THE ART OF OKUDA SAN MIGUEL
AROUND THE SKULLS
Colourist geometry is the mark of Okuda San Miguel (Óscar San Miguel-1980, Santander) and we see it whenever he has the chance. Like when, in the summer of 2017, he was asked to paint the façade of a 19th century French castle. The work is called Skull Mirror and is painted on the facade of Valletta Castle in the Loire Valley (France).
This book illustrates the change in the perception of urban art since its origin. So much so that the representation and cultural management company working with Okuda, Ink & Movement (IAM) is unable to do so. For more than 10 years, they have been transforming public space in collaboration with public institutions, private individuals and even brands, which they describe as the "patrons" of the 21st century, as they increasingly rely on creative freedom.
Art Madrid has also had the exclusive collaboration of Okuda San Miguel through his work Grey Skull. As it does every year, Art Madrid chose an artist whose work represents innovation, experimentation and the search for new plastic languages to be the guest artist at the fair. In previous editions, Art Madrid has collaborated with exceptional names such as Ouka Leele, Riera i Aragó or the unmistakable Carmen Calvo and for the 13th edition, the organisation wanted to have a universal symbol signed by the hand of one of the most international urban artists, Okuda San Miguel.
Representing the "new contemporary art" for Okuda San Miguel, the skull is an artistic element that was repeated throughout his career. Even before entering his characteristic geometric universe, the skull was already there, so Okuda's own style developed parallel to the way this icon or historical symbol changed in his works. This piece is also a metaphor for capitalism and its tools of indoctrination from early childhood, as it is associated with the image of Mickey Mouse. A work that encompasses a whole philosophy of life and a statement of intent.
Another of Okuda San Miguel's collaborations where he shows his predilection for skulls is with the Spanish jeweller "Suarez". A series of super exclusive jewels that, far from the refined and simple lines we are always used to, have given shape to a limited collection with large volumes, our favourite piece: a super skull ring that is the coolest.
A pink gold ring with multicoloured sapphires, rubies and diamonds is, in addition to the final, super cool skull and crossbones ring, a real work of art. IAM SUAREZ by Okuda San Miguel - that's what the collection is called - is precisely what it is all about: a small-scale reconstruction (in the form of jewellery) of some of the most iconic works by the Santander artist.
Finally, another collaboration by Okuda San Miguel around the skulls of the dead takes us to the Parisian studio of the artist Harow. Harow and his team create products that are a perfect blend of art and design. Each piece is first considered as a work of art and then transformed into a functional object through a creative process that is entirely hand-crafted. With this in mind, Harow contacted By Night Gallery to propose an exterior reinterpretation of its iconic piece: Skull Chair. Guests for this project were Okuda San Miguel and his creative studio Ink and Movement, with whom the French gallery had already collaborated on previous projects (Skull Mirror, Mona Lisa...).
The design and manufacture of the Skull Chair was carried out by Harow in his workshop in France, and afterwards he went to Madrid where Okuda ended up painting it by hand and personalising the accompanying cushion with his particular style. It's fabulous when two of today's most famous designers, join their minds and hands to create a piece as unique as this one. The result is truly spectacular.