Things at Enter Gallery just got a little more colourful…
We’re delighted to announce the launch of a limited edition print, El Lago del Deseo, from Spanish multidisciplinary artist, Okuda San Miguel. This is the first time Okuda’s coveted work will be available in the UK, and we’re thrilled that he has found a home here at Enter Gallery.
For those yet to discover the psychedelic world of Okuda, let us run you through all you need to know about this Spanish visionary…
‘An artist bringing pop surrealism to the streets’
If you’re a fan of street art – it’s highly likely you’ve encountered the work of Okuda. His multicoloured murals, featuring geometric kaleidoscopic patterns and human and animal characters sing with colour that it’s impossible to ignore.
Although best known for his murals, Okuda’s insatiable appetite for creation has led him to experiment with a host of formats, including sculpture, collage, tapestries, photography, videos and installations. His unique style has also led to collaborations with everyone from global furniture designers, to fashion houses and alcohol brands.
In an often all too dreary world, Okuda’s art radiates with joy and positivity. In explaining his exceptional use of colour, he states: ‘I try to symbolise all skin colours and all races. All colours in one. A multicultural world.’
Whatever Okuda is crafting, his distinctive brand of pop surrealism, has one foot in the studio, and one still firmly on the street where he honed his craft.
Where it all began…
It was back in 1997 when Okuda made his first foray into the art world, bringing much-needed colour to the dilapidated abandoned buildings and old railways of his hometown of Santander.
His passion for street art led him to study in Madrid, where he developed the multi-dimensional style he’s now known for. It was here that he first started to create the vibrant murals that have seen him receive international acclaim.
The work that first commanded the world’s attention happened in 2015, when Okuda transformed a church-turned-skate-park (now named the Kaos Temple) into a showcase of his signature rainbow style. Often referred to as the, 'Sistine Chapel of Skateboarding', Okuda attributes his success to this project, which rocketed him into the limelight and led to further large-scale public projects across the world.
‘A modern Michelangelo’
After his success with the Kaos Temple, Okuda went on to transform more religious buildings into works of art - from the '11 Mirages to Freedom' – a piece created on an abandoned chapel in a remote Moroccan Village, to the International Church of Cannabis in Denver, Colorado, and the Universal Chapel in Arkansas.
A mural master
Okuda’s murals have brightened up otherwise dull cityscapes in some of the greyest and least privileged neighbourhoods across the world from Las Vegas and Moscow to Hong Kong.
One of his largest pieces to date adorns a 23-storey block of student accommodation in downtown Toronto. Speaking of the mural, the focal point of which is a geometric face with indigenous features, Okuda states:
‘I love to reference ancestral art. I think you have to meet and love your roots in order to go forward. It’s a spiritual composition. A lot of my works talk about the equilibrium between animals and humans, and universal equality and balance.’
Okuda is also no stranger to drawing inspiration from classic works of art – a prime example being his 50ft Creation of the Mona Lisa on the side of a Paris Apartment block.
And the list goes on…
It appears that no wall or brief is too big or whacky for this impressive artist. Okuda was one of the first contemporary artists to be commissioned to produce the centrepiece for Valencia’s prestigious Fallas Festival, in which works of art are displayed for just four days before being ceremonially burned. His 82ft structure, entitled 'Equilibri Universal' took a year and 700 cans of spray paint to make, yet just minutes to burn to the ground.
Over the course of his illustrious career, which keeps going from strength-to-strength, Okuda has created a series of eight 12ft sculptures displayed at Boston Seaport, provided flamboyant makeovers to a fleet of freight trucks and Ukrainian trains and reimagined shop fronts that stop traffic.
He also created an immersive experience entitled Kaos Garden launched at Amnesia in Ibiza, which allowed revellers to interact with his surrealist world that alongside his limited edition print – El Lago Del Deseo – is inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, 'The Garden of Earthly Delights'.
Meaning behind the magic
Across his oeuvre, Okuda features a number of recurring motifs alongside his rainbow palette, including organic structures and patterns, faceless animals and human skulls. These symbols lead us down an existential road, asking questions about the passing of time, the meaning of life, environmentalism, spirituality and modernity.
However, Okuda’s work is purposefully infused with a sense of ambiguity, ultimately leaving it up to the observer to interpret each piece in their own way, allowing them to enjoy and reflect on his art without constraint.
When questioned about the meaning behind his art, Okuda says,
‘The first and most direct message in my artworks is positivity and happiness. I want to communicate that nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it. Enjoy everything, everywhere, and every time, because we only live once. I think people need more colour in their lives,’
Inject some colour into your life with Okuda’s limited edition piece, El Lago del Deseo, available in the UK for the first time with Enter Gallery.