KS Interview with PaperMonster

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PaperMonster is a stencil graffiti artist whose vivid and intricate pieces explore the beauty behind the eyes and facial expressions of women. Born in Puerto Rico, PaperMonster incorporates stencil and pasting techniques to create pieces of art on any surface by incorporating pop culture icons, Asian typography, patterns and texture to present vibrant emotions and stories. His work allows the audience to take his creations for pure face value or explore deeper into each piece.

Art work by Papermonster

Kolah Studio: You live in USA, Born in Puerto Rico …have you ever lived in Puerto Rico?can you describe the Street Art scene in both places?or just choose the one you know better?
PaperMonster: Yesm I lived in Puerto Rico until the age of seven and from what I have seen the Street Art scene in Puerto Rico is more focused on traditional graffiti than stencil art or wheat pasting. In the USA, Street Art is a way of life still very underground but gaining a large amount of mainstream recognition. The amount of talent in the streets and in galleries is incredible. We are pushing art forward and inspiring the youth to do bigger and better things to continue the movement. We have a large amount of power and it is one of the most exciting parts about being an artist today.

KS: When and how did you start your art life?did you start from stencil or … ?

PaperMonster: I could remember drawing my name when I was very young in a graffiti bubble letter style, so I think art has always been something that has been in my life. I even remember my father teaching me how to draw Flintstone characters as quickly as possible. In high school I took my first and only art class which was a clay class. I loved that class so much because I was making everything with my hands and using my imagination and skill to make something beautiful and useful. I began to stencil over 5 years ago starting with simple cartoon stencils, then stencils of objects like dogs, trees, animals, and then I started to make stencils of women.

PaperMonster at Work / Art Basel Miami 2009

K.S:Would you tell us about choosing the name “Paper Monster”?
PaperMonster: The name Paper Monster came very naturally. It describes my process and the power of beauty behind my art at the exact same time.

KS: What is your thought about todays art?what do you call ART?

PaperMonster: I think today’s art is going in a strong direction. You can never criticize art for being too strange or too simple. Everything in the world or in your life has a value and art is no different. All art is valuable because it is a manifestation of pure self expression without any limits.

KS :Your Art represents stenciled portraits of women .It is so clear that if you take your art to Islamic Republic of IRAN and go to a Gallery you may be rejected and will not be qualified to show in IRAN galleries becasue of Islamic Rules …. what do you think?would you just imagine your self as an Iranian young Artist and tell us what do you feel if Paper Moster guy was an Iranian by chance?what could you do?

PaperMonster: I think I would continue to create the paintings of women. I have never made any paintings because I want to make anyone happy or because I need to fit into a specific category or follow rules. I make stencil art portraits of women because I want to share that beauty, strength and mystery of women. No rules or level of rejection could get me to stop what I do. If you believe in what you create and put all of your energy into it, people around you will believe in you. Creating your own path and following your heart is the best way to live your life. Express what you feel is right and you will inspire other people to create change and change the minds of thousands of people of what they consider to be normal.

Art work by Papermonster

K.S: Do you make a living out of Your art ?How?

PaperMonster: Currently I do not worry about money or trying to make a living from stencil graffiti and stencil art. I do it because I love what I make and inspiring other people to create art whether they use stencils or any type of paint. I think one day I may be able to make a strong living off my art but for now I am extremely happy to be able to make paintings and artwork that travels the world.

K.S: do you have any description of StreetArt or any path you may consider especially for this TERM?

PaperMonster :The term StreetArt is hard to describe. It refers to the street art the gallery. It is small and hidden but it is also large and vibrant. StreetArt describes a way of life where your daily schedule is fueled by the desire to create. We are famous and invisible to the world. StreetArt is a cake. Each layer of the cake is full of flavor, color, and more complex. Now a lot of people want a piece of that cake. They want to be unique. They want attention and as time passes new artists will take what we make now and give it new life.

K.S : Do you feel that relationship and hidden conections are ruling the world of art in general or you think it is a Fair Scene?

PaperMonster: Yes. This art scene has many hidden relationships. A large amount of these relationships are fueled by money. A gallery obviously wants to make a profit in order to stay in business so they will not pay attention to artists who are not selling or not worth the investment of thousands of dollars if there is no profit in the end. Although this seems horrible because very few things are done for the sake of art and because some people put a huge amount of time into what they do, the gallery scene is a business. The street scene is different. You are only as good as what you create. You take a risk and your work speaks for itself. The art scene is and has been a business and it is up to artists to learn how to work within this scene without being manipulated. In the end hard work does pay off and for artists or anyone reading this, if you put in the work you will see the rewards of putting in the time maybe not right away but your time will come.

Papermonster WEbsite: Papermonster