Ananda Nahu is one of 5 artists participating in this year’s LATA Street Culture Festival, running 29th June to 2nd July 2016. Including live outdoor painting, music, film and workshops, the festival takes place at Red Gallery and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Ananda Nahu was born in 1985 in Juazeiro, Bahia, painting since 2005. She often creates portraits of African women, children and music symbols, using the bright colours of Brazil, blending stencil techniques with diverse materials such as the traditional fabrics of the North East of Brazil. Humans are the core of her work, sensitive and delicate, respecting the diverse facets of artistic events in human history, and adding vibrant colours and dynamic forms, lending warmth, life, strength and energy to the composition of her works. Ananda exhibits extensively in Brazil and internationally, passing by America, Holland, Germany, France, UK and having many collectors around the world.

Self-taught or art school?

Once I finished school, I began to study Graphic Design, and soon after Fine Arts at the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Bahia.

If you could own one work of art what would it be?

“Histeria Coletiva” – Rodrigo Izolag

How would you describe your style?

My style comes from much study on the culture of countries, people and communities. I am also interested in moving to looking at modern and contemporary language. Through much research, I have mixed colours, remaking forms, aspects, language, inspired by diverse cultures and all the human beings living within them.

Where are your favourite places to view art?

My computer. I am constantly looking for art on the internet, in many different forms and cultures. I love to discover everything from album covers, graffiti and poster art to classical paintings and details of Buddhist temples. All this when I have – as long as I have internet access.

Who are your favourite artists and why?

Rodrigo Izolag for me is the new genius of our times. He has an absurdly active creative mind with a high capacity of production; all the time he creates unprecedented styles never seen before, and has incredibly good taste. He made the biggest stencil in the world, while at the same time paints a canvas of oil magnificently. For me, he is the best living artist right now, the most brilliant, and certainly one day I would be a great collector of his art.

What or who inspires your art?

Music, album covers, religious art that ranges from Buddhist to Umbanda, ancient posters ranging from psychedelics until the posters war, vintage art, classical paintings, baroque, gothic, graffiti letters, printing, patterns and textiles from the most diverse cultures.

What is your studio like?

My studio is on the top floor of a three storey building, fully facing the sea, overlooking the beach of Macumba, the best point of Surfing in Rio de Janeiro. I made a private gallery in the living room, where I bring my clients and also work. It is full of all my art materials and canvases, many books, and of course one PS4 connected to a TV.

Do you have any rituals when you are making artwork?

I like to be calm and quiet, so I like to smoke good marijuana before starting. I pray and ask God for inspiration, ask God to do my work for him, to use my mind and my hands as his painting tools.

Are you excited about being part of LATA Street Culture Festival 2016?

Very much. And a great festival of urban art, very well organized, in which I am proud to be participating. So far I have two murals in London, and this will be the third. The London environment is very stimulating for the Urban Art – as it also is in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are fantastic scenes.

What are your big ambitions?

I want to paint a mural of 50 floors one day, and dream of one day having a big solo exhibition at the Tate Modern.

The exhibition is being held at Red Gallery Old Street London 29 June – 02 July

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