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PichiAvo - Urban Classical

Words:

Edd Norval
June 25, 2018

Maybe it's because there's two of them - Pichi and Avo, that gives them such an off-kilter perspective on both urban and classical art. They combine disparate styles to create a contemporary juxtaposition. Is it divided duty or telepathic friendship that does it?

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The work that they create traverses generations and continents. The graffiti style that's prominent in their work is heavily influenced by the old-school style from New York. It's bold, colourful and tribal. The erratic energy from this is completely opposed to the poised and controlled protagonists of their walls - ancient gods and icons.


In the Greco-Roman style, ancient carved figures dominate entire walls and canvases which are then painted over by graffiti tags. There's a subversive and sacrilegious tone to their work. It's like their desire to create is only sated by an element of destruction. It is a harsh clash of styles, yet one that they completely agree on.


Artists can easily succumb to ego - everyone can. When people are paying for something you have created, you inherit a unique ability to not just sell the fruit of your labour, but to realise that you're conjuring up something so desirable that people want it. You're portraying your vision of the world and everyone that buys it can relate.

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It's here that the dual nature of their artistic pairing comes into full effect. Their egos, not just in life, but on the wall, are being kept in check by the other. It's a conversation between two people who realise the best answers are formulated together. This means that their philosophy of the artwork always being more important that the artist is fully realised. They're not Pichi and Avo. They are conjoined - similar, even, equal, yet also respectfully different.


Difference is key to their work. It's a transformative process that relies heavily on the audience's openness to perception. It's challenging for purists of either form. Lovers of graffiti's rebellious calligraphy might see it as a compromise. Classicists might not even take the time to look at it - after all, they've just defaced a thing of precise and elemental beauty.


The interaction of the contrasting elements, as well as of the artists, means that the process of creating the piece is as intriguing as the outcome. Working together, when co-ordinated to maximum efficiency is a balletic expression of human interaction. An individual peak is certainly memorable. But the power of collaboration truly knows no limits.

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Allowing the two styles to work together is also to give them the chance to reconcile their differences. They are both, after all, outward projections of their creative minds. The high-brow expression of knowledge, history and philosophy provided by the sculptures give a mythological context to their place in the city. With the graffiti as a textual interplay, much can be read and interpreted from their work.


Since meeting in Spain over a decade ago, their separate styles have begun to merge together. The duo allow this relationship to create narrative pieces that have one foot in the old and one in the new. The duo also want to bring new life into classical styles of art - bridging the gap of the idea that these kinds of creations should be consigned to dusty rooms in museums.


Together, they will continue to explore the possibilities of their unique combination of graffiti and classical art, how it interacts with our environment as a piece of art and how they can infuse it with stories that have been lost through time. Their modern monuments to gods are not just beautiful to look at, but contribute to the stories that laid the foundations for our modern lives.

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