NelioNelio is a France-based street artist and illustrator. He’s best known for large murals of geometrical designs and shapes in the public art space.

1. What would you say is the most important theme in your work?
Most of my artworks are dealing with the idea that everything is related in a way or an other. My paintings try to be an abstract and minimalist representation of the universe, with a special focus on humanity, nature and technology.

2. What’s most inspiring to your working process?
To travel, relax and to dream awake.

3. Have you any strange talents that influence the work you produce or the way you produce it?
I don’t have any strange talents but I wish I had the talent of tele-portation. That could help me for everything, specially to paint with my friends around the world and be able to escape from graffiti situations which turn badly…

Nelio4. Which artist of the past would you resurrect to collaborate with and why?
Should be great to share some beers, have a barbecue, and paint a wall with Picasso, Delaunay, Kandinsky and Miro! What a team!

5. Do you think your work is understood or misinterpreted and why?
When I look at art I like it when I feel something about a painting straight away, even if I don’t know or understand anything – like love at first sight. But then to be able to love it, I like to see in it something deeper than just ‘good looking’. It can be by understanding the author or by being able to create my own meaning about the artwork. This is what I try to do for people with my artwork. I’m focused to create an aesthetic harmony in which I try to hide different possibilities of interpretation.

Even if there is still at least one meaning for me in each painting, I try to hide it to the maximum. The more abstract I do a painting the more meanings start to happen. This allows people to interpret it their own way. With the feedback I had, during the years from different people, it sounds like my paintings don’t really need to be understood the way I intended them to make sense for others and be appreciated. I’m happy to see my art as a democratic act that doesn’t speak only to an educated elite but to a larger part of the population, children included. For this reason I try to create an universal language where everybody has the possibility to recognise and feel something.

Maybe for some people my artwork seems to be just aesthetic, with abstract shapes and colors, but I don’t paint just to decorate. I have something to say but I don’t want to say it loud and in an obvious way, neither consider my message as the only truth. I’m not the kind of artist who will tell people what is good to think or to do. I’d rather give them the opportunity to escape for a moment from the reality and start to use their imagination.

Nelio6. If you could decorate one place in the world what would it be and how would you do it?
I love to paint areas abandoned by humans, to give them another life, even if nature is really good at that!

But in the future I want to do more tree-houses in the forest or in city park and spend times to fill them with specific artworks, mostly with found wood. Making them looking like an abstract sculptures – a free gallery. It could be a fun project.

7. What to date has been your ‘cherry on the cake’ moment and what was it that got you there?
I eat my ‘cherry on the cake’ every day when I work with the feeling of playing. I’m very lucky to have a passion that can feed me.

8. What we ask everyone! Does your artistic style influence your underwear?
I don’t know, I guess there are no influence, because I’m very perfectionist about my artwork and I always take the cheapest undies.

Doodle space, if you feel so inclined!

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