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Muralist Pum Pum talks urban art, “Big Flequi,” and biking in Buenos Aires

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Photo courtesy: Pum Pum

The VAWAA artist gives insight into her creative process

Porteño muralist Pum Pum prefers to navigate the streets of Buenos Aires by bike, scoping out walls that will make an adequate urban canvas for her work. She’s been a member of BA’s prolific street art scene for years, and has watched the medium grow and evolve. Pum Pum is known for her distinctive style “Big Flequi” the colorful designs of which feature characters: a girl with exaggerated bangs, rabbits, cats in boots, zombies, children.

Photo courtesy: Pum Pum

Below, she talks about her life in BA, creative inspiration, and the impact of the urban art movement.

Colorful conversations: In her own words*:

On BA’s urban street scene… 

“In the past few years, the [urban art] scene in Buenos Aires has grown a lot. Many artists have joined; there are more spaces to exhibit. The streets are filled with incredible murals with different techniques and scenes -- and the scene is still growing.”

On creative inspiration… 

“I find it very inspiring to ride a bike through the city; and seeing the streets, neighborhoods, trees, businesses, bars, etc., everything from that perspective. It also helps me find the walls I want to paint. I really like the neighborhood where I am currently living (Coghlan) and biking to the river in northern part of the city of Buenos Aires.”

“We have to be attentive and curious to everything around us: to nature, to friendly people, to new artists. Always have your eyes open. It is the motor that never turns off inspiration.”

On her personal approach to street art… 

“I believe that any work that one does—especially if it is in a public way, in the street—generates information, a message. I hope to generate a joyful moment; to fight a little from a simple place [against] the giant city, gray with advertising.”

“[When people view my paintings,] I like them to feel free, to connect with my work from a simple and genuine place, without preconceptions. I think that is the best way to see any artwork—just enjoy.”

On her choice of medium… 

“Acrylics and brush on walls is my favorite medium. It’s the one [I feel most comfortable with]. Then, when I paint on canvas or [create] small-format work, I use other mediums—watercolors, inks, etc.”

On her studio...  

“My studio is my house. It’s where I love to be, to draw, to look at the trees through the window, to take care of my plants… It’s a small retreat that I love to share.”

On her favorite recent project... 

“In 2016, I painted a mural in a school in China; the last mural I painted is one of my favorites. As always, I enjoyed the process of painting the murals, and in this case, being in a school in a rural village in the middle of the mountains [was an incredible experience.]”

Photo courtesy: Pum Pum

On upcoming work and her dream project... 

“I’m starting to test materials in 3D. To get volume with the materials and generate different layers of information. [This year], I’m trying to deepen this idea. I love projects that invite small-scale painting, in small towns where contact with people is very strong. I hope to be able to develop such projects in different small cities of the world."

Photo courtesy: Pum Pum


*Translated to English from Spanish; transcription has been lighted edited for clarity.
Written by Stephanie Elizabeth
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