Carlos Alberto is a street artist who, thanks to his huge talent and his passion for drawing, can mix together art and reality. His 3D street art works are stunning and required a lot of attention to details and precision to be realized. Actually, Carlos thinks the most important part of his work is the creative process behind every creation.
Hello Carlos, tell us something about yourself. How was your passion for art born?
Well, I've been painting for most of my life now, since I have memory. I am the 4th child in my family and over time my parents have realized that all my siblings liked to draw and paint. So when I was born, they already knew a few tricks to introduce art to children. In the end, the only ones who showed real passion were my sister and I. So, as we grew up, we started to get involved more and more, until it became a real profession. For me, painting is a natural part of life. I cannot imagine my life without art, even though for a period of time I stopped painting and studied Art Restoration. That was a very interesting time, during which I learned a lot about materials and techniques. But I was eventually introduced to street art by my sister, and I started collaborating on different projects with her until I thought I was ready to try it on my own.
How did you come up with the idea of realizing 3D street art?
It’s all connected to the time I started attending Street Art festivals. Like many other people, I first came across illusion paintings on the internet, but I never expected to actually meet 3D artists. So when it finally happened, I was fascinated by this kind of design, and trying it out for myself was only a matter of time. It wasn’t easy at first, but after a few experiments and a lot of failures, the technique started to become clear to me and now it’s almost automatic.
“For me, painting is a natural part of life”
How long does it take you to complete an artwork?
It depends on the size or complexity. First of all, I start with the design, the study, and then I finally start to realize it outdoors. I can take between one or two days for a small painting, but also 5 days for a larger one.
I think that when you realize your works you pay a lot of attention to the whole but that the details are also really important, aren’t they?
Absolutely, it is true that the whole image is important, but it is necessary to build a good drawing, taking care of every single detail so that the illusion can be perfect. Since I like to use realism, it is essential to pay attention to every single part of the painting. If I’m not really convinced of every single small area, the whole painting can be a failure for me.
“I usually find an impressive amount of inspirational elements in nature”
Do you use any particular technique to render your works so real?
I like to use photo references to make my works as real as possible, so I use them a lot to study the subject before and during the process. As you said in the previous question, I like to pay a lot of attention to details, I think they make a difference to get a good quality painting. But they also require different studies of light and shadow, and I know I still have a lot to learn, so I keep practicing. I have a lot of drawings at home, so the real work behind what people see is actually more extensive.
When you think about a new painting, how do you choose your subjects? I noticed that you paint many different “realities” (animals, people…)
I usually find an impressive amount of inspirational elements in nature. As you said, sometimes I can represent animals or people, or mix them in some kind of surreal world. Sometimes I just want to represent extraordinary creatures, but other times, even a simple subject can be very meaningful, so when I think about a new design, I try to think about the context in which it will be painted. Local wildlife or endangered species, for example. I also have many pending projects waiting for a wall, but obviously when I have the chance to start a new project, even if I can use one of my old ideas, I always try to adapt it to the new environment, because art, and especially street art, needs to be adjusted to the final destination.
When you want to create a new artwork, how do you choose the city in which to leave a piece of your art? I saw you painted in so many different places!
Most of the time I am invited to particular cities. So, many times my paintings are part of big street art festivals, to which different artists from all over the world are invited. Several times I have also been asked to visit different cities. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has changed many things. Now it is not possible to travel and as a result many of my projects are on hiatus, so now I have to adapt to the circumstances, and choose the safest places to paint.
“I think art can transform the world we live in”
In your opinion, is art a way to escape reality?
I am not sure if I would call it like that. Because for me, art is reality itself, so pretending to escape would mean denying living. Mostly, I think art can transform the world we live in. We hear so much bad news every day, so we have to take the best of us and turn it into an artwork. Taking the best of humanity and transforming it into music, dance, a poem or a painting is the best way I know to make this reality a better place to be in.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I have some projects, indeed, a couple of murals next month, and I’m in talks with possible clients for new paintings. But also, I am always sketching and thinking of new subjects to paint. I am also planning to work on another 3D on my terrace in the next few days.
What is the painting you realized that has a special place in your heart?
This last question is probably the most difficult to answer. I have so many paintings that I love, but I think the most important part is the creative process. I have a lot of fun when I paint them, but as soon as I finish it is hard to say they belong to me anymore. Some paintings have a very unique meaning, but for me the reactions of the public are always priceless, which makes my work special. That said, I cannot say I have a favorite one, they are all in my heart because they all represent a singular moment in my life, and all the emotions involved at the time.
“Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see” - Edgar Degas
Follow Carlos on his street art expeditions here.
Interview & Article by