For Martin Ron, Painting was a way of life, something he has been doing since he was a child with friends, at school, and in the streets. He continued with his passion for painting without even knowing that this would take him around the world, and that he would leave his art in the most important cities of the planet.
Born in the province of Buenos Aires, the walls in the streets of Tres de Febrero were the starting point to think and develop his art, as it can be seen in Carlos Tevez´ painting. And then, different neighborhoods in the city of Buenos Aires, other provinces in Argentina, and countries like England, Spain, the USA, among others, have also seen his art.
Being a high-scale artist, he is constantly improving his style, and a world of fantasy can surprisingly appear in front of a passer-by in a giant piece of art on the wall of a high building. Martin paints elements of real life, and his paintings show that he knows the reality around him. His work includes well-known and popular celebrities – Sábato, “La Coca” Sarli, among others – as well as nature and the effects of human beings on earth, in the belief that only men can change this situation. All around the world he has been leaving colorful pieces of work to change the dirty and grey images some places have. Once his art is complete on a wall of a city, that piece of work does not belong to him any longer, but rather, to society. A kind of dialogue and interaction starts, according to him, between people and his art, where freedom to interpret him is allowed and welcome.
He is considered to be one of the best ten muralists of the world. Martin does not stop, and he goes on constructing his own name, full of color and life.
I was able to send him and few questions and below is how it went down.
For people that don’t know you or your work, could you give them a little bit of background?
I started painting when I was 10 years old . I was the artist of my class. I drew all the time. I painted the walls of houses of friends, school and anywhere I could. I went to the street and loved it. I painted in my neighborhood, Caseros and then, very quickly, I jumped to paint a large scale. I have many murals in Buenos Aires and many of them made in Caseros and the surroundings.
Being an artist is not always easy, where there is little support, if any, from family and friends. How was it for you starting up?
My school friends, my family were very supportive, which gave me confidence in what I was doing . When I was growing up the words of the people who saw my work also gave me the confidence that I was on the right path.
How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
Usually I paint about things of everyday life, passing around me. I am inspired by the street, things that happen in the world. Painting in the street always connects you with people, especially because the work will be in a neighborhood and will be seen by their neighbors daily. So I try to leave the image that I think can live with that environment, it is always very different. Once the work is complete on a wall of a city, that piece of work does not belong to me any longer.
As for role models or artists that inspire me: Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali are without doubt the most influential contemporaries as John Puig, Jecek Yerka, Eric Grove and, of course, Italian classics in general.
Are you creatively satisfied?
Yes, although one artist is always looking for new things, concepts, colors, textures. There is always a creative search. I am a very unquiet person who likes to build things, new projects, new challenges all the time.
Do you like music? Is it an integral part of your creative process or just background noise? What are some of your favorite musicians?
I like music, when I paint in my studio, music is always blasting. I do not know if it is part of the creative process, but the music is always playing. I usually listen to dubstep when I paint . On the street I usually listen to music from the car or from any radio, I do not like to wear headphones because it isolates what’s going on around me, because there are are always a lot people who stop by and a social gathering is generated around the mural. It is like a party that lasts for several days.
Do you think that street art is somehow dominated by men, while some claim the physical danger of workings outdoors makes women reluctant to participate?
Here in Buenos Aires there are several women painting on the street, they are not the majority but they are recognized and increasingly more are joining the movement. Women are not helpless, they have their own character and they do their job very well.
Street Art in some countries 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?
The mural painting in my country is not considered vandalism. Usually it is done during the day, neighbors are present in the process and they like the artwork that is making their neighborhood alive. Since the government has encouraged urban art, there are several festivals, and initiatives of artists who can request permits and paint murals. I have never had trouble with the law.
What are your thoughts on the way the internet is influencing the artworld?
We now live in a globalized world! With a phone you see what other artists on the other side of the planet are painting that day. Art crossed the borders. I was able to travel extensively to other countries through my works in Argentina.
Do you travel to do street art or do you do street art when you travel?
I travel to urban art. I’ve been called festivals in Belgium, Malaysia, Spain, London, Miami. They know my work and invited me to paint. but I always paint in a city I visit for pleasure, always someone invites you to come and paint…
Have you painted in the USA? If so, how was your experience like?
I made a group show with other artists of my country in Miami “From Argentina with Love” in Vice Gallery. And I painted a mural on the front of the gallery. I would like to paint more in USA. Traveling to paint is one of the best things.
Do you have any interesting celebrity stories
No, I only concern myself with paint. Celebrities are for magazines.
What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
When I’m not painting, I think of my next project or what topics to paint. It occupies much of my life. But I also do other things like play football with my friends. In Argentina we usually get together with friends and eat asado (grilled meat). I work surrounded by friends, so there is always time to relax a bit.
What’s next for you? What collaborations, shows or projects do you have planned?
In March I will be painting in the Loolapaloza international festival in Argentina. And that same month I will have my first solo show on canvas in San Isidro, Province of Buenos Aires. I will also paint in the coming months very large buildings in the neighborhood of La Boca, (a very iconic district of Buenos Aires, where the football club Boca jr is). I am very excited about what’s coming this year.
Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
The only thing I can say is trust in what you do. find and refine your style, what is unique to you and not someone you admire. Do not stand still, things do not come by themselves. If you enjoy what you do, all roads open at some point.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions Martin. We hope to see you in the future in our fair city of Boston.