Spanish artist Anna Taratiel, better known as Ovni, is excited for the Urban Art Festival Amsterdam show. Even though she was very busy with her solo show at Battalion (read), the past weeks she has been working on her artwork for the upcoming show at OT301. Urban Art Now had a chat with Ovni prior to the festival about her solo show, ‘me.i’, tape and installations.
Ovni has been living in Amsterdam now for five years. She moved to Amsterdam because of love, her boyfriend. They have been together for 8 years, but it was her who moved to Amsterdam. “When you move to a new city it takes time to find your place and get to know people,” says Ovni. “There are a lot of nice people in Amsterdam, who do nice things.” It was during one of her Amsterdam visits when she meets Hyland Mather (Andenken/Battalion). They meet at a graffiti show close to Amsterdam central station. Hyland was helping the artists to hang their artworks. He was also building a wall with recycled stuff and found objects. “I was impressed by this and wanted to show him my stuff. I knew that we had something in common.”
Hyland really liked her art. They started working together on installations and he brought her art with him to art fairs. A few years later he asks Ovni for a solo show in his gallery space. At the beginning of May of this year her ‘me.i’ show at Battalion is a fact. “We had been postponing this show for so long. It is nice to have this kind of space in my own city, where I can show what I do.” It is her first solo show in Amsterdam and it has been very good so far. “I am happy. I finally have a solo show in Amsterdam.” She is also very grateful for being able to work with Hyland and his gallery. They have a very good connection about understanding material, geometric and composition. It is therefore to no surprise that her art is now part of Battalion in Amsterdam.
Ovni’s solo show is called ‘me.i’. When asking her about this title, she starts to smile. Ovni: “It is super personal. I like the way that it is Me and I, a mark of who I am. In my own work it is also totally personal.” Personal as in experiences, fears, labyrinths, emotions, exits, possibilities and options. Me.i is also her daughter. One of the reasons her show was postponed, was because of her pregnancy. She sees it as some sort of end of the circle, homage to her baby daughter and where she is now. “This artwork series is also one of my most naïve,’ so she tells, “I am always trying to get all these things done in a funny moment. That is also why it is me.i.”
The art in her solo show have a lot of geometrics, lines, circles and colours. When she starts making an artwork, she follows her intuition. She creates, thinks about why she likes it and why it isn’t different. This is her personal moment where she also thinks about why she has arrived at this point. “I then slowly give the artwork a title. Yeah, a creative process is strange. For every piece there is a real relationship with it. When I finish an artwork, I think about all these relationships.” Her art can sometimes be a bit darker or a bit more moody. She would not make an artwork that makes her have weird feelings. Even if she would feel ugly, she would make something nice for the balance. “I like it when I see an artwork that gives me feelings. It can be nice, beautiful, weird or ugly. I always make art that gives me some kind of peace.” If she doesn’t like one of her own artworks, she stores it in a corner, so that she won’t have to see it for a while. “I then look at it again in half a year and asking what happened to it.”
Using tape is a big part of her current technique. Also because her art, as it is now, is more geometric, using tape makes it smooth and precise. Her back in the days process started with painting graffiti with a spray can only. After some time her interest moves to materials like found objects and wood for creating 3D installations. “My art became more geometrical because of these materials. Not just installations, but also on canvas. It is therefore good to use tape.” Ovni is a big fan of this kind of recycling process and doesn’t want to throw the tape away. “I started to collect the tape. They are so colourful after having used it. That is why I collect it.” In her Amsterdam studio you can see the used tape on the wall. At her solo show she shows a few artworks that were made with these recycled pieces of tape. On the first floor a big sticky tape installation is lying on the floor.
When still living in Spain, approximately 6-7 years ago, she got into 3D installations. She was using wood, carton boxes, tape and paper. “I like seeing trash. Putting it in a strategic place and make it look nice. It can be nice and shit or it can be nice and organized.” Her installations are very post graffiti. When she was doing graffiti, it was a good moment in Barcelona. A lot of local artists met up with each other and started sharing moments. “That is when I started to work with Kenor. We were working together for a lot of years. At some point things changed and I started to get an interest in recycling things, even when it is only for one night.” Presently she doesn’t create that many installations any more. She could have done something with Hyland Mather a little while ago, but she was too busy with her own show.
At the moment of writing Ovni still needs a couple more sessions to finish her artwork for the Urban Art Festival Amsterdam (30 May-1 June). After that she starts working on her big summer project for R.U.A. in Amsterdam and a show at Mini Galerie later this year.
More about the Urban Art Festival Amsterdam go to www.urbanartfestival.net.
Photos (Artwork Selection Website)