French artist ELTONO (1975) worked in Madrid for the last decade, then in Beijing for four years and now lives in southern France. Flâneur, stubborn walker and chronic observer, for years Eltono has used public space as support, studio and inspiration source. His sensitivity to what is happening around him and his knowledge of the nature of the street – its whims and its unpredictability – are his main tools when generating works. He has worked in the street of more than ninety cities and has shown his works in many world-renowned galleries and museums, including the Tate Modern, the Somerset House, Fundacion Miro and Artium Museum.
Over the last twelve years, the development of Eltono’s work in galleries has focused on finding solutions to address the problems of showing public art in private indoor spaces. I started experimenting with generative art in 2010. With Modo, my generative mural paintings project, I setup rules that are executed by myself or with the help of participants. Once the painting starts, no artistic decisions are taken and the focus goes to the observation of the artwork’s evolution. This project is a way for me to be surprised and become an observer of my own productions.
Generative processes are a way for me to address the delicate transition from creation in the street to creation in the studio. I can’t convince myself to work comfortably in a studio, so I invent systems in which constraints will disrupt the creative process. These constraints limit or eliminate the control I have over the final outcome of the artwork. Creating art in the public space one faces numerous uncontrollable circumstances. Playing with the amount of constraints and loss of control is an active reference to my habit of creating in the public space, a space where the artist is directly influenced, and often disturbed, by the environment and where the future of a street installed artwork is always unpredictable.