A Conversation with Okuda San Miguel
Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel has taken the street art scene by storm. Educated at Madrid’s Complutense University, San Miguel focuses on exploring existentialism, society, and the essence of man in his work. He utilizes multicolored geometric shapes, warped iconography, and mixed media in his work, dominating urban mural spaces and large-scale public sculptures. In addition to his street art, San Miguel’s work has been displayed in galleries around the world, and his converted Kaos Temple in Spain is an icon of contemporary art. San Miguel’s work, ranging from graffiti-inspired installations to academic projects, seeks to embody positivism and balance.
Arts Help contributor Codrina Ibanescu interviewed San Miguel to learn more about his inspiration, personal life, and current projects.
What is the inspiration behind your artistic work?
The academic system. Though, a lot of my journalistic inspirations came from my travels, film, fashion, and the internet. Music and travelling are my biggest inspirations.
Okuda on his Toronto based mural “Equilibrium Mural”:
I wanted to inspire that community.. I heard it was a gay community so I painted the flag with an angel. Everything is kind of fake on that wall, so I wanted to put my mural. I paint only three women for feminist power. Normally, I mix together modern concepts with nature, and past universal concepts.
Are there any artists you enjoy collaborating with?
Now, I am a super fan of artists from Japan. Also artists from Brazil, France, Latin America.
What is your favourite place to travel to for your artistic practice?
I want a big city to love. I fell in love with New York and Tokyo. I could see myself living there. A lot of artists, a lot of inspiration there. When I want to get inspiration, I also like to travel to Africa, Thailand and India.
I would love to create more work in Africa. I need more proposals from Africa. I have lots from the USA, and right now, I’m creating my own foundation. I need a balance between big budgets and social developments.
What are some future projects you’re thinking about?
I was thinking that I would love to travel to Africa soon. The next projects are in China and L.A.
Will you be collaborating with any other artists this year?
Every year, I do a show in my studio. I bring artists every year from around the world. I would like to do a big wall mural some time soon. I like to collaborate with Dulk, an artist from Valencia. I also work with Aec, who is Ukrainian. We also currently have a big wall in Bucharest!
Why do you do what you do?
The wall is too grey, and needs more colour.. that is why I paint it. People need more positive psychology. I think my art fights with modern advertising.
How have you developed your career?
My artistic career is developing in the right way, because at the end, I follow my feelings and that energy. When I discover a new project, I always follow my heart.
Do you follow any spirituality or religion that influences your artistic practice?
It is not about one religion, more a global vision of religions. All wars in the world are because of the difference of religions... which is so sad. It is the same with anyone, but it depends where you grow up. Different interpretations of the same, I think. I have a global vision. The spirituality for me has more to do with the art and people. It’s like a universal connection.