French artist Chloe Tiravy has painted a series of stunning and powerful new murals in Buenos Aires over the last few weeks. She told Buenos Aires Street Art how she likes to create drama in her artworks and about her latest designs.
One of Tiravy’s most striking murals depicts two figures dangling from the top of a building with a small window between them resembling the bars of a prison cell. The theme relates to the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-83) during which some 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the brutal regime. She explained: “With the blue and white colours, it’s something that resembles a little the Argentine flag and relates to the dictatorship and also with tiredness and something dramatic. One of the characters is dead and the other is trying to cling on to life.”
“I always think how the intervention works with the wall,” she says. “I can imagine an artwork but I have to adapt it to fit the wall. I was looking at the little window and the crumbling wall and the tree, and I was trying to paint something dramatic with the iron window. I don’t like painting decoration and it doesn’t interest me painting something simply with colours, I want to paint something more critical and more dramatic.” And while Tiravy was painting she said she was overwhelmed by the positive reactions she received. “I was really surprised that the people in the street stopped and told me that they loved what I was doing particularly as there were people in their families who disappeared during the dictatorship.”
The first mural Tiravy painted in Buenos Aires (above) on the facade of the Museo Argentino del Titere features a moving portrait of a figure covering its mouth with their right hand. Tiravy explained: “I was doing a series of characters covering their faces with their hands. This artwork captures feelings about shame, about silence and offers a moment of introspection in the middle of the city with all its madness. There’s also a moment of consciousness, looking at the hand as if you are looking at yourself and forgetting that you are in the city.”
The influences in Tiravy’s art come mainly from the world of painting and drawing and French surrealist Ernest Pignon-Ernest. “I like aerosol and graffiti a lot but I wasn’t born into this culture,” she says. “It’s three years since I have had and aerosol in my hand and what interests me a lot is to create something that you don’t see so often, that is something pictorial with more paint in the street using brushes.”
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Remarkably Tiravy, who is from the Mont-Ferrand region in Central France, only started painting in the street a year ago while she was living in Spain. “I wanted to learn how to draw and paint but in France it is something that is totally forbidden,” she said. “So I went to Madrid for a year where there is a lot of urban art and I was painting a lot with friends. Painting in the street is like a drug, and when you do it outside it gives you an amazing feeling.”
Tiravy is studying painting, sculpture and drawing (artes plasticos) in Buenos Aires as part of an university exchange. She has already been impressed by the city’s street art scene. “I haven’t yet met any of the artists here but one group of artists whose work I love are Triángulo Dorado. Aesthetically I think they work really well and they also have a high level of thought and meaning with their writing too.” Tiravy is enjoying being in Argentina so much she is already talking about extending her stay. “I am meant to stay for six months but I am thinking of staying longer as I would also like to travel and to paint in some other cities.”
Check out more of Tiravy’s amazing artworks at tiravy.blogspot.com.ar
All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art
One reply on “Drama queen: interview with French artist Chloe Tiravy”
I like it!!! Finally someone who wants to say something, give a message, apart from the typical speech about “nice” things and the that stuff about street art that “should be”…
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