Dazzlingly vibrant and playfully grown-up is the work of Brazilian graffiti artist, illustrator and humourist LoRo VeRz. After graduating from the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in 2001, he has exhibited in cities around the world and has customized adidas trainers for the 2012 Olympic Games. And just recently, he was asked to transcribe the South American spirit onto the walls of Coya – a new Peruvian restaurant on London’s culinary scene. We became curious about what this man, who ‘creates as it comes’ – without  the aid of pre-sketches – had to say about his skillful artistry, so we chatted to him while he was in Brazil.

Image: Loro Verz

Image: Loro Verz

Loro Verz – Pintando o muro do Inspiratorium from Escola Inspiratorium on Vimeo.

How would you describe South American mentality? Does it show in your art?

It’s colourful and cheerful. It does have a direct effect on my work.
There is a big similarity between South Africa and Brazil regarding the massive gap between the rich and the poor – the result of capitalism. Do you think that art plays a role in social upliftment in your country?  Is this important to you (to use your art for effecting change)?

I don’t consider myself a political artist but I do believe that art can indeed play an important role in helping communities to have respect and self-esteem.

LoRo Verz, Image: livingdesign.net.br

LoRo Verz, Image: livingdesign.net.br

Could you explain to us why you decided to fuse a rather ancient and arduous technique like fresco with a modern and more instant one like graffiti?

When Coya invited me to paint the restaurant I researched Peruvian art and came across some ancient Inca wall painting and decided to blend the new with the old.
What emotions do you want people who are looking at your art to experience? And what questions do you want them to ask?

I wish that they look at it like a child looks at his/her hand, trying to find meaning and at the same time experience good vibes.
Were you trying to replicate the feel of a real-life situation? If so, which one?

I thought of South America as a whole. It isn’t about a specific country but about a whole continent. The colours and the vibrations were in my mind during the whole creative process.

image: loro verz

image: loro verz

Did it have to be appropriate to the restaurant environment?

It is a feast for the eyes, so I guess it is appropriate for the restaurant.
How powerful is art in influencing people’s actions and emotions?

I think art has an amazing power.  It can change lives and give hope to a lot of people.
Do you ever envision a complete artwork in your head before you start working on it?

The work grows as it goes along, I never know what the outcome will be like at the end, it always surprises me. I create as I do it.

image: loro verz

image: loro verz

How does it feel to be commissioned by big brands such as Adidas and Puma?

It feels good. Recognition of one’s work is always good!
Can you tell us a bit about what you are doing for them?

Adidas invited me to customize their shoes during the Olympic Games in London. It was an amazing experience because I met a lot of people and working on trainers was a challenge!
What would you say are the main differences between creating art for ‘art’s sake’ and creating art for advertisers?

Art is like a weapon, some people use it, some don’t!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Be happy and listen to your heart.
What’s the worst?

Be sad and listen to others.
Any plans to come do some art in South Africa?

I have a good friend who lives there! I would love to visit SA! It must be a vibrant and amazing place!

Follow LoRo Verz on Twitter and check out his Tumblr

interview by: Christine Hogg
images: livingdesign.net.br, LoRo Verz, Go ART