Wonderwall - ‘art’ you gonna be the one that saves me

By Jake Cleaver, in Art · 27-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

I was driving through Paderne, and I had just crossed that lovely narrow yellow bridge that goes into Purgatório, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a scaffold tower up against a wall and an amazing painting under construction.

Most graffiti artists operate in the dead of night I imagine or, at the very least, try to be quick and inconspicuous. However, if you have the talent that this painter clearly had there’s no need to run and hide, I don’t think there’s anybody that would want to stop him.

He is clearly happily settled in there for the next few days and he could even afford to advertise. On his scaffold tower he had a billboard displaying his Instagram handle Asur_pt. I pulled over and looked him up and soon realized I had seen his work before. A few months ago somebody had painted on a fence on the road past Franqueada for the construction company ‘ElectroKonstroi’. I remember seeing it gradually appear and being quite blown away that somebody could make a fence look so amazing.

Looking more closely at his Instagram I saw that he’s put up many more incredible paintings all across the Algarve - so I quickly doubled back to ask him a few questions.

Turns out ‘Asur’, as he likes to be called, is a true local artist. Born and raised in Albufeira he started painting graffiti in the street when he was just 12 years old. He didn’t care much about school and spent most of his time in class just doodling. Of course, people told him he would never amount to anything unless he studied, and after his first job painting the old bar in Albufeira ‘Havana’, which he did after school lugging heavy tins of paint around in his bag all day, he said he too didn’t really think he would be able to make a living doing it - all he knew was that he loved it.

However in 2015, without having studied art at all, he started work as an independent artist and has never looked back. Today his artworks have been sprayed across the whole of Portugal and can even be found in Holland, Germany, France, Japan and El Salvador in Central America.
Asur is quite versatile with his skills, this is helpful because as he said himself “an artist doesn’t live on air alone” and he frequently turns his talents to creating beautiful logos and designs for companies.

He even did the logo for the Municipality of Messines . When he is left to his own devices though I asked him what his favorite things to paint are? He told me he loves to paint nature, female faces and feminine beauty, but also likes to throw in a political message or highlight a social problem. He said he likes to encapsulate a certain ‘feeling’ that makes his work unmistakable.

The picture I found him painting which he entitled They are surrounded by almond blossoms - which I think really captures the feeling of the surrounding landscape of Paderne. I also enjoyed that while I was there the blue paint in the background around them blended seamlessly into the deep blue sky behind it - something that here in the Algarve it should continue to do most days.

Asur has also painted spectacular tributes to the firemen in Silves, Albufeira and in Braga, and also a whole tunnel in Albufeira called ‘The Ocean Wall’ where as you walk through the tunnel you feel like you are actually walking under the sea. The walls are filled with all kinds of sea creatures and as you walk along you meet fishermen, dolphins, seals, giant turtles, octopuses and there’s even a shipwreck.

If you follow him on Instagram, or Facebook (at Asur.pt) you will see the truly countless works of art that he’s been making over the last 15 years, and maybe you could even go and hunt them down for yourself one day.

Also, if you have a wall that you think could use a lick of paint (to put it very mildly) then email him at Asur_Pt@outlook.com and make it spectacular.



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