Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ever Siempre has been in and out of the Bay Area the past three months. Over the course of that three months he worked stayed and played at Zio Ziegler's studio up north, painted in Cozumel with Pangea Seed, headed back to Oakland for some more work and fun, off to Mexico City to paint a collaborative wall with Smithe One, then to Tijuana to paint another wall and finally back finish a large canvas days before the exhibition.
Like the work of other artists, I first learned of Ever's work from a good friend and mentor, Nick Marzullo from Pawn Works in Chicago. As it happened, I left for California just months before Ever came to work with Nick in Cleveland on a mural only to then meet him, finally, years later this summer. His work has the same vibrancy as his personality. The first night he was in SF, I took him to a Joey Badass concert with local artist Eric Bailey and afterwards, my girlfriend made him french toast at 2am. He exclaimed in his thick accent "This is the best first night in San Francisco I could have!" and he slept on my couch for the first of like 5 times this summer. It has been a pleasure to work with him and develop the friendship we have. My dog Oscar likes him too, Ever can say his name the way it's supposed to be said. "Oh-scaaar". Learn more about Ever in this interview below. -Brock
On view until October 2, 2015.
Athen B: How was your time during your three month stint in the Bay Area before the opening of “Condition”?
Ever: Well, my stay in the Bay Area was a blessing. I have a strong connection with San Francisco and Oakland. My first time in SF was like heaven (2011). You can smell the freedom everywhere, then I found Oakland, that was like discovery of a new world. The Californian artists are my favorite. I don't know why, maybe because there are some Mexican vibes around the area. On this trip I was staying with one of my favorites artist in Mills Valley, looking at mountains and painting with the light of the sun bouncing on the walls. I think with these new works you can see this strong inspiration of this nomadic and peaceful area.
Where are you now and what are you up to?
I'm answering this interview in the middle of my living room in Buenos Aires, Argentina, looking out the window, it's raining now and tomorrow supposed to start the springtime season. I'm preparing a piece for a show called "Tirar de la cuerda" (Pull the rope) here in Buenos Aires. It's a group show with a lot of artist that I really admired and an amazing curator Victoria Tolomei, a person who is in all the details. This show opens the 1st of October at the ICBC Foundation ( https://www.fundacionicbc.com.ar/ ), that's a Chinese Bank Foundation. I'm really excited to see how it goes, and then on the same night of the opening I have to take a flight to NYC for a project in Harlem. After that I'm heading down to Brazil for a Big Festival.
We all know the textbook definition of Communism, but what does it mean to you and the series of portraits you made for the exhibition?
Well the series called "Logo" is a new body of work where I'm trying to talk about how in this time we belong to a symbol, our life is surrounded to this type of politics, the resume of our life is a paper. The concept is the main issue of the nine pieces. This pieces are sold seperatly which means when one of the pieces are gone, the logo is not a logo anymore. It's just a line on a framed piece, losses its meaning.
Who are these people you paint portraits of?
I always try to make my own research of images. In this case I took pictures of Chinese girl in Argentina. I always try to put conditions on the person before I start to take pictures for set up a vibe behind my own concept and also to get their own interpretation of my idea. On this opportunity I spoke to her about the idea that there's something more bigger than us that control our life spectrum.
What was the inspiration for the piece “The Materialization of the Idea (Communism)”.
My parents used to read me these books with black and white drawings like the typical "fairy tale" book. I always remember watching all the details of the drawings I was impressed by it. It's like trying to connect with that childhood experience, but putting a political thought on it. Trying to talk in a metaphorical way about a concept so big like "Communism".
What was your first introduction to art that you can remember?
My parents used to by me art books from artists like Velasquez, Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh. I was a big fan on Van Gogh at the time because of the story that he had cut his ear off fascinated me. I couldn't believe that someone can do that and also paint so beautifully.
Are there any artists out there that have affected the way you work? Shown you tricks, maybe showed you the ropes?
Yes for sure. Actually this time with Zio I was able to try to destroy some rituals of my work. I push myself to try not to have the full control of my pieces, try to let it go in a different way, I was with the right person to do that. Also Jaz is a guy who is always changing his dialogue with the paint that push you also to make the same. I really like too Sten & Lex we shared some time together in Paris and was really inspired to think about the concept behind the pieces, sometimes is more important the issue behind than the final piece.
You’ve been lucky to live in various cities over the past handful of years. Where have you called home one time or another? Did you learn anything while living in these places that affect your art now?
Paris gave me my political perspective of life, my everything. San Francisco taught me about freedom, humanity, be a human being. NYC taught me that a lot of people with different nationalities can live together without issues. Mexico city taught me that existed a future in which the politician could be art for all Buenos Aires taught me that everything that you can plan before you start is not always gonna play out like that. All the issues are inside of my paintings.
How was it collaborating with the other artist in the exhibition? Have you guys collaborated before?
Was really exciting, Yes I fortunately I painted with Zio in NYC, then with Jaz and Troy we painted together in Buenos Aires.
How does the human condition affect the work you make?
For me, the human is a body of contradiction, fighting against the invisible, believing on the supreme forces. Admitting that our future belong to someone else. For me everything is political, each action who modified our common place (the streets) is a political action. When we are against something we go to the streets, because at the end maybe we think is the only place that belong to us. I guess is the 100% of my work content.
Franco and yourself used to share a studio space in Argentina, right? Do you have any funny stories from your guys time together in that space?
Yes, our lovely and noisy studio, with 3 lovelies cats around. Well we have a lot of stories, but the only one I can tell or comes up now is that we destroyed the couch of the grandmother of one of our studio mates . They had to reupholster again, we blame the cats I guess they had sex there nasty cats!
What’s up next for Ever?
Big things for the next year, always triying to do it with love and with friends