Portrait of Caratoes
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Stolyarova states that Stinkfish is a godfather of SAMA. Stinkfish first visited Amsterdam in 2011 before SAMA had started painting in Nieuw-West. She and Stinkfish explored the city, pasting-up posters that Stinkfish had brought to Amsterdam. During their walks through Nieuw-West, Stinkfish taught Stolyarova how to see the different kinds of walls that would suit different kinds of interventions. Stinkfish helped open Stolyarova’s eyes to new opportunities within the community, and has been a vital step in forming the foundation from where the future SAMA would seek out large and official productions. Stinkfish has always created his work for the public, for those who cannot afford museum admissions and who may feel excluded and othered in traditional galleries. He is dedicated to creating accessible art and easily digestible publications, intending his practice to reach everyone, regardless of their educational background. His contributions to SAMA’s collection reflect this. For every painting he has completed in Nieuw-West, Stinkfish has requested that Stolyarova sources a wall in a lived-in community where his work will be enjoyed by real people and not appropriated for corporate interest, something he recognises as increasingly prevalent in graffiti art today. Along with Lorenzo Masnah, “the Third World Pirate,” Stinkfish created the horizontally-organized and anti- hierarchical Animal Power Collective (APC) in 2006. With more than 60 members around the world, APC has grown beyond a graffiti crew to being a multidisciplinary creative collective united by a common moral code.
Good / Legible
The work reflects Stinkfish's unique style that has made him one of Latin America's most acclaimed artists. Using the stencil technique, the artist creates the facial features of the subject with great realism, recalling the urban stencil tradition made famous by Banksy. The rest of the work is improvised by Stinkfish: the dominant colour is obviously yellow. This particular shade is used by Stinkfish to colour the skins of his characters, without distinction of ethnicity or geographical origin. Also important is the author's virtuoso detailing in the colour combinations and the baroque decorations that hover around the face of the portrayed young artist.
In this particular work Stinkfish decides to portray the subject in profile with a cropped headshot that precludes depicting the entirety of the head. On the left side of the work the focus is on Stinkfish's improvisation with its multicoloured intersecting patterns typical of his recent style. The work is thus divided into two perfectly symmetrical parts, each harmoniously united and each symbolic of the artist's multi-faceted style.
The artwork is a portrait of the Belgian-Hong Kong urban artist Caratoes, who is highly regarded by Stinkfish. The work is part of a series by the Colombian artist dedicated to portraits of the main exponents of the urban world today. The series focuses above all on highlighting female artists on the scene and non-European names.