Rio de Janeiro-based French artist Alexis Devevey, also called Rero, talks about inventing an immediately recognizable graphic signature utilizing the common Verdana typeface in capitals and a daring black line putting by means of the letters.
The place does your artist identify “Rero” come from?
I used to do graffiti and I wrote “Aurer”. It was only a selection for calligraphy and typography, but it surely has no particular which means. Over time, I made a decision to reverse the letters and to put in writing “Rero”, but it surely’s one of many issues in my work the place there is no such thing as a which means. I attempt to discover which means in every thing, however there may be none in my identify.
Inform me about your background.
I used to be born in Beaune in 1983, the place we stayed two years. Then I frolicked with my dad in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in Africa. Afterwards, we got here again to Villeneuve-sur-Lot within the south of France. After Saintes, Charente-Maritime, we arrived in Paris. I used to be 12 years previous, and at this second, I found graffiti. I knew I wished to specific myself with artwork, however I all the time say with basic artwork, you want loads of tradition and loads of data to grasp it. Modern artwork is actually elitist. It’s not one thing very simple to entry, so I discovered one thing extra engaging and extra spontaneous in graffiti and road artwork, and I made a decision to observe this path. I began to color graffiti at 14 years previous, copying what they used to do in New York within the ’80s. At 16, I painted one truck and my mother stated I may proceed to do graffiti on the street as a result of it’s not a criminal offense. In France, and this is essential, we don’t suppose badly of fabric destruction. We additionally like strikes. It’s one approach to converse and to indicate your frustrations. It doesn’t exist in each nation on the earth, however in France, if we don’t kill individuals, if we don’t create victims, if we simply destroy materials issues, we let individuals specific themselves. It’s completely French. I don’t know if it exists in lots of nations. In the course of the French Revolution, we used to chop off heads, however after, we let individuals speak and disagree about issues. If we don’t kill individuals, if we simply destroy issues, it’s a part of French liberation. My work can also be about this.
You write one factor and it’s reverse in the identical phrase…
I say one thing, then I cross it out. I put one mind-set and the other mind-set, and I attempt to make a composition with a synthesis, with an open conclusion as a result of I all the time write three dots to open the dialog. So whenever you learn it, generally you’ll be able to learn it in a adverse manner, generally you’ll be able to learn it in a optimistic manner. Folks learn it otherwise and it’s very attention-grabbing. Initially, I used to be writing my identify, and with time, I began to cross out some phrases to create context. The context is primordial, and to subvert the state of affairs. Usually I attempt to all the time work together with objects and contexts that aren’t alleged to be artworks, like a bicycle or a flag. For instance, when Macron, the French President, stated that artwork was not important, I stated that I’d use the identical weapon as him. I’d create this flag in the identical manufacture because the French flag, and as a substitute of the flag flying within the sky, the sky is within the flag. It was the view from my home throughout lockdown. I made a decision to place the picture I may see from my home, and I wrote “Pas Essentiel” (Not Important). This query of what’s important for us is a large query for me.
Does the truth that you select to work with letters and phrases stem from graffiti?
I assume sure as a result of once I used to do graffiti, the one factor I may do was to place letters on the partitions. I couldn’t specific myself in one other manner. With time, I began to do a small line. I wished to maintain the vitality from graffiti, of interacting on the road, so I began to do it in a quite simple manner as a result of I couldn’t do it in one other manner. I did it after in deserted locations, in nature. I believe phrases are also easy. You don’t must know loads to impression the world. Usually phrases are for propaganda for one thing, however they don’t seem to be used to ask questions. I believe phrases are a easy approach to speak with somebody.
Why did you determine to make use of the Verdana font?
Verdana is actually attention-grabbing. It’s the most typical typography on the earth. It’s not Helvetica or Comedian Sans MS. I did the other of graffiti artists who attempt to discover their very own model, their very own id, and ultimately, it turned my id. Utilizing phrases can also be one approach to be French. Throughout one residency in Morocco, a collector stated that it’s a really typical French manner of seeing as a result of in the identical paintings, you set one concept and the other concept, and also you attempt to make a conclusion about what you present. In the US, it’s troublesome to simply accept contradiction. Contradiction is one thing very connected to the French spirit, and I actually have this sense, the extra I work, the extra I can centralize and condense in a single spirit. With time, I attempt to perceive why I selected this fashion and never this one. I believe individuals are touched by my work as a result of it’s all the time one thing quite simple, however to take off all of the pointless issues and to go to the important could be very troublesome. It took me 12 years to actually focus my proposal.
Do you take into account your self to be a political artist?
For me, to be an artist is already like being an activist. It’s already political as a result of, for instance, if you happen to determine to color flowers, simply the very fact of portray flowers is to say no, an excessive amount of bullshit on the earth, an excessive amount of data. I don’t wish to be a part of it, so I determine my resistance is to do flowers or to work round magnificence. For me, I join with politics and the information as a result of it’s the way in which I dwell, the way in which I specific myself, so it’s crucial for me. I say we’re like a stone in a shoe or itching powder. You don’t kill individuals, however you make them uncomfortable. I’m simply making an attempt with my work and with this line to speak with individuals who don’t completely agree with me, and artwork is the one factor I believe capable of do it as a result of there couldn’t be change or speak about many topics, if we don’t take the chance to make use of artwork. However I don’t prefer to say I’m completely political. I don’t have one very robust perspective about politics. I simply attempt to discover questions, angles to query, however after, I believe each piece of artwork is political, not essentially mine.