It's Nomen's business

Jan 15, 2013, 00:17 IST | Avantika Patil

Born in Luanda, Portugal, graffiti artist Nomen is a well known name in the graffiti world.

When Nomen recently visited Mumbai for a youth festival, CS talked to him about his love for graffiti and his thoughts on the art:

Who: Graffiti artist Nomen
What: State of graffiti art
PIC/ Santosh Nagwekar

Graffiti gyaan
I express my feelings through Graffiti and use it as a medium to show my colourful world in a free and non-uniform way. The murals I present on walls are for pedestrians to see and enjoy. Graffiti has become a way of saying to the world, "I am here, alive and kicking". It's a great weapon to promote one's art and build their name in an innovative way. I began emoting through this art from 1989 in Lisbon, Portugal and have not looked back since then.

That's me
I never had a formal training in art. What really moves me about graffiti is that it's an artform that's learnt on the streets and not at schools. So, I can proudly say that I am self-made. Since it is a popular art, I draw my inspiration from people and events around me. Other than that, my early days in New York form my subjects too. Back then, I would design 3D graffiti, characters and illustrations.

Public popularity
People usually don't believe that a whacky art form like graffiti can be done with proper tools like a paint brush. But, this art form is fast gaining credibility, thanks to the remarkable graffiti artists coming from all over the world. Some inconceivable graffiti work has started getting people relating to this art form.

For future generations
I feel that governments all over should make painting on walls a legal affair. Graffiti artists should be allotted a public space to showcase their talent to everybody. People should be brought together to show that a simple spray can create something great.

Art attack
I am proud of every work of mine as each one of them is a motivation to design a better one. However, I can't ignore the fact that I am in India which is still new to this art form. I am glad that I am a part of a preliminary movement and people are recognising it.

Amplifying art
There are artists who convey a political and social message through their art. I began with traditional graffiti and that is where I received all the name and fame from. However right now, Portugal is facing a political upheaval and so I am one of the few graffiti artists who are creating murals with caricatures of the Prime Minister and corrupt politicians all over the city of Lisbon. 

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