Jocelyn Weibel is the new team member at SAMA, she is currently working as the organisation's deputy. Read below to know a little bit more about her!
Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?
I was born in South Korea, Seoul, but grew up in Madrid, Spain. I consider myself Spanish since I lived there since the age of 5 even though my parents are originally from the U.S. In 2013 I graduated from The Hogeschool Voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, and moved shortly after to NYC where I worked in the art field as an archivist and graphic designer in catalog production as well as gallery management. Now, 2020, I am back in Amsterdam to continue my art career. I always felt very much at home in The Netherlands.
Can you tell me something about the place where you come from?
I think that Madrid is one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities, and growing up there I have many fond memories. The streets are so active and it comes alive in many different ways. The Rastro market on Sundays is a must see, there’s always children playing on the streets, and people of all ages enjoying the terraces and the night life making Madrid a beautiful and magical place. The street art of Madrid is also one of the best places to experience the city through the local urban artists. The Tabacalera, a former tobacco factory, in the heart of Madrid in the neighborhood of Lavapiés, is a thriving cultural space run by locals. It has an amazing collection of work and art pieces, and it’s a very special place where you can lose yourself for hours through the long dark hallways. There you can find early pieces from Borondo and Roa amongst many many others. ‘Esta es una Plaza’ in Lavapiés is another location filled with work of local and international artists.
What is your favourite activity/the things you like to do during your free time?
In my free time I take street art photos and do my own urban artwork. Since school, I always took my camera everywhere I went photographing my surroundings and was fascinated with art pieces I would find on the streets or in abandoned buildings. I have been photographing The Tabacalera of Madrid for almost a decade. Started photographing with a film camera and have switched over to digital. I hope to continue this personal project of the Tabacalera over the years for as long as I can.
What is your relation to street art? Art in general?
My relationship with art goes back to my childhood, from an early age I was painting, drawing and have always had an interest for art and its history. My relationship with street art goes back to my early twenties, I met my dear friend Aida Gomez at the faculty of Fine Arts in Cuenca, Spain. She is a great urban artist and we would go out at night to explore. While she would be busy doing graffiti I would photograph the process and our surroundings, we would explore abandoned buildings and locations and come across amazing pieces. To this day, this is something we enjoy doing whenever we can.
In your opinion what’s the most interesting aspect of Street Art?
There are many aspects of street art that I find interesting. As a photographer it is a really magical experience to walk around and bump into an art piece, a piece that really takes your breath away. I find it exciting when artists find a location where their piece fits into perfectly, like it was meant to be there. As an artist I love the freedom of working on the streets. I specifically find the passing of time and the effect that environmental elements have on the piece, making it gradually change on the street, profoundly interesting and a beautiful process to experience.
What are your responsibilities at SAMA?
I am the new deputy director at SAMA. I help Anna Stolyarova, the founder and director of SAMA, with day-to-day operations as well as handle production. I aim to contribute to SAMA using my experience with gallery management and knowledge of street art and its history.
Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?
Difficult to choose just one! I would have to say the work of Bastardilla, her use of color and technique is very powerful along with her political statements regarding her home country and thoughts about gender inequality.
What interests you the most in the concept of SAMA?
I think that a place like SAMA is important to have in any city. All cities have street art and having a place like SAMA ensures that we keep a record of the art that is part of the city but can’t be found in museums or galleries. The art that one day might disappear due to demolitions, whitewashing or the passing of time. SAMA keeps them alive, with digital imagery and storytelling.
Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?
I would have to say the largest artwork in the SAMA collection, the mural by Bastardilla ‘Memories’. When you see it for the first time it is impressive, not only because of its size, but the techniques and story behind it is beautifully delivered.
What has been the most challenging moment during your time at SAMA so far?
So far the most challenging aspect is living and working during Covid-19 times. We still don’t know how this may affect our positions and work in the future.
Follow Jocelyn on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaw.street/