2017 starts with a great artist in Greek Street Art – Talks, Stamatis Laskos (Sive One). A huge mural in the city of Volos Caught my attention, an area in which I stayed for more than a year. After seeing these photos my point of view on the city changed drastically and it became equal with foreign capitals! Of course, this was only the beginning!
Where does your name come from? Have you studied something in relation with visual arts?
When I was in High School I was looking to create a word that doesn’t exist in the dictionary and that I would like all the letters it contains. I ended up with SIVE. I use it up to today when I make mural art. I am a graduate from the Athens School of Fine Arts in the painting sector (2002-2006).
Which is the need that isn’t covered in a fine artist and that street art covers?
The need for direct communication with the world, for everyone that will randomly cross it before him, for him that for every reason won’t be able to visit an artistic space. The need to transfer the projects from paper in large scales that don’t fit onto a laboratory.
Do you live in an urban center? If not how hard is it for someone to work from the countryside?
I change location regularly. I’ve lived for several years in Athens and Thessaloniki. I now live in Volos. In the countryside you get really isolated which has two sides, on the one hand we need it for the painting, on the other hand artists lose contact from the artistic events that happen. What’s ideal for a resident of the countryside is traveling.
You create huge murals at the blind sides of buildings. How hard is it for someone to work on this scale and on those surfaces too?
The large surface is a matter of practice and perception. You take it gradually. You begin to upload the scale of your projects slowly. The more you work the more the difficulty decreases. It is very interesting when you are on the scaffolding and you draw a line while thinking how it looks from the road.
Would you describe to us the stages that you follow to make a mural and how do you characterize your work with words?
Initially I ‘’study’’ the space where the building is. This helps me in choosing the project topic. I work on draft paper something which gives me the opportunity to even avoid errors which would be time consuming on the large surface. I locate the center of the wall and I mark it, I do the same on paper. After that, I climb on the ladder with the draft glued on the wall and I start to sketch transferring it onto the large scale. After that color enters the game. I would say that it’s a nice process which I love and fulfills me
The first pieces of yours I remember seeing online were the ones of the port of Volos that in my opinion changed the whole picture of the region. Tell us some words about this cooperation, which were the reactions of the local community?
A public mural in the parking area of the port of Volos. Implemented in the summer of 2016. An Organization of Urban Act group and co-organized by Magnets Noah. Hosting and support from the Port Authority of Volos. With subject the sea. In the specific area of the port fishermen gather, so I decided to make a fisherman who fishes while he is found on the seabed. The population of Volos embraced it.
Portraits for music albums for the domestic market but also collaboration with the New Yorker! How did these contacts come up and how is it to work for projects with global distribution?
Regarding music albums everything started from a long-term friendship with the guys which morphed into collaborations as well. As for the New Yorker everything happened suddenly the day they sent me the first e-mail and were asking me whether I could be charged to realize the portrait of Ben Stiller for full page. We completed the first collaboration and several suggestions followed. It’s a great experience because we have a few days to complete something that many people will see.
Has Greek street art found its place abroad? Has the situation in Greece changed at all from the point it used to be before? For years the widespread belief was that street artists were a bunch of kids vandalizing & smudging walls.
If there is something childish that would be the spontaneity in street-art. Something that most of us forget while growing up. In our country like abroad people start to understand that. Most of the people can now ‘’read it’’. Greek street art has opened abroad and certainly in the future will be even more open.
Is there any artist you admire and why? Favorite cooperation?
Egon Schiele, line and color are unique. I think that all partnerships are favorite, I can not pick one. Of all until now I have something nice and special to remember.
In 10 years from now…
Initially health and then love and passion for painting.
The large surface is a matter of practice and perception. You take it gradually. You begin to upload the scale of your projects slowly.
Regarding music albums everything started from a long-term friendship with the guys which morphed into collaborations as well.
As for the New Yorker everything happened suddenly the day they sent me the first e-mail and were asking me whether I could be charged to realize the portrait of Ben Stiller for full page.
Source: Greek street art – Talks