Vicente Aguado is a Spanish, Scotland-based graduate with a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. His artwork is influenced by pop-culture and mass media, specifically focusing on the topic of conspiracies and social control. He specializes in drawing, working with recycled materials, mixed media and high quality limited edition prints.
It’s great to have you, Vicente. To start, can you tell us how you began creating art?
I started drawing before writing, I guess. And when I was like 10 years old, I started to do graffiti doodles and tags everywhere: at home, and then in the streets.
My medium is everything that nobody wants. I never spend a penny in materials. I love to say “I convert rubbish into art”. During a lot of year I’ve been doing loads of drawings using police tickets, for example.
I used to work with cheap materials and often I paint and drawing in the streets. I love doing that, because people can see what I’m doing, and the space is always different.
At the same time, I discovered comics Robert Crumb and underground stuff and that was a big influence on me. I come from graffiti and it is a high influence on my art, but I always wanted to be a “real” artist and make money with that, so I never stopped!!
Later on, there was a big street art boom in my city and I had the luck to collaborate with people like ESCIF, HYURO, and OKUDA.
You’re originally from Valencia, Spain, but now you work from Edinburgh, Scotland. Did you ever encounter difficulties because of the attitude towards graffiti and street art in either of those places?
There is a big contrast, because my city is sunny and warm and there is a huge street art culture. Spain is a good environment to create art or music, but in Edinburgh everybody has a lot of money and they don’t need to create art.
I discovered that good art is made by artists with problems, issues and social difficulties. People with money and no problems usually do boring art.
I always do portraits based on mental issues or social problems. And, as you can notice, the faces are ALWAYS ugly and with deformities. And sometimes I mix both topics and do things like these portraits:
In that case, it looks like making avatars for this project was a perfect fit for you, especially considering how Van Gogh struggled with mental illness.
EXACTLY!!!!! It was a lovely coincidence, because immediately I started to work with Van Gogh faces.
This was my first idea: VINCENT VAN DOG!
After that, I changed directions.
I started with a head and created a NAKED VAN GOGH template. And for each one of the 20 avatars I made, I used this template to put all the traits, clothes, etc.
As you can see, the whole collection has a personal background. I used my own artworks to do it. And I LOVE IT!!
Did you feel any connection with Van Gogh while you worked on creating different versions of him?
I read that famous book about Van Gogh’s life, which collect all the letters he sent to his brother, and I definitely felt like him.
It was fun creating this 20 avatar collection, which is just the opposite with Van Gogh’s life. He suffered a lot while creating and I felt lucky to not have this problems.
I do think the 90% of artists and creators have the same problem: it is so hard to live doing only art. Who needs art and for what? That’s a big question.
During the pandemic in 2020, I had the best time selling art, so something should be said about that. People in solitude make art. And people in solitude need art.
What do you think that Van Gogh would have thought about this project and NFTs in general?
I think he would love it and try to do his own NFTs as well.
Technology is a good tool for everybody (that includes artists too), so I’m pretty sure that Van Gogh would use it as well. He needed money and it looks like NFTs are an “easy” way to sell, so I think it would be a perfect format for him.
This is the first time I do a real NFT project and I’m so happy with the result. Now it’s time to see if collectors are interested in my creations. The creation process has been awesome so I hope I can continue doing this!
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