Juan Miguel Palacios/Modus Gallery


Por: Modus Gallery

Juan Miguel Palacios es un artista español que realizó sus estudios en la escuela de Artes Decorativas de Madrid, lo que le llevó a formar parte del prestigioso taller Amadeo Roca Gisbert donde trabajó durante más de 6 años.

Su técnica es única, el artista sobrepone vinilos transparentes cubriendo una estructura que representa un muro parcialmente destruido. Juan Miguel Palacios representa encima de esta superficie transparente personajes expresivos, compuestos por una pintura que se desliza y escurre, que parecen nunca estar terminados.

El artista crea un contraste en sus obras entre la superficie depurada y la integración del hueco y sus texturas que se crean alrededor de este. La suavidad y la fragilidad de los rostros femeninos se opone drásticamente a la agresividad de la destrucción del muro. Sin embargo, una interacción aparece entre los personajes en simbiosis con la inserción aleatoria del vacíosobre este soporte arquitectural urbano. Juan Miguel Palacios retoma el soporte de los street artists: esas barreras de cemento que separan el espacio privado del espacio publico, reconstruyéndolo como escenario para su trabajo.

La contemplación de sus obras no nos puede dejar impasibles, ya que nos transmiten un sentimiento de abandono y desintegración.

El estilo pictórico nos recuerda fácilmente a los cuadros del artista Pasquat, o el trabajo del sreet artist Vhils en donde encontramos igualmente la deconstrucción de los muros.

Las obras de Juan Miguel Palacios son figurativas, a pesar de esto tienen una gran carga conceptual, ya que encontramos en sus obras los conceptos del duelo, la agitación, la expresión y las desigualdades.



Juan Miguel Palacios/Modus Gallery



Marta Sanchez Luengo / Modus Gallery

The most remarkable thing about Marta Sanchez Luengo's work is her scope of the human being through different realities. The study of the human figure and its context play the same role on her sculptures. The creation and use of scene is always constant on her work, and it becomes the canvas for referring about the complexity of the circumstances the human being is involved, integrating social-urban with intimate-personal life.

Particularly, the Travel thematic is very frequent in her work


Marta Sanchez Luengo / Modus Art Gallery



by Sami Wakim

Snik / Modus Gallery

Initially inspired by the Graffiti scene, Snik has been working with stencil and spray can for 10 years now. Constantly pushing the boundaries, this artist duo has developed a unique style which is equally captivating on walls as it in on canvas. Staying true to their form, Snik hand cuts up to nine layers at a time, working with different mediums, techniques, paints and varnishes. Regardless of size, the level of detail is insane, and use of colours and forms, inspirational. Showing in Galleries, shows and forums across the globe, they had their inaugural solo show in 2011, and now has a serious following of admirers and collectors worldwide.

Let me first say that I am fascinated about the way you create your art. Although, I don’t really know anything about you, could you explain who you are, where you´re from and how did you get started in the street art scene?
Snik was originally started by myself (nik), back in 2005. I had always been a keen artist, but never really viewed it as something that could get me from place to place doing what I loved. Over the years people have shown an interest, and invited me to places all over the world to paint, which has been incredible. As the years have gone on, I have always tried to go bigger and better with each piece, I feel, constant progression and improvement are the things that help to keep me on my toes. About 4 years ago I met my other half, and we began to paint bigger walls together. Having 2 people on board meant we can cut bigger stencils quicker, and paint larger walls that one person with a stencil couldn’t, so it’s been a huge help to become a duo. Some people don’t know that, we have never really pushed, as I don’t think it matters so much. When you view art you never question how many people, just the nature of it and how it makes you feel.

Do you have a formal education?
We have both been to college, but neither studied Art. It was never helpful for either of us in the direction we were heading.

Your art is multilayered and complex. Could you describe the development process of your artwork?
I think stencil work is a form of OCD. To sit for hours on end, cutting small pieces of card from bigger pieces of card, it’s not a standard method of art, but a more precise and exact craft. The way we try to balance this, is by painting very quickly, and very rough and ready. Every canvas we paint is painted the same way it would be done on the street, drips, smudges, mess and mistakes are all a part of it. The tightness of the stencil is only a balance to the freedom of the painting.

How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life and are there any role models or artists who inspired you?
Everything we do is art related. There isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t read up on a recent paint event, or check out a recent gallery show. That being said, we are very separate in the fact that we live in the countryside, and not a city. We don’t get caught up in a scene as such, but obviously are inspired by just how much incredible art is being produced all around the world right now.

How do you go about creating your street art? How do you choose a street/environment?
Normally we will cut the stencil, then source a spot. It can be a quick thing, or can take a while. Stencils can be restricting in your size and surface you have to work with, but this can also be the challenge to it. Spray paint works on anything, so it’s all down to how you use a stencil, and how you approach the aesthetic of the area.

Has your style developed throughout the years?
I would say so yes. The stencil cutting is a lot more free, and as each new piece is produced, there are new lessons learnt. The use of lighting has always been a big influence in the work, shadows especially effect the final outcome. As mentioned before, the use of the stencil can be restricting, so it’s important for us to work around this, and make the final piece more relaxed and natural, as stencils can sometimes be very stiff and harsh in final appearance.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet and social media in making your work more accessible to the public?
The internet has revolutionized the way people view artwork now, in every sense. Some street pieces only last a day, but once it’s online, it is pretty much there forever. The same goes for any little post we may put about a new stencil, or a test spray. For those who don’t have gallery connections, or good hook ups for walls, it’s a great way to get yourself out there and get noticed. We always enjoy painting street as much as possible, but it’s just not always possible for us to get every single new piece onto a wall straight away, so we get into the studio and produce a work to showcase the new cuts this way instead. But in the back of our minds we always want every piece to eventually make it to a wall.

Which countries have you visited to paint so far and where did you like it best?
We have visited France, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain. Each one is incredible in its on way, it would be impossible to select a favourite, as every paint trip has so many great memories. The meeting of new people is definitely one of the best points about what we do, and it’s what we enjoy the most.

Is there a message in your art?
maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.

Street art is still considered vandalism, how is it for you to go out and paint in the street? Did you ever have any problems with the law?
When I started in 2005, I used to enjoy going out and doing paste ups, little 1 or 2 layer stencils. It was a fun rush, but of course it created friction with authority, and was never going to end well. As we grew older and developed, the illegal thing lost an interest, mainly because our stencils evolved into such technical works that to rush them in 30 minutes would be a really poor looking final piece, and not the sort of thing we want to produce. It’s really rare that we do a full illegal piece, and even if we do we don’t advertise it, for obvious reasons.

What have been your most challenging and rewarding piece of work thus far?
The most challenging piece was the Winged-Fire (pictured above) piece we painted in our home town last year. It was only an 8 layer stencil at around 7 foot tall, but each layer was 5 different colours. So to get the cuts natural, and the blends working took a very long time, and a lot of stress. It helped to push us a lot to progress in the direction we have, so It is definitely one that sticks in our mind.

What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
Dog walking. Wine drinking.

What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
We have a big year planned, but you’ll have to keep an eye on our social media for info.

Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
Don’t stop. Always wear a spray mask.


Snik / Modus Art Gallery



By Bob Lansroth

Hendrik Czakainski / Modus Gallery

Displaying his signature work made from the bird’s eye view point, the artist conveys his abstract vision of the urban world around us. The Berlin-based artist explores the juxtaposed concepts of order and chaos, forming a unique vision of aesthetic through his large-scaled works. Reminiscent of google map views (which the artist uses as an assisting tool to form certain configurations), his artwork displays a distant perspective which provides the viewer with an impersonal, yet highly detailed and thought-provoking vision.

We asked Hendrik questions about his art, how he perceives himself and his work, we discussed the messages his projects convey, talked about his latest exhibition and other artwork. So, enjoy the interview we had with the artist where he gave us a glimpse into his creative process and personal insight of his art.

Since artists and their work are usually left for the critics and the audience to be interpreted, judged and scrutinized, the first question would be how do YOU perceive your own work and in what way would you define it?

HC: My work as you can see it today – the different shapes, combinations and use of material – is the result of a development that it has been passing through during the last couple of years. I have been experimenting with different kinds of materials, combining formations of surfaces and struggling with finding a way of uniting material, form and content. In my pieces I am trying to display fractions and glimpses of phenomena that occur at the clash of globalization, industrialization and demographic developments by translating them into the forms and material I have found over the years. Considering this, the content of my work could be related to sometimes catastrophic conditions (if you think of slums or massive industrial sites and the pollution that comes with it) that I try to convert into pieces that –despite of all that– display some kind of beauty. Maybe you could say that my aesthetic is always trying to walk the thin line between devastation, destruction and the beauty of, for example a perfect square, an interesting material surface or a coherent composition. It is both difficult for me to find the balance between these poles and propulsive/stimulating/inspiring to oscillate between order and chaos, norm and deviation, the concrete and the abstract. It is the tension between these antipodes that interests me most. When I look back at the pieces I produced over the last couple of years I am honestly surprised because I can now very well retrace the different stages of development that my work has lived through. I think it is this process that leads from one thing to another, driven by its own logic, that I find most fascinating about making art.

What inspired you to attain such a distant perspective of a bird’s eye view in your art?

HC: Attaining a distant view to the objects I am displaying has been part of my work for a long time. It is motivated by the interest in my own allocation. The distance allows me to consider my position in relation to the surrounding environment. It offers a different way of discovering places and finding spots and gets us to read structures from above – be it of landscapes or urban areas. Crucial to this were travels to the megacities of South Asia. People often think that I am sort of copying views of particular areas via google maps, but in practice I am only using these tools to study certain configurations or to collect inspiration concerning shapes and forms. The fascinating thing about the human cognition is that we can achieve the view of a large distance without even physically attaining it. It allows us to see things we could not see from the ‘human perspective’, exposes structures and correlations.

Some of your work displays a rather post-apocalyptic tone with a sort of a looming chaos, is this something that you expect to happen in the real world?

HC: No, I do not believe that we are heading towards some sort of apocalypse. There will always be problematic developments, things that don’t comply to certain rules and regulations, that lay outside the norm. I believe that mankind is always searching, eager to find solutions. Not always in favour of all that lives on this Earth. The things that I display in my works are rather forms of necessary evil, they are consequential results of the developments the human species has lived through during the last centuries. What I want to express with my work is to some extent the opposite of the apocalypse: amongst all the destruction and chaos I can still find something intriguing, considered from the outside perspective of a birds-eye-view, you could simply talk about phenomenon of cause and effect. Where there is order, there is chaos, where there is norm there is deviation that bears systems of their own inherent logic. My artistic approach and the distant perspective allow me to carve out fascinating aspects without denying the evil ones.

The title of your latest show is Urban Investigations, so after a thorough investigation, what did you find?

HC: The title of the show derives from the character of my approach to the subjects I am dealing with which could be described as investigative. So this has to be understood rather as a motto than as a description of results. I understand “investigative” as the thrive to search for answers. I am not particularly interested in the results it might bring but in the engagement it means. It is a kind of motor that keeps me running. Therefore I can’t really define what I find, the situation is rather that with every leaf I turn I find something new. You could say I found that the well of inspiration is inexhaustible, I am more than ever eager to make new pieces.

You are an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the Beuth Hochschule für Technik in Berlin, so does this architectural aspect influence your creative work?

HC: Everything that surrounds me influences myself and therefore also inspires my work. I really like working with the students. It is always very interesting and enriching to get to know their point of view on themes and questions that are important to me. Working with different and often much younger people can be an inexhaustible source of inspiration if you are only open to it and willing to take up with it. Sometimes the ideas and projects of the students can shed light on subjects that I didn’t know up to that point or even help me get closer to answering questions that have been circulating in my mind for a long time. I once, for example, had my students work in a way that is closely related to my own approach, it was fascinating to suddenly have thirty people employ similar research techniques and methods of finding interesting structures, surfaces and compositions. I could watch them add their personal skills to the things I showed them which in turn served as inspiration for me and some of their results were really amazing.

Your art has been described as visualization of what is often unsighted by our species, so what is it that we are missing?

HC: This can again be related to the question of the birds-eye-view: the ‘human perspective’ denies us to see certain correlations and in my work I am trying to show them and extend them.

The main materials you employ are wood, carton and concrete, and you are known for creating large-scale works, could you please describe the process behind your huge pieces?

HC: At the beginning it is mostly a theme from a movie or a documentary that interests me, sometimes only small aspects or details that draw my attention. Following these details and the ideas they inspire triggers a seemingly never-ending chain of discoveries of other details and domains. I collect pictures, screenshots from documentaries, read snippets of articles, follow links… At a kind of second stage I start making sketches and sometimes even small models. These are necessary since I work in a very composite way, I can find and try different possibilities of composition and arrangement this way. Simultaneously, I experiment with different kinds of materials, make little tests, try to see how they react under different circumstances and when exposed to certain substances. Ultimately follows the realization in large scale. I sometimes have complex and laborious substructures to create multiple layers and levels. This can cost me lots of time and nerves: I construct, tear down, change and build up again until I am satisfied with what I have. I change my perspective on the piece frequently: I do most of the construction having the piece lying horizontally but then I put it on the wall, check it from close-up and distance, I also use a huge ladder to view the pieces lying on the floor. At the very end, I colour the pieces – an exciting and interesting process I really like, it’s a little bit like painting. Sometimes I feel like Jackson Pollock, running around his paintings, sweating. The more colour I use, the more fun I have. But I also work on details and use a very small brush. When I’m lucky, the piece is finished after this, but this happens only on rare occasions. Usually I have them hanging or standing around in my studio for weeks. I can see them all the time while I am working on something different, I kind of test them, check them out and mostly change and add a lot of things.

What are the future projects we can expect to see from you?

HC: My head is usually filled with lots of ideas, in my mind I start thinking about future projects before I have even finished the current ones, this means I will just keep going. 


Hendrik Czakainski / Modus Art Gallery