Director Tina Ziegler recently sat down with artist Mario Mankey ahead of his print release VOID coming out on the 15th of January via Moniker Editions. Mankey has been on Moniker's artist to watch list for sometime, his works have captivated global art lovers and collectors for his ability to move seamlessly between site specific sculptures to detailed oil paintings and large scale murals. Mankey, like most artist found within the Urban and New Contemporary art movement has been self taught, learning his practice first on the streets as a graffiti and street artist. Let's dive and a take a moment to learn more about this Spanish rising star from the Contemporary art scene.
What is your first memory of being an artist? When I realized all the pieces I was painting had the same concept in common, I knew then that I was no longer just doing random pieces, but had some consistency and a clear concept.
Do you come from a family of painters, or are you the odd one out? I am the only one. But my father used to write quite well, even poetry. Does that count? When did you get introduced to graffiti and street art? I did my first intentional mural in 2001. Then I experimented quite a lot until getting into the label that one day was called street art. It's been 20 years of art. Can you describe how your work and process evolves or changes from painting on the street and then to the studio on canvas? I like to reproduce in canvas some of the accidents and shapes I find within my murals, because you can see the detailed shapes and accidents only when you are up on the cherry picker, close to the work. For some years now, I have been wanting to create large-scale public art murals that look like expressive and contemporary paintings, but for me it's a bit difficult because I constantly play with a lot of metaphors and information through-out my work and my paintings end up looking like sediments from postmodernity. It's been a struggle between what I aspire to do, and what actually I naturally do.
Do you have a preference of one or the other? Outdoor or indoor? I like both, I like to experiment in the studio, and then adapt all that I discovered within my murals. I know I need to build more freely on canvas as the way I do on murals. I need to create alone, but I need to feel part of society. Everything is getting fed and getting balanced. What is your preferred medium of choice? Spray, Oil, Acrylic and why? Oil, because is more organic and thick, the hue is deeper, the color is stable when it dries and the drying time requires a slow life. I like to play with it and contrast all these characteristics.
Where do you source information or reference for your paintings? Observing our behavior as individuals and connecting the conclusions to the problems of the whole humankind. How have you been dealing with Covid-19? How has it affected you this past year, professionally? Personally? Everything was so frenetic and had to stop somehow. My father had Covid-19 but he
well and right now he's even without side effects. Personally was a little bit better than professionally, but it's time to build consciously, with rigor and vocation. If you could travel anywhere this year, where would it be? Any place with sun, more waves to surf and sand, but I'm doing fine enjoying here.
In regards to the painting we are creating into a print, titled VOID, can you talk a bit about that exhibition and what the work is about? Did you explore a new composition with the work? It seems to be an evolution of your previous canvases with more experimentation… any comments on that? It's from my last solo show God•Void•End, in Swinton Gallery. In this show I share the vision about how capitalism feeds the human whims to silence the existencial dread, function that has been done by religion for a long time. Aesthetically is close to an "Horror Vacui", It's something like, after the abuse, could come the void. In the scene, the infinity gold symbol squeezes two running dogs competing for a late non-existent trophy. Just something about the turbo capitalism culture, unbalance, avarice, neoliberalism and ecosystem abuse. I shouldn't explain much more, because its part of the game, and the audience has to play too.
Find out more about Mario and his work by visiting: