Today was my last full day in Valparaiso and the most unlikely end to an amazing trip to Chile. Al, the guide who had taken me on the car tour of the area, arranged for me to visit Jekse and Cines studio. This was the icing on the cake, I had taken so many pictures of their very distinguishable street art and couldn’t wait to meet them properly.
Jekse and Cines are probably the most talented and up and coming graffiti artists in Chile at the moment. They have spent the last 15 years or so perfecting their craft, and produce pieces that you would swear couldn’t be possible with spray cans.
So after spending the morning touring my favourite spots and capturing some of the changing murals/ graffiti, I set off to meet Al. Unbeknown to me the busses were on strike so Al was slightly late, however it was perfectly timed, as when we walked to meet Jekse and Cines they were just about to receive permission from a home owner to paint his garage door.
This property belonged to a local taxi driver and they had chosen the door as it was full of unsightly old tags, it was the only area of the block with tags and it brought the block down. Obtaining his permission via the neighbour they got to work.
Working freehand and in perfect sync they worked together perfectly. Only referring to the preparation sketch once or twice. Unlike pieces I had seen in the UK, they did not start by painting the background, they just went strait to work. Al explaining that part of the art of being an artist in Valparaiso was mastering the ability to make the most out of very little, so painting a background would use resources that were needed for paint to do the piece.
The piece was complete in under two hours. The shading, details and colour choice make the piece pop in ways that are hard to capture in one picture. They use old school techniques in order to achieve the very fine spray that looks like a sharpie has been used, fashioning their own caps on the street with a Stanley knife.
Jekse and Cines are extremely community conscious, they never paint illegally and only paint to improve surroundings, often covering old tags or unsightly old peeling paint. They have recently completed a large piece covering a side of high rise block of flats. They are an amazing couple, complete with puppy “chief” who guarded to proceedings. They are talented and humble, always looking to help with community projects.
Jekse and Cines next adventure is looking for sponsorship to come to Europe and work with community projects here. They are the ideal people to bring Chilean street art ideals of sustainability, community and creativity to the UK so I really hope they are successful in this goal of bringing the Valparaiso street art vibe to Europe. Many more pictures of their work and the painting session to come over the next few days as I arrive home in the UK and start editing. Keep in touch!