Interview with Rafael Sliks




Rafael Sliks, born in the Central Region of Sao Paulo, Brazil, began his artistic career in 1997, where he was strongly influenced by the style of letters in the streets. Nowadays, his artworks can be found in streets around the globe. Sliks has also exhibited his art in galleries in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Earlier this month, Urban Spree Galerie invited Rafael Sliks as part of its Art Residency Program. During two weeks, the São Paulo-based artist has been creating a series of artworks in Berlin leading to an exhibition called "Ambivalence". Prior to its opening Music On Walls had the chance to meet with Sliks and discuss about how music inspires his work. 

Hi Sliks, when we came to visit you during your art residency at Urban Spree, we remember the sound of Cinematic Orchestra playing in the studio while you were painting. We remember their song "Diabolus" and the album "Motion". Did their music inspired your works? 

Yes, I remember when we met, I was working on "Micro" (see artwork below) and in some ways yes, their music inspired this artwork.  I always put on that sound, it opens my mind and inspires me. I am inspired by music, words, poetry, sounds, thoughts and mouvements when I am creating.

When I listen to their music, I let the music get through me and instinctively, it creates a mouvement that is directly spread on the canvas or the mural I am working on. 

Micro -  Silver Marker on Canvas 200x150 cm 2017

How many of your artworks were inspired by music for the show "Ambivalence"? 

All of them! Everything I create is inspired by movements. Cause everything is movement and music has movements 

So the movements in your painting come from the music?

Yes they are! 

What other music did inspire your paintings while you were at Urban Spree Art Residency?

So, a lot of Cinematic Orchestra but also Anderson Paak, an artist from California. Right now Fat Freddy's Drop is playing. 

What do you think about the Berlin techno scene?

I like it. But I can’t listen to techno for too long. Techno is always loop. I prefer chillout music. Chillout is more quiet. It makes me high. When I am home I’ll never listen to techno. Maybe more during parties.

What about rock music? 

Yes! I love the classics, classic rock! Led Zeppelin, The Doors…

What’s your favorite song from Led Zeppelin? 

"Kashmir", "Stairway to Heaven".


What’s your favorite song from The Doors?

"Hello , I Love You"

I used to listen to a lot of rock when I was younger. Some grunge like Nirvana when I was a skater…

Now I am listening more to Jazz, Blues, Chillout, Rap. Brazilian Rap, US Rap, even French Rap.  Cause I like the beats of Rap and Hip-Hop.



Is Hip-Hop the reason why you came to Graffiti?

Yes because Graffiti enables a lot of expressions, like Hip-Hop does.  

Have you ever done a collaboration with musicians?

Yes I already collaborated on a cover album of my friend producer KINKID



During Sliks two weeks residency in the Urban Spree Gallery, in Berlin (Germany),  Gabriel Sousa, accompanied the whole process of the exhibition and produced this video as a partnership between Devir Produções - SLIKS - Urban Spree.