A few years ago as part of the Art and Painting Festival in San Francisco del Monte de Oro, Martin Agassi He was asked if the mural he was painting depicted the relationship between man and animals. “I leave that to the interpretation of the beholder. I don’t like to explain what I paint,” assures the artist. The everyday scenes created by the artist and muralist known as kenny they suggest that we stop the word and concentrate on observing colors, shapes and sensations. Far from any magic trick to attract viewers, his murals offer a more intimate contact, as if it is about seeing a story that touches us up close.
Agazzi was born on November 24, 1984 in Merlot, Buenos Aires province. As a boy, he enjoyed himself in the square with his brothers or in his father’s wooden toy workshop, where he played with the tools and spent his time drawing. Among the creations he remembers most is a farm full of animals and a house in the shape of a tempera tube, where he will live as an adult: as a boy he made the decision to be an artist. When he grew up, he studied visual arts at the National University of the Arts and attended various workshops with Miguel Ángel Bengochea, Ines Oviedo, José Marchi and Abril Barrado, with whom he discovered his own path: painting.
There was a time when he gave up art and started working and playing in a band. It wasn’t until he was 28 after reading the revelation Letters to Theo by Vincent van Gogh, who finally decided to devote himself to painting. He started in a mural workshop, where he later became an assistant, and then began to make his first commissioned murals. “I realized that I can draw and I started fully – says El Kenny in a conversation with indie today-. Over time, I realized that more than doing commissioned work, what I was interested in was doing my own work“.
People who rest peacefully or sleep on the street because they have no other choice. Dogs that accompany people’s joy or sadness. These are some of the images that El Keni offers in the form of paintings, murals or sculptures. Rest is a leading theme in his work. It can symbolize a need, a desire, or just the one thing you need to do after a hard day.
“My references are nature, plants, sky colors and landscapes, my environment. Most of my works deal with situations and people I see when I walk down the street; my friends, the houses and places I go, the animals”. El Kenny feeds on everything around him to paint, but he also seems to choose scenes that make people walking around Buenos Aires feel uncomfortable.: there are backpackers, workers, homeless people. They all seem to live in a world where the hours pass slowly and exhaustion is the law.
When making a mural, the artist does not like to talk about inspiration and prefers to focus on the things that catch his attention and then reflect them. After giving these images a lot of thought, try to translate them into colors and shapes. Part of that process takes him back to when he was a kid and used to draw or paint. “In my case, work is a form of self-knowledge – he says -. I try to make the work reflect me and reveal aspects of me. Then what is seen and interpreted or what resonates with those who see the work is up to the person“.
In addition to murals and paintings, El Kenny created a character called “El Fisu” who manifested in the form of a small sculpture. The creation originated from a failed mural where the artist tried to piece together a scene of a man sleeping on the street. He didn’t like the result, but he didn’t dismiss the idea; at that time he studied sculpture with Abril Barrado and decided to continue. “Fisu” is created from plaster modeling, followed by painting and the last step: pasting them in different places in the city.
“Shortly after I started sticking them on the street, it was my turn to make the exhibition cracks where, in addition to exhibiting some oil paintings, 20 artists participated, each intervening Fisu -says El Kenny-. The collection from the sales of them went to a cultural center where a popular pot works. A tank was placed in the space and the potable water connection was made. The space where the exhibition took place was Local Support and featured artists such as Tommy Pomo, Paul Sende, D-mian Arch, Hernan Di Filippo and Maximiliano Bagnasco.
Martin Agatzi’s works create that strange feeling of looking at something very familiar and that we would like to have far away. His paintings and murals are evidence of a failed system, but also of an opportunity for harsh reality to become fantasy.. Also, there is no need to guess or search for complex meanings. Watching is the only thing that matters. Look and then feel.