Zësar Bahamonte was born in the outskirts of Sevilla, Spain. Aged 19, he settles in the the city where not only does he study in the School of Arts of Sevilla, but he also starts relating to DIY social and cultural movements, a mode which defines him as an artist later on. After a year in Barcelona, place where he re-engages with his love for painting in the streets, he moves and settles in Montevideo, Uruguay. There, he develops himself as a professional muralist, taking part in several Street Art festivals, exhibiting in galleries and painting live with an array of musicians (from a peña flamenca to an electronic music band) and, above all, painting in the streets where he continues his quest for style and technique.
Hi Zësar, today you will discuss with Music On Walls about your work inspired by music. Can you tell MoW why you chose to create artworks inspired by music?
In my work I try to represent all kinds of people in creative and positive actions: dancers, lovers, cyclists and all kind of musicians…
Nowadays we are living in a really ugly society, where the actions of our routine separate us from our human essence. What I try to do with my murals is to remind people that this, the Music, the Joy, the Communication of the Dance, is our essence and that we must not forget it.
Is there a specific music that has inspired each of these artworks ?
This artwork is called “Charanga. It´s a kind of brass band really common in the village festivals of the area where I did this work… I love the visual repetition of the musician in a queue. But it´s not inspired by a specific song.
However this one is inspired by a Tito Puente´s song called “El Rey Del Timbal”. I was driving crazy listening the discography of Tito and I decided that I had to do this tribute to this great musician.
It was the first time I painted in my hometown after six years.
"Latine Rante Band Arodante". Eight years ago I saw this image in Ciutadella´s Park in Barcelona, six guys cycling and playing jazz. I always had in mind that I wanted to portray that funny picture, and finally the last year I did it at the Beach in Uruguay.
Mon Rivera y su Orquesta inspired this wall. I painted it inside an old nightclub destroyed by a fire caused by the owner to collect the insurance money, but the police discovered it and he went to prison. In my opinion it´s a really funny story and sad at the same time, a great lesson of life.
“Lluvia Con Nieve” was the perfect soundtrack for this “movie".
This "Mochobeat" wall was painted in a neighborhood outside of Lisbon where a community of African immigrants from Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and so on, live. Before arriving in Portugal, I began to think that I wanted to paint a wall inspired by the information provided by the project team, and I thought about making a musician playing some typical instrument from those African countries. But when I arrived and met the people of the neighborhood I decided to change the idea. The old people of the neighborhood, still deeply rooted in their tradition and their folk music. And on the other side, the young generation being on the street listening to hip-hop, Brazilian funk and electronic music with samples of African music.
I loved that contrast, that soundtrack of the neighborhood, and it was what I tried to portray with this image, a character with a shaker, one of the most primitive instruments, in one hand and on the other hand a synthesizer, representing a more contemporary music .
That's "Mochobeat", the soundtrack of the Quinta do Mocho neighborhood.
In this artwork "Tramallol" the music itself was not so important, but the action of sharing an instrument, a collaboration and a relationship.
This mural is painted in the door of Tramallol, a collaborative work place where several groups reside. Some of them are very related to the social struggle. They asked me to use their space and I decided to make this idea, which I had long ago drawn in a notebook.
Watch Zësar painting his mual "Tramallol"
What’s your favorite piece between the ones presented today?
"Charanga" is the one I like most within this selection. I think maybe because I spent a lot of time thinking about how it was going to be and I finally got the rhythm and color I wanted. For me it was a very exciting project because the town where I painted it, is a very small town of less than 200 inhabitants and the relationship I had with the neighbors was very nice.
Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art?
Well, I think that Music, in the sense of an expressive form of creation, is the art that has the greatest impact on the human being. In my opinion, you can not compare emotionally "the best song" with "the best sculpture" or "the best painting" ... Music has this special power of transmission of feelings and emotions. In an ideal society, we would have much more respect for Music than we have today.
Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music/musicians ?
Yes, in March I will be painting a mural at the Bergamo Jazz Festival in Italy. And I'm going to be doing a "Live painting" with a rap / jazz band on the festival stage. I am really excited about this project.
Can you tell Mow more about your techniques and how long does it take you to make an artwork?
My technique when painting walls is quite simple, I use a lot of "flat ink". So my technique is basically fitting the figures well and filling them with colors.The most important moment of my creation process is in front of my notebook, drawing. That's where I'm freer and I allow myself to express myself without any fear.
Then those drawings are the ones that end up becoming murals.
Music is source of inspiration while working, what kind of music you would listen to?
I listen to all kinds of music, depending on my mood, the moment, the place... I usually listen to flamenco, salsa, jazz, hip-hop, funk...
What is the song you liked the most lately?
Two days ago my brother send me a song of Kutiman called “She´s A Revolution”. Great song!
There is a Brazilian rapper called Criolo, who, two years ago released a disc called "Convoque Ser Buda". I think this is an incredible record, all songs have a very elegant sound and are accompanied by the lyrics of Criolo... highly recommended!
What was the last gig you went to ?
What a coincidence! It was a actually a Criolo concert, on my trip to Fortaleza, Brazil, LOL.
Are you a musician?
Not really, I play a little bit the guitar and the piano, but amateur level. One day, in the future I want to take classes of piano but right now I just paint musicians.
THANK YOU SO MUCH ZËSAR BAHAMONTE
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