Our interview to Ever, the street artist on display at the Varsi gallery in Rome
From June 16 to July 13, the Varsi Gallry presents Quiéreme, the first personal exhibition of the Argentine street artist Ever.
On the occasion of his first personal exhibition in Rome we had the opportunity to interview Nicolás Romero Escalada aka Ever, the artist born in Buenos Aires that at the ends of 90s became part of the graffiti scene of his city and then evolved creating a completely personal pictorial style.
With Quièreme, on display at the Varsi Gallery from 16 June to 13 July, he interprets the Transverberation, a Christian mystical ecstasy, in a contemporary key.
The artist transforms the Varsi Gallery into an ecstatic, erotic and sacred space connecting his art to the city and letting himself be inspired by Bernini’s sculptural group: “The Ecstasy of Santa Teresa”, to investigate the triad sacred-sex-individual.
We asked him to tell us about the works on display, the link between his art and the Baroque one and his future plans.
In your artwork popular and political cultures, religious and surreal values blend together creating works filled with references and characterized by different levels of reading. Is it the result of an instinctive process or a conscious construction?
At the beginning my work was very instinctive.
Later, I realized that what I did was dealing with politics and I began to paint in a more consciously way. I come from South America, in my country everything has to do with politics, indistinctly. Even painting in public space is a political action.
My work doesn’t want to be absolute truths, my works ask questions, they want to generate reflections.
What are the elements of Christian ecstasy that we can find in your works, and what is the link with Bernini’s sculptural group “The Ecstasy of Santa Teresa”?
Everything started when I was little and my only contact with the Church was going to play football in their football pitches. After the party we had to liste the priest’s sermon.
One time during one of these sermons I found a porn magazine; when I saw it I felt an immense guilt and I felt that something bad would happen to me. That magazine represented the contradiction of two spaces that could not technically be together and that situation has generated a strange excitement in me (in hindsight I think it was the magazine itself that the reasony why I was so disturbed …).
It all started when I found out that the word “ecstasy” was used by Catholicism.
It strikes me that a word so linked to lust, sex, and drugs has been used under God’s name. That word was the key to something much more interesting, the most pure and divine contact that can be with God, where divinity enters a person’s body, occupies it and generates the most amazing pleasure that exists.
Bernini makes this concept magnificently in the orgasm of L’estasi di Santa Teresa.
Personally, I believe that if God is everywhere, there must also be when we have sex, and if the Church ceases to repress it continuously, it would reduce cases of sexual abuse.
I try to humanize God, to believe that it is also curious, and I also think that to believe in God it equates to the feeling of being loved even if we make mistakes.
Transverberation has solved my feelings of guilt towards that magazine in my childhood.
Your works can be included in a pop art scene that is extremely active at the time, how do you think it may be their dialogue with a lavish art as the Baroque one?
I don’t like categories, I think they are one of the main problems of today’s society. My work certainly has roots in classical art, it’s a reinterpretation of the art of the past according to my own vision.
Your interventions are closely related to the places where you are, what will be your next goal?
What I want to do now is to concentrate on me, over time I realized how much an artist painted in the public space exposes himself. I think the work of an artist must be honest, he must really reflect his thoughts. I want to work on myself, dig into my depths and return my research with what I will encounter digging.