Interview with Italy's Premier Street Artist: Pixel Pancho

Discover a Surreal World of Robots and Machine-Like Creatures

Pixel Pancho was born in 1984 in Turin, where his grandfather, an amateur painter, introduced him to color and form. His passion for art and design led him to enroll in the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, and then in the Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia, Spain. During this period he became familiar with graffiti and street art and started using spray paint cans and markers on outdoor surfaces, quickly standing out from the classic paper and canvas media used by most other students.
In his travels from his hometown of Turin to Valencia, Pixel Pancho took every opportunity to make himself known on the streets. With the use of different mediums such as tile, wall painting and sticker/poster art, his work soon reached and decorated the walls of many European cities. The time spent in Paris, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Vienna and other cities for graffiti jams and gallery exhibitions also allowed Pixel Pancho’s style to evolve from the depiction of simple robot characters to the more complex compositions that characterize his art today.
The narrative in Pixel Pancho’s work is driven by a forgotten world sitting under a blanket of dust. In his universe, broken and dented robots are found decaying on the ground, their iron and rusted copper bodies falling and laying about as if discarded into oblivion. Although the scale of his work varies, his surreal realm is the constant thread that pierces through contemporary and historical references. The strength of the physical dimension and of the gestures that humanize his robots are particularly noticeable on the walls of abandoned buildings in cities throughout Europe, the U.S. and Mexico, and are all part of an interconnected structure of stories, as in all of his murals, paintings, and sculptures.


I would like to thank Francesca at Galleria Varsi for putting me in touch with Pixel Pancho. Please read below what the artist had to say:
PixelpanchoTell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Turin and my interest in art started as a child. I was always drawing around the house. In the urban scene I started with graffiti and then I found out that I liked “dirtying” walls.
Being an artist is not always easy, where there is little support, if any, from family and friends. How was it for you starting up?
I must say that I never even looked for support. I started working on my art by myself and continued that way.
You have a unique style that has to do a lot with robots … machine-like creatures. Could you tell us the main idea behind it and why?
My interest in robots, androids and all machine-like creatures derives from the thought that men are heroes that project on these machines their desire for immortality.
Pixelpancho_ Varsavia 2013How do you go about creating your art piece? How do you choose a wall/environment?
I like to base my art on the space where it will appear, whether an art gallery, a wall or any other environment. The choice of a space is not conditioned by any particular other factor than my feelings at the moment I see it.
Pixelpancho. Fulvia _ Serigrafia - Silkscreen _ 50 x 70 cm, 2016How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
My art is my life. I work 24 hours a day, and the research for my creations occupy most of my thoughts.
Has your style developed throughout the years?
My style has certainly developed, especially thanks to all the new experiences I have made, the places I have seen and the people I have come in contact with.
You are busy working on your next show “Androidèi” at Galleria Varsi in Rome, Italy, which opened to the public on February 19th. Could you elaborate on that?
This is a really great show. I have found a team that has supported me in the creation of an ancient Roman space where my art stands out at its best. The exhibition is a visionary metaphor of Roman myths where the divine creatures that men have always turned to are also robots of decaying iron flesh.
In your opinion, what is the difference between graffiti and street art?
It is like comparing ping pong and tennis: two completely different things…
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What are your thoughts on the way the internet is influencing the artworld?
The influence of internet on the artworld can be excellent, but artists really have to be careful because the results can be totally negative if used in the wrong way and can end up hindering the artist.
Have you painted in the USA? If so, how was your experience like?
I have travelled to the States various times and the paintings I did there have always been meaningful and important experiences.
Rabat, MoroccoWhat are your thoughts about what’s going on in the world: ISIS, Refugee Crisis, Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, White Privilege…
My thoughts on the current world crisis and on all of the topics you mention reflect my radical disappointment in human beings.
Is there a message in your art?
My art reflects this disappointment and the creation of my decaying robots reveal these thoughts.
While some claim the physical danger of working outdoors makes women reluctant to participate, do you think women are changing the status quo of street art which is kind of still a boys’ club?
I can really state that the best street artists that I know are women.
What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
I cultivate my garden and my vegetable patch!
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What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
Stay tuned to my blog! I have a lot of projects coming up…

Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
Yes, do not use projectors and work by yourself!

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