Felipe Pantone evokes a spirit in his work that feels like a collision between an analog past and a digitized future, where human beings and machines will inevitably glitch alongside one another in a prism of neon gradients, geometric shapes, optical patterns, and jagged grids.
Based in Spain, Pantone is a byproduct of the technological age when kids unlocked life’s mysteries through the Internet. As a result of this prolonged screen time, he explores how the displacement of the light spectrum impacts color and repetition.
“Color only happens because of light, and light is the only reason why life happens,” Pantone says. "Light and color are the very essence of visual art. Thanks to television, computers, and modern lighting, our perception of light and color has changed completely.”
For Pantone, his art is a meditation on the ways we consume visual information. Drawing inspiration from kinetic artist like Victor Vasarely and Carlos Cruz-Diez — who both utilized the moiré effect (in which lines of contrasting color give the impression of movement) — his contemporary work produces the sensation of vibration as the viewer’s position changes in relation to the work. To achieve the desired effect, Pantone utilizes modeling software which allows for 3D insights into a project, which then can be translated into frescoes, murals, paintings, and sculptures which give tactile merit to what is occurring in the digital world.
“I grew up as a simple painter, trained as a painter, and now my biggest goal is to get clear of all the academic training and to be able to make art freely, with the tools that work best,” he says.
Whether it’s exhibiting in galleries around the world, transforming a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette into something futuristic, or painting the largest mural in Portugal, Pantone’s diverse applications are united by the intersection of technology and fine art.
“I try to create things that are not supposed to be where they are,” he says. “To bring awareness of certain things, to move people’s thoughts elsewhere."
"Felipe Pantone has earned an international reputation in the graffiti world under the name of Pant1, multiplying actions and collaborations. A prolific artist, his creations are visible on the walls of the whole world: from the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center to the Long Beach Museum of Art (USA) and the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), passing by Mexico City, Osaka, Lisbon, Palestine, Italy or Australia. Invited to the 2016 edition of the Maus Festival in Malaga, the artist has completely repainted a bridge overlooking the river Guadalmedina. Felipe Pantone is the spearhead of a renewed street art scene, which is not confined to outdoor spaces and enchains projects: majestic frescoes, paintings, sculptures or monumental installations.
Felipe Pantone's approach is to question the current era and its propensity to place new technologies at the center of our daily lives, making us dependent on a superabundance of images and symbols. He himself is passionate about the advent of the internet that allows instant access to the entire history of humanity. The problems he addresses are contemporary and universal: movement, the notion of time, saturation, alienation and destruction.
Considered today as one of the rising stars of international street art, Felipe Pantone, 31, "child of the internet era" as he says himself, exceeds the notion of outdoor spaces and connects projects: monumental frescoes, paintings, sculptures and unusual facilities. Influenced by the era of the Internet of the 80s and 90s, fed with new technologies, he imagines his geometric subjects on modeling software, taking up the aesthetics of 3D creation, which he then reproduces in XXL format or on canvases. It brings them to life by superimposing their installations into disturbing illusions of optics that result in an explosion or an electric shock.
In a powerful dynamic, Pantone extends on the walls with its futuristic style with psychedelic accents that evokes Italian Futurism. There are also abstract and stroboscopic touches that articulate black and white geometric shapes that he combines with bright metallic colors, not unlike the Mire, a visual that appears on the television when there is no show. Visual explosion of a certain brutality, his work is stored in the kinetic art, in the footsteps of a Victor Vasarely or Carlos Cruz-Diez."
Magda Danysz. Danysz Gallery
"Felipe Pantone’s work is at the cutting edge of street art. Straddling conventional graffiti, typography and abstraction, his work fuses bold elements of graphic design with highly evolved geometric shapes to create an ultra-modern aesthetic which complements and reacts with the stark modernity of our cityscapes.
Drawing on our concerns of the digital age and the speed at which technology is developing, Pantone’s art is like looking several light years ahead into the future and discovering a new language in which to communicate."
James Buxton. Global Street-Art
"Felipe Pantone’s body of work spans from graffiti to kinetic art. Strong contrasts, vivid colors, effects, and the use of mixed medium and varied technique combine to impact strongly on the viewer.
What really intrigues is not the striking nature of his work, but the artist’s journey to discover this aesthetic. We live in a time where more images are produced than those that can possibly be seen, and the impetus for an artist to stand out from the others is stronger than ever. Information flows at an exponentially increasing rate, a leitmotif recurrent in Felipe Pantone’s compositions, his hyperactivity, working methods and his constant traveling around the world.
Someone who aspires to do something important in art must understand the world and time they inhabit. Felipe Pantone understands this perfectly."
Omar Quiñones. Studio Manager
"Al agenciarse del nombre de la marca líder en la codificación cromática corporativa, Felipe Pantone deja constancia de su interés por reflexionar sobre los procesos homologadores de la comunicación global. Indaga en el potencial subversivo de minar los lenguajes artísticos, científicos y electrónicos practicando la hibridación, apostando por la impureza y el contagio de medios tipográficos, figurativos y abstractos.
Algunas de sus pinturas nos recuerdan los juegos ópticos de Bridget Riley, otras al formalismo de Frank Stella, pero así como los op-artistas pretendían cautivar al espectador mediante cinéticas ilusorias y los formalistas enfatizaban la autorreferencialidad de la pintura como forma y color, Pantone retoma estos precedentes de la pintura abstracta para nivelarlos con el acervo de la cultura popular (el cómic, ciencia ficción, cyberpunk, tipografías graffiteras…) y dar con un lenguaje acorde con los tiempos hipermodernos.
En esa búsqueda de una comunicación esencial, su léxico tiende a la destilación formal, quedando matizadas las alusiones a dichas corrientes tecno-urbanas: fauces felinas entre tipografías callejeras, pulso expresivo versus depuración matemática, murciélagos convertidos en geometría computacional, del átomo al cosmos. El universo rizomático y virtual en el que habitamos encuentra su correlato en las pinturas de Pantone, una obra sensible al entorno, sea éste las paredes de una galería o tabiques suburbanos. Como artista del graffiti, subvierte la frialdad euclidiana de la arquitectura urbana al introducir múltiples dimensiones potenciales desplegándose por los muros asépticos de las metrópolis.
La pintura actual más espontánea tiende a una apertura formal y conceptual extrema absorbiendo formas extra-pictóricas heterogéneas para examinar las complejas urdimbres que conforman nuestro mundo, sólo accesibles desde lo fragmentario."
Anna Adell. Setdart