Mid 90’s, Alberto Vejarano imposed a unique and evolutive logo in the streets of Paris : Chanoir. The «CHA» took life on the walls and they communicated their feelings to the passers-by : instinctive, naive and always positive.
What made you become an artist? Could you tell me more about your background?
My father is a famous Columbian artist and when I was young, art was my passion. I used to visit the studio of my father, there were different smells and I loved this atmosphere!
At 18 years, I knew that I wanted to become an artist and do this job for a living. It was my destiny.
So I’ve studied in the prestigious Beaux Arts of Paris. My dreams come true and I was ready to be a street artist!
Basic question, but how did you choose your name?
Chanoir comes from my childhood in France. I remember the poster by Steinlen: ” le cabaret du chat noir’’ that my sister had in her bedroom. This cat seems to be the perfect logo for a street artist. I have to say that I really love cat in general because I always had cats when I was young and my first drawing was a cat. It was natural to choose a cat as a symbol of my art.
Could you tell us about your technique and the type of work you create?
I use 2 different techniques:
Firstly, I use acrylic, Spray cans, oil and felt pen and I draw cats on wall or canvases as it comes, in freestyle. For 20 years I have worked this way by painting, and drawing cats. I try to draw people from all ages, from different cultures… and them appear like cats. It is self-portrait in a certain way.
Secondly, I can work by using installations, videos or even teddy bears. In that case, I want to create a relation between the spectator and my art and make them feel affection like you can have with hero from cartoons.
Works Available on StreetArtAndGraffiti.com
How would you describe your work today?
Through my work, I try to communicate feelings with the spectator, create works with a soul. I paint optimistically the present and I don’t trust in the disillusionment of the world.
I would say that I am a son of the free representation, took in the giant energy of post-graffiti
What influenced you artistically?
I’m very influenced by the art of Keith Haring.
I believe that the “Grotte de Lascaux” in France drawings is more powerful than Gernica by Picasso. But the cartoons characters are so important on my work : for example Hello Kity, The Muppets by Jim Henson are higher than everything in term of aesthetic.
I use their expressions and dynamism and I take these images unconsciously to produce instinctive and unusual drawings.
Which is the best wall you have ever painted?
My best wall is simply the first one because it is always the best 😉
It was in Paris in the 19th arrondissement. It was 5 panels of 2 meters on 3 meters. My work was next of a poem which started with: “La nuit tout les chats noirs sont gris. Réveille toi mon vieux Paris.’’ Which means: At night all cats are grey. Wake-up my old Paris. It was in 1996 and in it was the only street art piece in the neighborhood.
When you are visiting a new city, how do you choose the spot where you’ll paint a work?
I have the felling that the wall chooses me and not the opposite. We have an intuition that it is the good one.
You work mostly at night as you prefer to keep your identity low key, we can imagine sometimes this wasn’t an easy task. Any funny stories you want to share with us?
When I began, I painted only at night. Nonetheless, today, I can easily adapt myself. Sometime, it is better to stay unknown but sometime you have to choice to paint in public and make the show.
Who is the most famous person who owns a piece of your art?
It is maybe Sophie Marceau and Christophe Lambert.
Any exciting projects coming up?
I will be in Miami for Artbasel, I will have different shows and will be part of the Art Curial auction in Paris in February 2016.