Spanish Urban Art Duo PichiAvo Brings Greek Mythology to MURAL

Station 16 Gallery Welcomes Multidimensional ‘Lefkos’ Series

  • The duo started their collaboration in 2007 and have continued to join forces since then. Courtesy Oly Bernardi

The Spain-based artist duo PichiAvo showcased their series Lefkos at the MURAL Festival—they’ve produced large, layered works on canvas depicting the romance, grief, playfulness, and power found in ancient Greek sculpture practices.

“We have a lot of [appreciation for] Greek and Roman mythology,” stated Avo, one of the members. The collaboration started in 2007. “We both like classical painters and all those painters were working through mythology.”

Their work is based on their shared love for Mediterranean culture and art. The duo is known for their works in which classic and modern art are juxtaposed.

They aim to create works that challenge the preconceived notions of both classical and modern art with a new fusion that is faithful to its classic heritage but “heavily influenced by a modern urban viewpoint.”

This year, not only did they have a show at Station 16 Gallery, but they also produced a large mural, which was heavily influenced by the Lefkos series, as part of the MURAL festival.

Although both artists are classically trained painters, they are rooted within the urban art movement.

PichiAvo’s mural can be enjoyed on St. Laurent Blvd. Courtesy Jean François Galipeau

“We have two beginnings,” said Avo. “We started with the graffiti, but we wanted to do something different, not just stay there.”

The fusion between their classical studies in art and their passion for urban art and graffiti ignited a new chapter in their careers and made way for the body of work showcased at the gallery during the festival.

The pieces are grandiose to say the least. Although quite homogenous in regards to the colour palette, the differences lie in the diversification of the multiple graffiti iconography chosen by the duo.

“We like [Greek mythology], otherwise we won’t do it.” Pichi explained. “We wanted to do a tribute of some of the walls that we [have] already done in several cities,” Avo continued.

The bright colours beneath a whitewash on canvas—a technique developed by the duo for this series specifically—differentiates this particular body of work from their previous endeavours.

Their decision of implementing this new technique amplifies the notion of time passing. The artists make it clear that this series was an homage to both classical and urban art, and how art evolved throughout the millennia.

The viewer notices more details as they observe the painting. Courtesy Oly Bernardi

They explained that they study the classical sculpture on which the painted work is based on. Characters like Poseidon and Aphrodite are painted with such attention to detail, and with colours that in other cases are not associated with this form of painting or subject matter at all.

Like a large I Spy book, one discovers new details the longer they look at each piece.“ We give more importance to the colour and the shape of the piece,” Avo stated. In this case you […] can see first the shape and then […] you start seeing all the details.”

Their decision to produce a work for MURAL Festival came from their love for the city of Montreal. “The festival of course, it’s one of the main ones [for urban art] in the world,” explained Avo.

From Montreal to Valencia, there is a constant challenge they undertake together—PichiAvo yearns for older folks to love street art and the younger generations to discover classical artworks and find beauty in it as well.

Pichi and Avo continue to produce work united as one entity for the sake of their craft. Their finished mural piece can be seen throughout the year on the St. Laurent Blvd.

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