Curator & Art
Amor or Kurtz, is a great Portuguese street artist who has painted in different countries like Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, etc. and Duas has had the chance to interview him, enjoy with this brilliant street artist and his fabolous artwork. We wish him sucess in his career as an artist.
Nowadays we are living a change concerning of street art. On the one hand, there are a lot of people who like this kind of artistic discipline, but on the other hand there is a collective who don’t consider it like an art. What do you think about it?
My opinion about this question is that people just have to see things in a different way. We do it for different reasons, sometimes political interventions, sometimes just because you talk to some different artists and crews and everyone meet and do a plan for a wall. It depends. And if you see now, people see us (graffiti writers) in a different way, and it is starting to be for other people art.
You have different types of graffiti: bombing a fast graffiti in a hot spot like a train a roof top a wall in the middle of a city, stencil you do your most of the work in a paper and then you do it on the wall, and then wall of fame is what I do most, it is a legal wall where you have the time to do wherever you want.
One of the features of this type of art is its controversy messages and sometimes it is used by way of protest. When you paint, are you doing it because you have an artistic motivation?
I always have an artistic motivation ,even when I do my own thing …we always try to do our best but sometimes we have to do some paints against the government.
Most of the street artists started their career when they were young, in your case, when and why did you start to paint?
I started in the 90s 95, 96. I started to see graffiti of some old school writers from Portugal like, Exas, Youth, Nomen, and some names from France, Germany and Spain like Daim, Seen, Dondi, Logan, and a few more I don’t remember.
We have seen that apart of mural, you work in other surface and you work body art too, with which techniques do you feel more comfortable and why?
I do a lot of different type of art ,graffiti canvas, bodypainting ,tags, but the one I feel more comfortable is graffiti in walls, because you feel free when you are doing it and I feel like nothing else exist for me. It is a type of life and it is my type.
There are very important artists in this discipline, such as Banksy or Blek le Rat but, who are your artistic references?
I have a few references but most of them were Portuguese writers. Then I have a few more writers from abroad, but my favorite ones and the ones I grow up seeing their stuff. EXAS, Youth, Nomen Portuguese writers. Now you have new writers in Portugal, they are really big like Mr. Dheo, Odeith etc., and international I would say love letters from Crew, Daim ,Maclaim Crew, Logan who is a Spanish graffiti writer who doesn’t paint anymore, now he is just doing tattoo.
Life is an inspiration for many artists, in your case which experiences of your life have had more influence in your artwork?
I can say that my references were always different. My references are the things witch happen in my life, one of them is related to my tag AMOR “love”. You always have to have love in your life and I am a lover, just to break the ice.
The streets are the best scenery for developing urban art, but lately we can see lots of shows about this art in some galleries and museums. Do you consider that when the street art enters in a gallery or another institution, is it losing its essence?
It’s a different type of thing; it never loses the essence because I do a different type of work for galleries. It is not the same thing I do in the streets. You start to see a lot of writers doing a lot of paintings for galleries like me.
At the present time, there are some controversy concerning the legality of street art, some people consider it a vandalism what do you think about this situation?
In graffiti you have everything: wall of fame , bombing ,trains, tags… all of that belongs to graffiti.
World doesn’t understand that. You always are going to have vandalism… The first thing you start to see is tags, and if people know about graffiti that is a little joke but graffiti and art is the oldest thing ever. The Neanderthals and cave’s men used to make sketches of the hunts and things like that …
Street art has an specific artistic process, what do you paint and why?
Most of my art work and graffiti work is letters. My tag name, I used to paint just “Kurtz” but now I m doing “amor”. kurtz started to be my tag because I use to listen to “Nirvana” Kurt Cobain and I just put a “z” in the end of the name. That was how I started to paint. Until 2 years ago, when I started my new tag amor, but I’ve never stopped to paint Kurtz or sign that tag …and amor comes from “love” and it is just because of lot of things happened in my life.
In you artwork we can observe two different lines of work, mural and throw-ups. Which line do you think is the one which best define your work?
My murals with time but the throw ups is a good way and bombings to get known in the middle of the writers. Trains as well.
Last years, we can see that so many artist are using neon and bright colors in their paint, in your artwork, we don’t usually see neon colors, are you going to join this new fashion? Do you think is it a precedent for the future street art?
I have a few things with neon colours and some art work statues and canvas as well. I did some room works, that when you turn off the light is going to glow, I did it with a colour you cannot see it during the day. It calls Poltergeist from mtn montana cans.
When we observe different pieces of urban art, we can discover them on the walls of the street, bridges, trains etc. How do you choose the place where you are going to paint?
It depends, sometimes you just crossed a place and you can see it’s a hot place and at night you just go there and put your name to everyone to see it. And the wall of fame, you just make a plan to do it and you go to a legal wall. Trains are just the moment.
Lately there has been an increase in urban art artists, many of them with great quality in his artistic production. If you could choose, where would you like to paint and with which artist would you like to do it?
I would like to paint in a lot of countries. I have started to paint in some countries and I already have painted with a lot of artists. I don’t have an artist I really want to paint with. I just paint when the opportunity comes. I like to paint with my friends and people I meet.
Graffiti is not just a painting, it’s a way of life and you always have your friends and it is with them I like to paint.
And the last one, one of your most famous murals is that one you painted with a huge figure of Angela Merkel and the message “Quanto mais tempo querem ficar a assistir a este show. A ‘nossa’ dívida continua a aumentar!” in fact, it appears in some books about street art and it caused much controversy, what have it meant in your career as an artist?
I did it with two more artists, and most of the work is from them. I am really happy to have the pleasure to paint with them. We did two more works that was our last one together, and then I left Portugal.
It didn’t t have too much impact in my life but yes my tag started to be more known. It was a nice exposure but it didn’t bring me a lot of works because after one month I left Portugal to Switzerland, and then I went to Ireland (Dublin) were I meet my crew mates and friends who are really good artists. Big up for them (Oner, Kvlar and Marcamix) one mad crew.
“Thx for the interview big up for all writers around the world. Keep on doing it”
Artist web: KURTZ-AMOR