The Photographer: An Icon of Valencia's Streets
Written by Diego López Giménez
In the bustling streets of Valencia, we find a unique urban artist known as Mrbt62 or The Photographer, who, at the age of 70, has made an indelible mark on the city since 2015. In an exclusive interview, we delve into his world, where urban art becomes a form of unparalleled expression and authenticity. Through his words, we discover his unique and passionate approach to street art and his iconic alter ego, The Photographer.
A Unique Urban Identity
Mrbt62 describes himself as “a stealthy urban artist who navigates the city on two parallel paths: graffiti spirit, style, and persistence”. His work, initially categorized as “immutable iconic post-graffiti,” has evolved into a figurative path. In his own words, his artistic identity is defined by clandestinity and determination.
The Meaning of Street Art
For The Photographer, street art is much more than mere interventions on the city’s walls. He sees it as an activity that has completely transformed his life. It’s a form of expression in which he has total control, from choosing what, where, when, how, with what, and with whom. His works, located on the streets, are left to the gaze of the public without any external control or commercial motivation.
The Enigma of The Photographer
The Photographer is the iconic black-and-white image of a photographer that emerged in 2011 from a self-portrait. It’s an easily understandable icon with open interpretations. It has become a kind of urban legend in Valencia, where it is said that “once you’ve seen one in the city, you can’t stop seeing them”. The creation of this image and its production process are entirely controlled by Mrbt62, from reproducing his icon in multiple formats to its placement on the streets, following a “Do it yourself” (DIY) approach.
The Journey to Street Art
Mrbt62’s background in the world of street art began as an imitation of the street artists he photographed in Valencia. He wanted to experience anonymity and have his own alter ego that crossed the thin line of what was allowed. Over time, his focus shifted to the concept of “being seen” and having his work known, without revealing his identity.
Creative Techniques on the Streets of Valencia
In his street interventions, Mrbt62 employs a wide range of techniques, from stencils to stickers on paper, painting on debris and tiles that he later pastes. He also uses 3D printers, street cards, vinyl stickers, eggshell and holographic paper, as well as paste-ups on kraft and silk paper. His technical versatility is evident in each of his works.
The Appeal of Street Art
The Photographer finds multiple appeals in street art. For him, each work has a unique human component. Each piece on the street represents a story, an artistic process, an act of bravery, and a desire to connect with people. Street art creates a city within the city, with its own map and space-time coordinates. It’s a form of action outside the established system, often misunderstood and feared.
Message from The Photographer to the Reader
For those who dive into his world, Mrbt62 wishes to convey his desire to endure. His creativity and artistic dissemination throughout the city are an attempt to leave a mark that transcends his own existence. Many of his “abandoned” pieces on the street now become part of the visual universe of people he will never meet. Despite moments of fear and adrenaline, the satisfaction of sharing his art with the world in a cross-cutting way makes it all worthwhile.
In summary, Mrbt62, The Photographer, is a passionate street artist who has left a unique mark on the streets of Valencia. His artistic approach and commitment to authenticity are inspiring examples of the creativity that flourishes in the world of street art. His works not only adorn the streets but also invite reflection on the city and the creative freedom we all carry within.