The artist Sawe was born in Barcelona in 1986.
He began to write graffiti at the age of 14, a practice he continues to this day and that was to radically transform his perception of the city. He studied illustration at the La Massana art school. Following his studies, graffiti provided him with the means to combine his work as an illustrator with travel and exhibitions throughout the world.
The contrast between the technique, control and discipline he learnt from illustration and the irreverence, flow and disinhibition of graffiti is clear in all his work. His letters and drawings break from the norm and are never formulaic. A tireless explorer, Sawe taught himself animation and founded the MANSON audiovisual studio in 2014, together with three other artists.
His career includes four productive years immersed in the animation world, working with leading brands and artists to produce adverts and video clips and as an art director… In 2018, following his first solo exhibition in New York, he decided to focus exclusively on his career as an artist: painting, murals, sculpture, installations, video-art…
From an early age, people always told me I was good at drawing, that it was
better to buy me clothes than invite me for dinner. Maybe that’s why I’m
always drawing food. From an early age, I knew my vocation would be related
to drawing. And so it was. After studying illustration at art school, I spent
more than ten years working as an illustrator, muralist and, most recently, as
an art and animation director. Years of intense work that supplied me with
many points of reference and infuence. The result is an eclectic imaginary
that arouses curiosity as it’s digested. I believe this has led me to a state of
continuous enquiry, a yearning to seek beyond my comfort zones. However, I
eventually reached a point at which I decided to cut back on my work to focus
on myself and fnd my own language in the world of art.
Almost involuntarily, grafti is present in everything I do. I’ve been doing
grafti for 14 years and it’s still a big part of my daily life. I’ve built my life, my
friends, my lifestyle in the city, a feeling of freedom... all around this hobby. It
means that many people know me as SAWE. I’ve also been able to develop
my own style of letters, a style quite diferent from the norm.
Although fgurative, my work seldom accounts for the reality around us. I’m
not interested in capturing the world as my eyes see it. My work can often
seem dreamy as I try to listen to my subconscious as freely as possible,
infuenced by outsider artists such as Martín Ramírez, Bill Taylor, Ataa Oko
and Adolf Wölfi, for their intrinsic motivation, their spontaneity, their freedom
and their uninhibited use of materials. My infuences also include major
fgures like Picasso and Karel Apple.
My subconscious is always joking around and after a cursory glance, my
works reveal themselves to be sprinkled with humour, satire and irony. I like
this humour to be subtle, providing the viewer with space for their own
reading and refection.
From painting to video-art, including sculpture, murals and installations, I try
to avoid barriers and to enjoy all the diferent processes.