Fefe Talavera’s monster paintings are metaphors for strong and subconscious human emotions like anger, fear, dreams or desire.
The colourful fantastic beasts which she connects with the “dark side” of her inner self stand for the artist’s cultural roots as well as the primary and powerful energy of her work in the streets all over the world.Born in 1979, Fefe was brought up as a native half Mexican, half Brazilian in São Paulo where she lives until today. Interested in all kind of “underground” movements, the typical and unique stylistic freedom of the internationally renowned Street Art and Graffiti scene of her hometown made an important impression on the artist. Her raw creative energy thus found much more correspondence in the angled, tribal-like style she developed while working in the streets, than in her studies in fine arts which she finished with a Bachelor at the FAAP in São Paulo. She is a member of Archetypal Expressionism Group.
Showing at galleries and accepting certain rules, limits and intolerances of the art market system represent a contradiction for Fefe who is mainly interested in finding public ways to express herself and a common way of communication. As for other artists from her generation she perceives São Paulo as a contemporary megalopolis shattered by social, economical and ecological problems which had a harmful impact on the urban landscape. The public walls thereby remain one possibility of showing what is beautiful “inside” the strong personalities of the people living there. Street Art and Graffiti in South and Central America can as well be understand in the tradition of political mural art reflecting contemporary urban life.
MURALES of Fefe, who is inspired by Mayan or Aztec mythologies and her Mexican heritage, is most well known for her monsters made of cut out letters from concert-announcement posters found all around the streets. The glued collage-like figures are related to the artist’s admiration for typography, books and prints, but also to her will to somehow “free” the letters from their fixed meaning as words, sentences or texts, by showing their formal qualities as well as by reminding us that all kind of language is rooted in the direct expression of human affects, not in the function to command them. Whereas the “letter-monsters” became very popular soon because of their originality, Fefe finally felt swamped by having to spend more time on cutting out than on creating something. She thus returned mostly to her extensive vocabulary in painting and drawing in the last years. Having exhibited and participated in group projects all over the world – p. e. in Moscow, New York, Seville, Berlin, Los Angeles, Vienna or recently in Madrid and Amsterdam, to mention only a few – the artist is also travelling a lot in relation to her second artistic career as a singer and dancer. Named “Lil Monsta” for Fefe music has become the language to speak about political problems of her country or for criticising the capitalist system. Being more explicit in words, painting and visual arts rather seem to remain the artist’s