I’m happy to have had an opportunity to speak with Italian artist MrFijodor. Here he talks about his career, his latest project in Athens and his love of cinema.
Hi Mrfijodor how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…
I am all good thank you!
I was born in a town among the mountains and the sea, on the Mediterranean coast, very close to France. So much nature and almost no concrete. Now it’s been 15 years that I am living in Torino, a city that gives you many special places to paint especially in abandoned venues.
When did you first start spraying on walls?
In 1994…I made two tags in an abandoned factory, close to the cemetery of my town. A forgotten place…thank God for that, so no one could see that rubbish I made. I didn’t touch a spray for months after!
Then in 1997 I started up my legendary crew, the so-called ADC, and started off a very intense graffiti production with my friend Odio, Sushi (R.I.P.) and Corn 79. Now, Corn79 and I still work together.
What was the original inspiration for grabbing a spray can for the first time?
I think it was to feel somewhat different from my peers who were into football or mopeds …I wanted to express something about myself and my personality. Or maybe just to feel alive within a small community, breaking the provincial boredom. I am sure these are the factors that shaked an entire generation (or more than one) not just me.
Do you like to work with a sketch or just freestyle?
I like both of them, my sketch are very minimal and a great part of my work is improvisation or changed in due course. If I don’t have a specific request on something, I always try to improvise a lot.
What’s the inspiration behind your work? A never ending list of things right?!
I get inspiration mainly from daily life. Sometimes from movies (I am a cinephile), sometimes from memories. Generally from all that surrounds me. I have no standards, each project, each piece of art has its own story.
Is a piece ever finished in your eyes?
Let’s say there is a moment when I say…ok stop…it’s done.
You recently finished a mural in Greece for the Athens Street art Festival, can you tell us a little bit about this experience?
That was great! I had never been to Greece before and I have been impressed by such a sparkling and inspiring city. I think Athens is the most painted city I have ever seen, maybe just Sao Paolo in Brazil has more graffiti. During the Street Art festival I have painted a façade of a school all with brush and on a scaffolding, very different from what I am usually used to, so it was really exciting.
And you know what? I totally changed the project once I saw the wall… as usual!
Do you have any crazy ideas/projects that you’d love to do one day?
I’d really love to go to Albania to paint bunkers. I have this idea in my mind from many years now but I have not been able to do it yet. I hope someone will call me from Tirana to be able to travel across their mountains and to paint!
What do you like to do with your non-painting time?
I enjoy swimming and cycling…..but so little free time!
As I said, I am a cinephile and I see all sort of movies…from trash to the 70es ones, I like forgotten directors but also new experiences. Last movies I saw are “The Polka king” and “Burning”. As in life and with food, I like tasting everything!
What’s the ideal soundtrack to a day’s painting?
I like many type of music. Lately I’m into some singers from Naples as Franco Ricciardi and Liberato…also South American cumbia…electronic music (Nicola Cruz, to cite one)….Dead Kennedys, Fabrizio De André…Messer Chups! But to be honest when I draw on my own I prefer listening to historical documentaries. I am crazy about Alessandro Barbero, an eminent medievalist.
If you could have one super power for the day what would you choose?!
I don’t know…I think I am not the right person to have super powers. Having more memory and to be less absent-minded would be nice. If I had the super strength, I would only cause damages! Or if I flew l would surely crash on a building! I am fine like this, like an average, normal person lol.
What’s next for Mrfijodor?
On my agenda, there are a couple of trips here in Italy and one in Romania. I would love to keep on travelling and drawing to get new experiences and to have fun.