invite viewers to recruit their own imaginations in working out different ways to interpret them, while often questioning how their social reception might shift among different audiences. His art draws on the power of the medium to both transfix us and undo our ingrained ways of seeing and thinking.

So, we sat down with Nerone for a raw conversation about life in the art world. In a lengthy interview with 2B Art Gallery, Nerone opened up about his artistic evolution, ideas, “Digitalia” art exhibition, motivation, and much much more.

2B: Let’s get this show on the road. You were born in France, right?

Nerone: Bordeaux, 1983.

Nerone mural in London, 2019
Nerone mural in London, 2019

2B: Now a serious one – Evolution of your art career? Start from your childhood to present-day.

Nerone: I started doing graffiti pretty young when I was eleven. Back in the day, I remember chilling in abandoned spots, picking up old empty cans on the floor to do my first tags. I was absolutely fascinated by the atmosphere of those areas. After this entry into the hip-hop movement, I started to paint trains, subways, streets, and everything I could. Then, a few years later with some friends, we moved to Paris and we have created Le Coktail, a collective doing numerous projects that included street art, graphic design, paintings, set design, and decoration. After that, I moved to London to develop my own career.

Nerone mural for Super Walls festival in Padua, Italy
Nerone mural for Super Walls festival in Padua, Italy

2B: Tell us, what and who has influenced your art?

Nerone: Graffiti in general, Pop art (James Rosenquist), organic, nature, human.

2B: How has graffiti changed into street art in your trajectory?

Nerone: I do and I love both but I started to do big murals once I arrived in London.

Nerone mural in New Brighton
Nerone and Frankie

2B: Have you always combined your murals with your work for galleries?

Nerone: What is the difference between the work you do for the street and the leftovers you paint for interior spaces? There is no difference in terms of style, it’s important to keep your real personality and style on every support. The only thing changing is the media and the way to do it. The roller for the wall becomes a brush on the canvas and spray paint becomes an airbrush.

Nerone paints mural at 2B Art & Toys Gallery
Nerone paints mural at 2B Art Gallery in Portals Nous

2B: Is your work an act of communication and in what sense?

Nerone: Yes, kind of. We are surrounded by bad news, so my mission is to deliver positive messages. As I’m aware of the various environmental challenges and economic problems of today’s world, I constantly insist on spreading a positive message through my art.

Nerone mural for Hit The North festival in Belfast, 2021
Nerone mural for Hit The North festival in Belfast, 2021

2B: What is street art for you? What is your motivation when you paint?

Nerone: Spreading love and positive messages. Because of art, I’ve explored and discovered a lot of places around the world. It’s also the perfect way to meet people and share your skills. This is probably the big difference between painting walls and painting canvases in the studio. Traveling is the best.

Nerone painting at 2B Art Gallery
Nerone painting

2B: Let’s talk about your solo exhibition “Digitalia” at 2B Art Gallery in Palma de Majorca.

Nerone: The name of the art exhibition is “Digitalia”. Digitale is a type of toxic flower. The idea behind it is revenge of nature for its destruction.
Also, considering that absolutely everything is becoming digital, like art with NFT for, it’s important to continue producing real art in real life.

Nerone Digitalia exhibition at 2B Art Gallery

2B: Could you explain why you chose flowers and the meaning of the colors dripping on the canvas?

Nerone: Painting giant flowers in the street is a good way to bring good and positive vibes. I started to paint flowers when I arrived in London. I love this creative and dynamic city but it’s super dark and I was looking for something to bring light to the street. Mixed with neons is perfect to illuminate the street. I love playing with drippings. Normally it’s not something welcoming and I like the idea to turn it into something beautiful and I want to create the perfect one. I also like the contrast between the solid colors of my flowers and the watercolor effect of the drippings.

Nerone painting studio
Nerone studio

2B: Why neon color?

Nerone: I love painting neons to illuminate the street as I do for flowers. Neon is interesting for me because, as graffiti and tags, is made to be viewed. It’s interesting to paint neons, the painting becomes bright because of the way you paint the colors. You need to do it like a gradient and I love painting gradients. So painting graffiti in neon is the best.

Nerone graffiti at Shoreditch East London
Nerone graffiti at Shoreditch East London

2B: Let’s wrap this up. The last question – What do you want to provoke in the visitor of the “Digitalia” exhibition?

Nerone: Freshness, joy, positive vibes. As I said before, it’s a challenging period for everyone, so if I can bring some love to people I will be super satisfied. 😊

Nerone flowers painting
Nerone flowers painting

Photos: Nerone