I’m always happy to bump into Esther Fdez Castelo when I am out on a Thursday or Friday night, I am always happy because unlike my cynical self Esther is always passionately enthusiastic about the artists & the shows she attends and is so deeply engrossed in the art scene both on the streets and in the galleries that it is a pleasure to chat with her and have some of her infectious dedication & fervour rub off on me.
Esther (along with BRK192) is currently in the process of curating High Roller Society’s next exhibition Espanish Conexion, a group show which includes some of Spain’s most respected & prolific graffiti & street artists.
Espanish Conexion has an incredible line up of 75 artists and includes such luminaries as the renowned Suso33 an ambidextrous artist who’s display of skill & agility produces pieces which are spellbinding, along with Suso33 there is also the eternally colourful & smiling Pez (who recently bombed London Town beyond all recognition when he was here for his solo show at Tony’s Gallery) plus co-curator Brk192 who is a familiar face here in London Town where he regularly paints Hackney Road with TRP.
Esther is no stranger to galleries, back in Spain she had her own gallery and now here in London she works at the Whitechapel Gallery as gallery assistant and when’s she not doing that she is the intern at the High Roller Society. On this note I delved a little deeper…
What impact do you think the current economical & political situation in Spain is having on Spanish artists and graffiti artists?
Esther: With a 25% rate of unemployment (40% in some areas) the situation is terrible in Spain. Big galleries are closing and it’s not the best time to sell art. Also there is an increase in all kinds of fines, graffiti included.
Is this the first show that you have curated, how hard was it for you to select the artist that will be in this show?
Esther: It’s the first one in London but in Spain I have collaborated in events since 1998 and curated several shows while having my own gallery.
I have known some of these artists for more than 10 years. Suso33 put me in contact with some of the artists form Madrid and Pez did the same with the Barcelona guys. The rest is thanks to BRK192.
Esther: Technique and style depends more on the writer than on the country.
Which artists in this show are your personal favourites?
Esther: With 75 artists this is a tough one. I love the passion of BRK192, the poetic beauty of Btoy’s artwork, the freshness of Okuda’s photos, the skills and love of Sabotaje Al Montaje, the happy colours of Pez’s pieces,… I can continue with all of them. It’s a pleasure to have them as a part of the show and it’s an honour to show SUSO33 art.
After curating this show where do you see yourself going in the future?
Esther: I will focus on writing the PhD and I want to organise an awesome event in Spain as part of it, keep enjoying pieces on walls, going to shows and helping artists as much as I can.
What inspires you Esther?
Esther: Real passion and working class neighbourhood superheroes.