What do Daenerys Targaryen, Daryl Dixon and Walter White all have in common?
The answer (of course) is Barcelona-based artist Axe Colours.
If you are one of the lucky ones to be living in Barcelona, you would have no doubt already seen the pop culture pieces by Axe Colours around the city. From Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Peaky Blinders; Axe Colours is making his way through iconic figures that are currently gracing our screens.
We spoke to Axe Colours about his work, his style and, of course, his love for Game of Thrones.
When did you start painting?
I started painting at age 16. Like most, signing all over the place with my old firm SMAUG. But I saw that I liked painting more elaborate drawings more, which required more time. So I quickly became interested in mural painting and street art.
What is it about painting that you love?
I really like the ability it has to create and enter new worlds with different rules compared to the real world. It is also therapeutic to express what you have inside and allows you to philosophise as you draw and paint.
What made you choose to paint popular characters from pop culture?
Well the truth is that it was by chance!
A friend of a friend wanted to paint the door of his house. We got in touch to prepare a design. He told me that he really liked the Breaking Bad series. At that time I hadn’t watched the series because, as you know, they require a very large investment of time! But I finally watched Breaking Bad and loved it. So I decided to paint Walter White played by Bryan Cranston.
From there, too, the quality of the TV series increased, which made me become more and more interested.
Do you think the type of artwork you create changes how people think about street art/graffiti?
Yes I think it brings street art and muralism to a lot of people.
The fact of painting characters from TV series that people recognise in different corners of their city, along with a street art, colourist and aesthetic style that produce a shocking and enjoyable visual experience, help a lot to achieve this approach.
You’ve done a run of game of thrones characters recently, is this because you’re a fan of the show? What made you choose them specifically?
Haha The truth is yes! I really like the Game of Thrones series! I have always liked fantasy, medieval, warriors and dragons (that’s why my signature was Smaug).
Anyway, beyond the fan world, we are facing one of the best series in history. A spectacular script, dialogues, performances, locations, effects. It is a series of excellent quality!
I have also painted characters from other series I have seen: Walter White (The Breaking Bad), Rick Daryl Glenn (The Walking Dead), Eleven (The Stranger Things), Tommy Shelby (Peaky Blinders), Ragnar (Vikings), Penny (Big Bang Theory) and Ezequiel (The Get Down).
Have any of the famous people you have painted been in touch with you?
Yes, Norman Reedus who plays Daryl Dixon, went to see the mural I painted when he shot in Barcelona, Ride with Norman Reedus show! Also Justice Smith who plays Ezequiel in The Get Down really liked the mural I painted him and shared in his nets.
Tell us about the technique you use to create your art work.
My style is very colourful and saturated, but I try to mix the colours in a smooth and harmonious way to get a visual experience that’s very powerful but at the same time harmonious.
The shapes and volumes are posterised which reminds us a lot of the stencils of street art, but are painted freehand.
I also like to add stains, splashes and drips to give it a wilder and stronger style.
What’s the public perception of your work?
The truth is that the public response is wonderful!
From the young to the old, from huge fans of the series to those who are not, from those who have knowledge about art to those who have no idea, from the new school to the old, it seems my work unites a lot of diverse people!
What future plans/projects to you have? Or which characters can we expect to see soon?
For some time now, I have not been able to say future plans.
As Woody Allen says: “Things are not said, they are done, because by doing them, they speak for themselves.”
Big thanks to Axe Colours for taking time to speak to us!
For more of Axe Colours work, visit his page on Global Street Art