Painting up a storm in what has been a scorching hot week in Perth, Spain’s Okuda San Miguel has not disappointed, putting his distinctive geometric mark on a 300sqm Subiaco wall as part of Paint Subi.
One of four local and international street artists to transform walls in some of Subiaco’s most prominent locations, Okuda San Miguel is one of the most sought-after artists for large-scale mural projects around the world. His long list of successes includes the conversion of an abandoned Spanish church, which has become an icon of contemporary art, as well as his fine art being exhibited in galleries around the globe including United States, Brazil, India, South Africa, Japan, across Europe, and many more.
Supported by FORM, Paint Subi will see the Post Office building, a four-storey wall at Forrest Square carpark, and two laneways off Rokeby Road be simultaneously transformed by Okuda, Dominican-born American muralist Evoca1, and local muralists Hayley Welsh and Sioux Tempestt.
“This energetic project is an addition to the city’s extensive public art portfolio and adds aesthetic diversity to the Subiaco Town Centre,” says City of Subiaco CEO Don Burnett. “It’s about adding to the vibe of the area and making Subiaco a place for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy”.
Community involvement, artist talks and guided tours will be available on the weekend of 10 to 12 November.
As the weeklong Paint Subi project winds down, we were lucky enough to catch up with Okuda.
Is this your first visit to Western Australia?
Yes. I was in Melbourne last year doing a piece on a bus for Strawberry Fields festival. Was super funny.
Can you tell us about the subject you have chosen for the Paint Subi project? Where did the inspiration come from?
I usually paint animals and humans on a same level to express universe balance. In this particular case, I got inspiration from Australian species and from my own multi-coloured landscapes.
What has been the largest mural you have completed?
The biggest was in Paris, around 20 floors high last June. Before that in Kiev 3 years ago around 18 floors high.
What are the main themes that inspire your geometric structures?
The themes are the meaning of life, identity, freedom, universe, nature, modernity and cultural identities from Africa, Mexico, India or Egypt. My geometric skins of animals and humans symbolise all races in one.
What is next for you?
I have in mind mixing sculpture with architecture, turning my big sculptures in public spaces into something habitable and useful. I also want to do a surrealistic Okuda world script for a film and an animation 3D video artwork, and start to use mappings and projections for my installations.