Heron Arts is bringing in the Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel for his first exhibition in San Francisco this Friday, April 26th. For this show, entitled Metamorphosis, the artist has created original works as well as curated and collaborated with other international artists such as Mars-1, Nychos, and AJ Fosik.
Expanding on his extensive body of work in both painting and sculpture, this show is sure to be bright and energetic; a welcome break from the normal. In between a busy travel schedule and working on the collaborations for this show, I was very fortunate to ask Okuda a few questions and get some insight into the show. Be sure to check this one out, it is not to be missed!
Welcome to San Francisco! Since you haven’t shown in the city before, what are you most excited about for this show?
I love SF. It is a city that inspires me a lot because of its background in social liberties and arts. Also, it is my first show there, and that counts too. And it is the first show I do with my own artworks and with artworks made by me in collaboration with other artists; some of them I’ve never worked before with. It is so exciting…
How/why did you choose these artists for this show?
First of all, because I wanted to work with them for a long time. I love their work and I love to collab with artists since my beginnings in graffiti. Actually, these kinds of collaborations are common in the graffiti world and that’s something I want to keep doing.
Since many of the pieces in the show are collaborations between you and other leading artists, what was that experience like?
I really enjoy collaborating with other artists. It’s like taking my art to another world. The experience so far has been amazing. Some of these artwork were first done in my studio and then sent for completion to another artist’s studio. With the exception of Masrsone and Nychos, with whom I’ll work directly in SF the week before the show.
You often depict natural subjects like animals and humans in your work, but you remove them from nature with sharp geometry and incredibly bright colors. Do you see this as a necessary step into modernism, away from the earth tones and natural hues we see daily?
My animals and humans have this digital texture so to say, as a statement of how lost we are in the middle of both worlds right now, natural and digital, past and future. TV, internet… The digital world seems to be stealing away from us our spirituality, those things that bring us closer to nature. I mix organic and geometric textures or items because that’s my way of talking about modernity is changing the natural world.
Your work often breaks down barriers between public and private, contemporary culture and history, and even reality and imagination. Now you’re breaking down the barrier between two and three dimensions. What led you to explore the realm of sculpture?
I started with sculptures like 15 years ago, when I was studying Fine Arts, but they were made in wood and ceramics. I got back to it, in a more serious way around 2009, when I started to work with fiberglass. The reason? I needed to give life to my characters in my paintings, let the people coming to my exhibitions feel these characters closer to them: I have a lot of ideas involving sculptures not only for galleries but also for the public space. I am super focused on this right now.
To me, metamorphosis suggests growth, adaptation, and the passage of the present into the future. How do you feel like you grew or moved forward with this show and this body of work?
All my projects make me feel I am growing as an artist. For example, just been to Cuba where for the first time I have mixed a mural and a sculpture as part of the same artistic intervention. With this show is the same, as I am learning from the rest of the artists, they inspire me and they make me work harder.
Our sincere thanks to Okuda. The opening reception for Metamorphosis will be on Friday, April 26th, 7-10pm (free and open to the public) and continue on display until May 11th, 2019.
7 Heron Street, San Francisco