«Duality» by Erb Mon

Erb Mon Interview about his project «Duality» 9-11-2021

Name of the Street Art piece that has modified the urban space: Duality

Location : L’Hospitalet de LLobregat

Year : 2017

1- If you had to choose a Street Art piece that you created, as a transformation of the urban space, which one would you choose? How does this Street Art piece denote urban space metamorphosis?

Duality is a geometric mural with many references to science. The neighborhood that houses it is one of the epicenters of migrations in Spain, where different nationalities and very conservative cultures coexist such as gypsies, Arabs, Hindus … The design had a very strong visual impact because we are talking about people whose graphic references are basically documentaries and therefore totally figurative.

2- Why did you make this Street Art piece in this urban space? Was it the town hall or the property owner who authorized or asked you to create it? Can we consider this work as illegal/vandalism or legal, what is your criteria?

It was commissioned by the town hall of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Catalonia / Spain).

3- What is the message you want to communicate through this Street Art piece? Is it related to the urban space where you did it?

Well, if you look at the image, there are two colored triangles (red, blue, green, yellow). In each one there is the same amount of each color, which happens that being distributed in a different way, in one of the triangles there is a blank space left over, this is known as a paradox, with this I symbolize the need to distribute the space better and the means for all. At the same time there is a gradient of gray in the central part that symbolizes the points of view. This mural is made in a neighborhood of emigrants, I think the intention of the mural is clear.

4- How was this work integrated into the urban space? What was the interaction that the inhabitants of this city had with your project? Did they participate in its creation?

They did not participate in the creation of the mural, but I did two other murals simultaneously in the area in which the neighbors painted and contributed ideas. By law you are not allowed to lift people on a crane, the murals in which they participated were at street level.

5- Do you think it is important that the local people participate during the production of your work and that they become artists modifying the urban space or do you prefer to carry out your projects alone without anyone seeing you?

It depends on the intention and purpose of the work, I do solo and participatory projects, what defines its execution is the intention of the project. Both ways are good.

6- According to you, what is the criteria that determines your Street Art work modifies the urban space and why is your work considered aesthetically well done?

I only see paint, some I like, some I don’t. Mural, tag, graffiti, stencil … they are just people expressing themselves through painting, I have seen interesting and mediocre things in each of the techniques.

7-What is the “historical future” of your work? Should we take care of it, preserve it and repaint it as if it were a museum’s piece of art? Or should it be allowed to age with the city itself?

It depends on many factors, but I think that the temporality of public works can be very useful, although it is clear that works such as the mural by Joan Miró at the Barcelona airport are not ephemeral. In 1989 Keith Haring painted a mural in the Raval district of Barcelona, the building was demolished and decades later the city council made a reproduction of the same mural in real scale on the exterior walls of the CCCB (Museum), I thought it was great, this mural had Incredibly historically important, it was an AIDS manifesto in a neighborhood where many drug addicts roamed, and at the same time Keith painted it months before his death. It is an eternal mural.

8- How does your work add value to the urban space in which it is produced?

I think this has to be defined by pedestrians, valuing myself is sterile.

9- What were the difficulties that you encountered during the completion of your work modifying the urban space?

In the case of Duality none. Both the neighborhood and the city council treated me very well, the person in charge of this mural project in Bloques la Florida is a very sensitive and competent person, it was the most comfortable project I have ever worked on in my life.

10- Why is urban art important to modify the urban space? What sort of projects are you planning to do in the future ?

Whether it is important or not depends on the criteria of each one, a mural contributes, softens the urban gray, but I’m not sure if it is important, functional perhaps? Important are the green areas of a city.

I am working on new sketches for a new series. I usually do series of 30 murals under a specific concept and purpose, this new series will be the fifth that I work like this, I really want to start with them because I recognize that I am approaching something very pure within myself, you can paint many beautiful things but artistically maturing takes time, persistence, and a lot of freedom to move between one idea and another. Although I am preparing all this for 2022, now I am about to go to Germany, there I will paint a couple of murals from the “Ethereal” series, which is the one you can see in my latest murals made and to which belongs the Duality mural.

Interview conducted by Art Bill – journalist and owner of Street Art In Action.

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