Creative Spaces (Buenos Aires): Defi

Defi’s drawings of his pet cat look like an even more cartoonish and bug-eyed version of Snowball from the Simpsons. They’re something of a calling card for the street artist, whose artwork can be found throughout Buenos Aires, sometimes drawn in thick black lines and other times in bright blues and yellows that drip down walls like a crime scene splatter. Defi has been a fixture of the local art scene for years, so the painter-musician- sculptor was a natural choice for Milk Made’s series on Buenos Aires street artists.

Milk Made: Buenos Aires is filled with street art. What made you decide to add your own artwork?

Defi: It was in 1998 when we had an art magazine called Superfanzine Fase and we needed to promote it. We started painting on the walls of the University of Buenos Aires and after a while we ran to do so to the street. The beginning was collective. In 2002 I began to paint my drawings!

MM: Can you tell me a story about your pet cat? I’m really curious why he is in so much of your art.

Defi: I had a cat and I began to paint it, it was as simple as that. Then, the paintings in the street became classics. Over the years I’ve begun to dismantle my drawings of cats to get to the abstract painting.

MM: You’re also a musician. What music do you like to listen to while you’re working on a project.

Defi: I like listening to all kinds of music, it depends on my mood. Punk rock, techno, jazz. The nicest thing about it is producing music at the same time you’re painting. It is a continuous conversation. A computer and controller about brushes and acrylic paint.

MM: How does being in the FASE collective help you as an artist?

Defi: Fase is a collective of four friendly people with different thoughts and aesthetics. When we work together we are the same person and when we work individually we are different from each other but with a clear shared influence.

MM: Is there a part of the city or type of structure that you love working on?

Defi: All the towns and all the brackets!

MM: Buenos Aires has an incredibly complex and rich cultural history. What part of that history do you find yourself revisiting in your street art?

Defi: The big [economic] crisis in 1999!

MM: Do any of your pieces hold a special meaning for you?

Defi: Any in particular! Once I finish a project or a piece of art the same thing happens to my memories. My memories are a reminder and in this way the work is free and begins a new life and [new] meaning in any wall of any buyer in any house.

Photos By: Koury Angelo

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