Mr. Dheo, from Portugal

Interviewed by Luna George

What is your passion, why do you create art?

I create because I feel complete doing it. It's a need and at the same time an escape. I seem to forget everything while I'm painting.


What is your definition of art?

My definition of art is basically everything creative that can communicate with me in the right way. It has to make me feel something, more than its beauty or aesthetic. That's why it's so hard for me to understand how the art market works and the real value of so many art pieces that are sold for millions. I see art everyday on the streets and although I'm suspicious to say this I would rather have some throw-ups hanging on my home walls than a lot of the artworks I see in galleries nowadays.


How long have you been a graffiti artist?

Around 11 years.

What is the biggest wall you have painted?

Don't really know because I did some big walls, at least in length. But in height the last one was around 15m high.


Tell us a little about what the graff scene is like in Portugal.

Portugal is a small country so the scene here is not huge, which is good in a way because after some years painting you know almost everyone. I guess our style is definitely European, but we don't have a typical "Portuguese style" like you see in other countries. If you come here you will see variety, different letter styles, different characters and good backgrounds as well. Personally I think we have some very good writers here. 


How would you describe your art?

Not an easy question! I describe my art mainly as conceptual. The aesthetic is obviously important for me, and it's actually the first thing people see, but I want them to see further than that. I want them to understand what's behind. I want them to make their own interpretation of the message. I really enjoy the communication between artist/public because I believe people can realize how I am as a person if they "read" my pieces correctly. So basically I describe my art as something more than just decorating walls, otherwise I would paint colorful squares and circles. I describe it as a mirror of who I am.


What pumps you up, gets you motivated to continue creating art?

My passion for art and specifically for graffiti. When you find that only thing that really makes you happy you'll always feel motivated, no matter what. My daily routine helps as well, my family, my girflriend and my friends pump me up every day.


What words of advice would you give to the younger generation of graff artists?

Everytime people ask me that I think about the amount of amazing graffiti artists that exist worldwide. And I feel so "small" in this scene that I don't feel comfortable about giving advice to any one! I guess if you are not lucky enough to meet these amazing artists in person, see them working live, talk with them or whatever, you can always find videos, books, information that are so important in the process of learning and understanding the graffiti world and its roots. This may be the only and best advice I can give to the younger generation. Do some research, learn how it all started, who is doing what, there are so many books available to have a good perception about what real graffiti is. And have fun because that's what graffiti is all about!

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What is mostly reflected in your work?

My mind. Although this might sound a little bit selfish once I do put it into the public space, I create art mainly for myself. So my work is always the reflection of my spirit, my thoughts, my visions, my dreams ... the reflection of a specific phase or moment in my life.


When can we see more of your art?

I have some local projects for now that I will probably post in my website. So if you're curious and want to follow my work you can always check it once in a while. I try to keep it updated frequently.


If you were to visit the States, which city would you want to hit up first and why?

Unfortunately I've never had the chance to visit the States. New York is "The City" ... my number one destination on the dream travel list. And after NYC comes L.A., without any doubt. Why? I don't even know how to explain. Both cities are somehow magical, full of amazing things to be seen, and full of unique and historical graffiti pieces and writers.
Mr. Dheo's YouTube channel

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