‘I was pretty tense about this mural’ he said ‘You know, portraying someone like Pasolini… and, moreover, in a location like this one’ he added, pointing to the ruins of the Mira Lanza factory in the beautiful, post-industrial yard of Teatro India.
‘Well, you nailed it!’ I replied in my over-enthusiastic voice.
‘I guess so… I mean, now I’m satisfied with the result, but you should’ve seen me when I was approaching the job: I was so nervous!’
This is the first time that Frederico Draw, a very talented street artist from Portugal, has portrayed a well-known countenance, as he usually sketches anonimous faces using spray cans as if they were pencils. This tecnique quickly became ‘his thing’, after a short period of writing and graffiti, which he tried out while he was studying architecture in Porto and was approaching the streets as a self-taught artist.
‘Usually, I’m the only one who knows what the actual face of my subject looks like, the only one who can judge whether or not it is a good likeness. And often it isn’t, as I like to add some details, such as mustaches or sideburns, to meet the assignment or just to spice things up’.
Draw’s Pasolini, instead, is very realistic and descriptive.
This is not the first street art tribute to Pier Paolo Pasolini in Rome, let alone the first one to be painted this year, which is the 40th anniversary of Pasolini’s murder. But it is a first in many other ways: not only the first time that Frederico Draw has dared to portray a well-known face, but also his first mural in Rome, albeit not his first work in Italy, as this year he has also taken part in Memorie Urbane street art festival in southern Lazio.
‘I hope to come back to Italy next year: I’m working on that!’ he said, adding that this time he could only afford a short visit, as he is very busy in Porto, where he works as a consultant for the City Hall, selecting street artists to be invited and scouting the town for suitable walls. As if that weren’t enough, he also runs a Public Art Festival in his hometown, Freamunde, a picturesque village 30 kilometers away from Porto.
Luckily, even if he is super-busy both with his curatorial job and travelling around the world to spread his art, he couldn’t refuse the invitation to Rome by Forgotten Project, the same street art festival that brought AddFuel to town and had him paint a ‘forgotten building’ on Via Flaminia. And, in the next few months, they will bring more of the best Portuguese street art scene to Rome.
These first two works could not be more different: abstract and colorful the first one, realistic and black and white the other. I can’t wait to discover what’s next!
Find this mural (and many more) in my Rome Travel & Street Art Map!
Enjoy the making of video!