Art Asylum: Tell us about yourself. What is your lifestyle/background? Where are you from?
“CUENTANOS UN POCO DE TI. QUE STILO DE VIDA TIENES? DE DONDE ERES?”

Before we get started, thank you for the interview. Currently I consider my lifestyle to be tranquil, I try to consistently create street art and produce illustrations. At the moment I’m looking forward to finishing school soon. The rest of my time I spend with family and friends. Traveling is important to me although I don’t do it as much as I’d like to. My favorite relax spot is the beach because I surf but I truly enjoy any environment that is natural. In the city of Mexico where I was born, there are plenty of places to go and things to do like exhibitions, cultural events and concerts, archeological sites and museums etc. Which I try to attend when the opportunities present them selves. My next big step is adding a dog to my family, I’m very excited about it. I also do sports, not as often now as I use to do it in the past anymore because of my time limitations. I’m now very involved with music which has become very important to me, it inspires me, I currently listen to a wide range of styles from Dub to minimal techno, among others.


Art Asylum: Your name is an interesting name, how did you come up with it and does it have a specific meaning? “Tu nombre en intereseante, como lo inventastes y tiene algun especifico significado ?”

My name is derived from my last name, Segovia, which has it’s roots in Spain, there is actually a city called Segovia there. So Sego became an easier way to write my signature . Plus, I choose to sign my art this way because I like how it sounds. My grandfather, Fellecido Segovia, nickname was Sego. Both my grandfather and father played proffecional soccer for the Mexican league.

Art Asylum: How do you define yourself? A Street , Graffiti, Urban artist?
“Como te definas en el mundo de arte? Consideras tu arte urbana, graffiti, o arte de calle?”

I actually get asked this question a lot. I started out as a graffiti (letters) artist which is why I consider myself under this category. Some of my art does not seem to fit but they all originate out of my graffiti style. I allow myself to be taken by what I am passionate about and I find great satisfaction in my work. Some people have told me that my work has a different vive or feel to it. But I’m not concerned with labels. I’ve been congratulated and complimented from people who are renowned for their art in New York (80’s art) and from other parts of the world. But at the end of the day, I simply try to do what I love and enjoy to the best of my abilities.

Art Asylum: Has the current political climate affected the subject matter of your work or the way in which you approach it?
“Tu considerias que el clima politico de nuestros dias a tenido afecto en tu trabajo de arte? y en la manera que perceives el mundo de arte?”

No, in my city there is a lot of inconsistencies when it comes to political issues and how our government officials do their jobs. I have my own personal opinion over it, but we all hear “enough” about political dramas. This is why I choose not to include them in my murals. In general I think people are fed up with politics and for that reason I leave it out of my work.

Art Asylum: As someone who communicates through a great use of symbols in your work, can you tell me a little about the ones that mean the most to you and why you use them in your art?
“Es obio que tu arte communica mucho con uso de symbolos, nos podrias decir un poco de los symbolos que tienenmas significancia para ti y como lo incorporas en tu arte, y porque?”

I think as a community we have been through difficult situations because of the lack of spirituality which I belief has led to the inconsideration towards our environment and to our lack of consciousness when it comes to contaminations to our environment and everything related to it. Like the inappropriate use of water. In my work I use symbols like the tree of life and the third eye which are universal symbols. For me the third eye represents a different way of perceiving the environment surrounding me; almost like a different state of consciousness. Similarly the tree of life represents the balance we should have with nature, to me it represents the roads to oneness with God.


Art Asylum: Give us a little history on how and when you got into street art? Where you artistically inclined as a child?
“Danos un poco de istoria en tu pasado y como fuiste introducido a arte de calle? De nino tenias inclinaciones a arte, de pequeno ensenastes un interes en arte?”

I recall that as a child I use to draw at a very young age and enjoyed play-do. Adults use to be attracted to my art even as a child. At school I participated in the art competitions usually taking home first or second place. Often I became that friend who the kids would come to for illustration help in their homework assignments.

What became critical to my graffiti was living in the cost of Oaxaca, a state in my country with great vegetation, very tropical and lots of exotic reptiles, insects, birds and fishes. I lived there for approximately two years because my father’s job transferred us there. Since I was a city boy, this move changed my perspective and my passion for nature was nurtured. The environment was so completely different than the city and I subconsciously took in a lot, which is now expressed in my art and partnered with new ideas to create my current work. My first exposure to graffiti was in the city of Mexico, people were tagging on walls which created an impulse inside of me to try and do it myself. I had no idea at the time that Graffiti was becoming widespread in other parts of the world. Since I didn’t have the influence of other artist I created what is now MY OWN style of graffiti.

Art Asylum: Do you have any formal education in art or are you self taught?
“As tomado classes o ido a la escuela para arte? Como aprendiste tu estilo?”

I’ve never taken any classes; I try to learn from practicing and perfecting it. No formal education when it comes to art.

Art Asylum:   You’re particularly renowned for your incredible blend of color prowess. What have been your greatest influences in this arena and how did you hone your technique over the years?
“Tu eres conosido por la manera enque conbinas colores. Cuales an sido las influencias en esta area de tu trabajo, y como as perfectionado tu trabajo, y como a cambiado tu technic con el tiempo?”


When it comes to color blending I don’t know if I can point out a single individual who influenced this area of my work. In Mexico we are a very colorful people, in all aspects lol. Also, the colors of nature are very lively. But the way I paint is contrary to the way I use color for other things like my clothes, I tend to lean toward neutral and bland colors when it comes to clothes and other things. My technique has changed in accordance to my needs to pain different things, details, transparencies and textures, etc. A lot of it has to do with experimenting. What was important was being able to have access the Grafitti sprays and paints, since in Mexico it was not easy to find imports of good quality; once we had access to quality pain the possibilities for our art expanded, in regards to colors quality and pigment. The caps also freed us to more possibilities which we did not have before.

Art Asylum: What is your approach to color?
“Como te relationas con colores y la manera en que lo usas?”


It has a lot to do with the way I’m feeling, also with the subject that I’ve chosen for the mural and the intentions I’m trying to get across; the vive and feelings I want to transmit through the colors that result in the totality of the work.

Art Asylum: Before you start a piece, do you have a detailed sketch and are you fully prepared with color concepts? is there room for spontaneity as you go along?
“Antes de comensar un trabajo, tienes una idea oh un dibujo ya echo con los colores que bas a usar ya escojidos? Cuanto de tu arte esta echa en el momento y cuanto es pre-planeado?”

For the last couple of years I’ve been bringing pre-planned designs before starting a job, some of these can be very simple and only for the purpose of structure or it can be a very elaborately planned sketch, depending on the situation. Before I use to do a lot more improvising in regards to composition of the piece and colors; Now I’m at a different stage where I get great satisfaction watching a plan or sketch turn into art. In retrospect I think my style of putting art together is a positive one, there was an incident where I fractured my head, even though I’m not completely sure why but this traumatic event changed the way I do and relate to things.


Art Asylum: How long does it take you to produce a piece?
“Cuanto tiempo te toma para completar un trabajo?”


It varies with each piece. I have jobs that require 5 to 6 hours and others that take up to twelve hours. And yet others that take three consecutive working days. It varies depending on where the piece is located, the intentions behind it and the time available to actually finalize a project.

Art Asylum: Who or what are your greatest influences? Any artists from the past that may have influenced your work?
“Quien o que a sido tu mayor influencia en arte? Algun artista del pasado que a influenciado tu trabajo?”


It’s more like inspiration. In a matter of a moment Seher and I became creative. He had the idea that we should take objects to honor Salvador Dali’s work. I thought this was a great idea. We would do something inspired by his work, yet it would have an original aspect and feel to it. The distinction between having an influence and stealing ideas is a very delicate line in our time among artists. Currently , you can find a reference to everything, so it’s very probable that artist come to similar ideas without knowing of each other, or that there are artists out there who have overlapping work. The very nature of man, in relation to creation leads us to arrive at similar conclusions. I believe a lot of catalysts interplay with the integrity, honesty, ethics and personality with which each artist creates their work. Ranging from lifestyle to access of information an artist has access to. In 2007 I visited the museum of Louvre in Paris and I came across Archimboldo’s work (Italian painter, 1500) which left me dumbfounded. His work was impressive. Unconsciously I believe experiences like this stay on an artists mind and expand’s the ability and direction of the artist. Even if there is no intention.

Art Asylum: if you could paint with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
“Si pudieras pintar con cualquier persona en el mundo, quien seria y porque?”

I would love to do a graffiti piece with Popay, the French graffiti artist. And artist from the past, it would be with Archimboldo and Remedios Varo, among others even thought they were not graffiti artist.

Art Asylum: As a Graffiti / street artist and painter, Is there a difference between these labels in your opinion?
“Como un artista de Graffiti, arte callejera y pintor, piensas que ay differencias en esas maneras de espresar arte?”

Of course, the differences are in the technique, the material and the intention of the art. This depends on the artists, some have what they consider their style and never diverge from it, while others have a road of exploration, from technique to conceptual ideas..

Art Asylum: What do you think of the current “Street Art” movement in Mexico ?
“Que piensas de el movimiento de arte de calle que esta ocuriendo ahora en Mejico?”


I think Mexico city has many new graffiti artists who are growing in numbers, and others well established experienced artists as well. And of course those who tag for other reasons that have nothing to do with creating art. Mexico, in relation to other larger cities, has a very short Graffiti history but this does not mean that we are behind.

Art Asylum: How do you feel about graffiti as a culture? Graffiti in the mainstream?
“Cual es tu opinion de graffiti como cultura? Y graffiti asiendoce popular en las comunidaded?”


For me, to discover graffiti and it’s technics opened my horizons to creating larger scale art, being able to create faster and outdoors on the street. I believe that graffiti has taken our culture and it’s art to new extremes. And for that very reason, graffiti artists are becoming renowned for their contributions.


Art Asylum: How has graffiti, or art in general effected how you live & think?
“Como Graffiti (oh arte en general) ah afectado la manera que vives y piensas?”

It has become one of my priorities and lifestyles. It has a large effect in my personal life, most of my friends I met while I was becoming involved in graffiti or in related events. It also affects my emotional state, as an outlet, If I go a while without creating I start to feel bad. I’ve also learned to be more patient. Overall, practicing graffiti gives me a lot of personal satisfaction and at the same time challenges me to better myself.


ArtAsylum: if you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
“Si no serias un artista, que arias con tu vida?”


I had often given a lot of thought to going back to school for archeology, veterinary work or biology. A year ago I was into producing electronic music, techno and other music to that degree. And of course goalie for  professional soccer.

Art Asylum: How long have you been painting graffiti?
“Cuanto tiempo as estado pintando con graffiti?”


This year, It will be nine years.


Art Asylum: What would you like to communicate as an artist to people when they see your work?
“Que estas tratando de comunicar/expresar a la jente cuando ellos ben tu trabajo?”


My message is flexible, free to interpretation, I have a lot of ideas that I portray, but not all are understood or taken in by the observer. I don’t have a single message for my paintings, that would be too boring.

Art Asylum:   I see that you collaborate with a number of artists, do the people you paint with have any impression on your style of artwork?
“Nos emos dado cuenta que tu collaboras con un buen numero de artistas, que opiniones tienen ellos de tu arte?”


I don’t know, you would have to ask them (LOL). Well they must like it, and they’re my friends, so it makes it easier to collaborate. We usually improvise on our styles together, and this adds a little magic to the final product. If we are doing a mural we’ll discuss basic structuring and can go from there to finalize it without talking any further. There is an unspoken understanding of creating with others, that I never feel when I paint alone.

Art Asylum: How has American styles in graffiti impacted your concepts?
“Como el estilo Americano de graffiti a tenido impacto en tu consepto de arte y graffiti?”

Well the origin of graffiti was in the U.S, I consider my work drastically different than the styles in the U.S. However, I have great respect, and have friends who are influenced by the American graffiti style.

Art Asylum: As a street artist in Mexico what are some of your greatest challenges or obstacles you face when making your art?
“Como un artista de calle en Mejico cuales dirias son tus obstaculos mayors y problemas que tienes que confrontar cuando ases tu arte?”

The lack of knowledge of graffiti by the policeman and by the majority of people. For example when I am painting a mural with the permission of the owner of the place, the policeman thinks that I am painting illegally. They don’t have a lot of common sense, why would I be painting so calmly and with so much paint (LOL). Not all the cops are like that, you do have some that will ask if you have a permit to paint. On occasions, I loose a lot of time explaining to the judge the facts of the matter. Fortunately it’s been a while since I’ve been taken to the police station. I paint illegally in abandoned locations or where I know nobody’s property will be damaged.

Art Asylum: When you are not painting, what do you enjoy doing?
“Cuando no estas pintando que te gusta aser, algunas otra pasiones?”


Music is very important to me, a couple of years ago I was producing electronic music with software, groove box, sampler. That required a lot of production time. Now, I only play music in parties or for my friends.

Art Asylum: On a more personal note, Do you have any crazy or funny stories about your experiences as an artist?
“En una nota mas personal, tienes alguna istoria graciosa o increible que te ah pasado en arte que podrias compartir con nosotros?”


A lot of people don’t know that I have two signatures, Sego and Ovbal, they belief that it’s two different people, some have even said that we are cousins or brothers (LOL). I’ve been asked before, where is Sego, your cousin? Or where is your Brother Ovbal? I like having to facades, each one allows me to develop in different creative aspects.


What is your life long goal for your artistic career?
“En que direction quieres llebar tu arte, cual el to gol para el future de tu arte?”

I have several things in mind. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, things still need to progress and mature to different stages on their own. One of the things I’ve learned is to listen to my intuition. But I intend to take “Ovbal” tag a lot farther, bigger plans (huge) directed to architecture. With the “Sego” tag I’m creating a series called The Dream Guardians, soon I want to make samples of my illustrations which are duplicates of my murals. Maybe even have a store of spray paints where I can also exhibit art of various graffiti artists and to have more opportunities for projects. And ofcourse continue where I started, being a street artist.

And what’s new for 2010, what will we see from you this year? Any gallery shows or upcoming projects?
“Que estas sacando Nuevo para el ano 2010, que deveriamos de esperar de tu arte este ano? Tienes algun projecto o display de galerias?”

This year and the year before I’ve dedicated myself to painting things that are different from what I’ve done in the past. Now I’m taking things and fusing them with new ideas, to give a new vision of my work. I’m going back to the things I really liked from previous years and taking that project and converting it into something completely new. The characters that look like insects have returned to my work.  And the Dream Guardians Are in their third year but are being reinvented with clearer new ideas. In Mexico, I’ve received a lot of proposals for locations to exhibit my art. But I have yet to find the perfect fit. I do, however, keep in mind doing an individual exhibition “Sego & Ovbal” whether it is here or in another country.

www.artasylumboston.com


4 Responses to “Sego y Ovbal”


  1. July 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Simply amazing work. Thank you for posting this interview and imagery. I have reblogged a portion of this interview over at mexicoart.org. I hope you don’t mind, I directed my readers to your site in the mention. Please stop by and leave a comment, I would love to hear your incite on other street artists from Mexico.

    Thanks!
    @MexicanArtists


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