Spotlight on Portuguese street artist KAS painting puzzles around Europe
Portuguese but now living in Brussels, KAS started writing graffiti back in 1999 on the streets of Porto before taking a break only to relaunch himself back in 2014.
“I paint on the street because give me a feeling of freedom” he tells me, “and the street is an open gallery to all kinds of people without differentiating breeds age or social status.” It was a chance meeting with a spray can that started his passion after finding a full one on the street. “I tagged until I got home then I told the story to a friend and he told me about graffiti and gave me a book ‘Subway Art‘ that inspired me to paint ‘Kas’ everywhere.
And so the tag was born and it’s not the first time that a budding writer has been inspired by the book from Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfont documenting New York’s graffiti scene. “It’s my favourite way to communicate with society and pass on my message.” he says, adding that nowadays that message is often a political, social or an economic one.
Recently KAS has been exploring the use of puzzle patterns. Gone are the tagging days of old and now his works tend to be elaborate as his style has evolved to include photorealism. “It’s a difficult style to paint because the puzzle sizes and the parallel lines have to be perfect” he says. It’s a combination which makes his work instantly recognisable and after all “Life is a puzzle…”
The scene in both Portgual and Brussels according to KAS is an active one, constantly developing with various events and street art festivals following the evolution and trends taking place in other places not least London which he describes as being at the forefront of the scene in Europe. “Finally”, he tells me “the society is beginning to see this art form with different eyes.”
And speaking of seeing his work, we wouldn’t mind seeing his art in London sometime soon.