Gonzalo Borondo was born in Spain 1989. He grew up in Segovia where his mother let him paint the hallway of his house and his father spent his life restoring Christs and Holy Maries. In 2003 he moves to Madrid where he strengthens his relationship with Graffiti. Some years after he starts visiting the studio of his “master” Jose Garcia Herranz. There he discovers the pleasure of experiment with different techniques and studies the old masters of painting. Borondo studies in Madrid and Rome Academies of Fine Art but never finishes. With just 18 years old he participates at his first art festival in Istanbul and since then he’s done personal exhibitions in cities such as Rome, Madrid, Paris and London while working throughout Europe, in the public spaces, his favorite gallery.
Could you tell us a little about yourself, where you´re from and how did you get started in the urban art scene?
I am from Segovia a little city in the middle of Spain. I started painting on the walls of the corridor of my house. This is one of my first memories. My whole life since I was a kid, I was very often outside, observing cautiously everything that surrounded me. Soon I started writing – tagging, gaining contact with the graffiti world.
Do you have a formal education?
I started studying at the School of Fine Arts of Madrid and then one year in Rome but I never finished. The real inspiration always came when I was finishing the lessons, walking back home. Inside school it felt claustrophobic, on the contrary the walls of the city always fell so alive. My real former education was with my friends, with whom I used to go experiment at the public spaces. Another important factor of my education was my “mentor”, a person with whom I spent hours drinking, painting and talking… He was a poor person with an amazing spirit.
How do you go about creating your art piece? How do you choose a wall/environment?
In general I try to live the context around the work. I try to make a “marriage” of my feelings with the history of the wall, the surroundings. So when I have the idea ready, I make the photo shoot and after I just play with the colours and the surface. Sometimes I feel like the wall has already chosen me.
How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
For me the art is a kind of fight. It is my favourite drug thus sometimes it’s my illness too. The first phrase my mentor told me was “first you have to be a person, and then maybe you can be an artist”. If I don’t create, then I can’t be a good person.
I don’t have any role models, in life you have to find your own way. There are too many artists who inspire me, sure, but I wouldn’t know from where to begin or where to finish…
Has your style developed throughout the years?
Yeah, definitely if you see my early works you would never expect it is me… I think by working a lot, the development is constant. Of course you can have your style but if you repeat yourself for 20 years you only follow the market and become a product. For me an artist should never have fear of experimenting. This is the only way to grow.
What are your thoughts on the way the internet is influencing the artworld?
Difficult question. Internet changes the rules of the art world in many positive ways. For example the relationship between the art and the public have no gallery filters. The streets were doing the same already. But the problem comes when internet confuses the people’s reality. For example, I have seen people that prefer to see a photo of the wall rather than walk 50 meters to go see the actual wall.
Which countries have you visited to paint so far and where did you like it best?
I visited to many places and I hope I can continue visiting more, but choosing the best is like choosing between Velazquez and Bacon, I love both in different way.
Have you painted in the USA? If so, how was your experience like?
I have never been before, I will go this year to Atlanta and I would like to visit more of the States.
Is there a message in your art?
I can’t love someone who never rebel against the social injustices. I can hate easy someone who hates someone just for prejudice .In my work I prefer to be more poetic than polemical or political, but sometimes I wonder, why do I bother putting poetry to the walls of this sick society? The biggest part of my work try to reflect our dramatically nature. I use the universal body-language to show the issues of the human condition.
Street art is still considered vandalism, how is it for you to go out and paint in the street? Did you ever have any problems with the law?
In my point of view street art is a created word for the masses but for me it is mean freedom, the freedom to chose a spot, chose an idea an chose the way to do it. In general the free expression of an individual person is associated with vandalism fact because it’s difficult to control it. For sure, I had different problems with the law, but anyway, I need to continue with illegal walls just to remember that I am free and to understand that the limits were made to be crossed.
What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
I just drink and talk…I think…
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
I am preparing something in London but I am working on it, let’s see.
Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
I don’t like to do the moral teacher but yes, I think that the people have to be honest with their selves and with their work, something difficult to see in this days, and like Escif wrote,” remember, you don’t do it for money”.
Thanks Borondo and for taking the time to answer our questions, we know it wasn’t easy considering how busy you are. SAUS wishes you a great time in Atlanta and we hope you keep us updated on future projects.