INTERVIEW with EVOCA1
Self-taught in a wide range of media — muralism being a forte — Miami artist Evoca1 brings a deep and distinctive sensibility to the walls he works on around the world. The intensely empathic quality of his work carries through to his efforts combining art and acts of social conscience —more on that below, in his own words
Where are you from and where are you now?
I was in Dominican Republic and moved to Florida when I was 11 years old, and I’m now based out of Miami.
What do you do? How do you describe your art practice?
I’m a figurative painter, street artist and designer. Recently, my work has been mainly focused around my mural work, but I also have a huge passion for design. I do a lot of design work for brands, Including my own, where I’m trying to find a balance between art and my design work.
When did your practice as an artist begin?
Like a lot of people, I took to art from a really young age. I drew huge characters on my bedroom walls and filled my notebook with drawings. My teachers tried to persuade my mother to enroll me into art school, but we grew up in really poor conditions and under those circumstances in the Dominican Republic, you either play baseball or work construction. So I spent most of my life playing baseball. Until I was fed up and decided to pursued a creative field. In 2010, I started putting up paste-ups in Wynwood, Miami, and the following year, I was part of my first group show for Art Basel 2011, where I also got the chance to work on my first street-legal wall with En Masse, and the rest was history.
You are deeply involved in social concerns, like the Sketches for Mankind project. Care to share some thoughts on the philanthropic dimension of your work?
We started the project back in 2010, even before I started putting up my work on the street. I always felt that urge to do something positive and was trying to find a way to use my art to help others in need. During the Christmas holiday, we decided to feed 100 homeless people in the Downtown Miami area, and we’d been doing it ever since. Now we are feeding 200 every month and we look for other ways that we can continue to make a positive impact.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an artist?
The fact that I can wake up in the morning and be an artist. To me that in itself is an accomplishment.
Where do you feel the value lies in artistic collaboration?
Collaboration is always good. The interchange of ideas and seeing things get done in different ways and styles can take you out of your comfort zone and, in exchange, help you grow as an artist.
What is next for you?
I’ve just been to Peru for the LatidoAmericano 2014 urban art festival, which took place in March 5 – 15, and will also be painting in a couple more countries throughout the year.