Sawe | Affenfaust Galerie
Marti Sawe | Affenfaust Galerie
Marti Sawe | Affenfaust Galerie

Marti Sawe

The artist SAWE was born in Barcelona in 1986. He began to write graffiti at the age of 14, a practice he continues to this day and that was to radically transform his perception of the city. He studied illustration at the La Massana art school. Following his studies, graffiti provided him with the means to combine his work as an illustrator with travel and exhibitions throughout the world. The contrast between the technique, control, and discipline he learned from illustration and the irreverence, flow, and inhibition of graffiti is clear in all his work. His letters and drawings break from the norm and are never formulaic.

A tireless explorer, SAWE taught himself animation and founded the MANSON audiovisual studio in 2014, together with three other artists. His career includes four productive years immersed in the animation world, working with leading brands and artists to produce adverts and video clips, and as an art director… In 2018, following his first solo exhibition in New York, he decided to focus exclusively on his career as an artist: painting, murals, sculpture, installations, video-art…


From an early age, people always told me I was good at drawing, that it was better to buy me clothes than invite me for dinner. Maybe that’s why I’m always drawing food. From an early age, I knew my vocation would be related to drawing. And so it was. After studying illustration at art school, I spent more than ten years working as an illustrator, muralist and, most recently, as an art and animation director. Years of intense work that supplied me with many points of reference and influence. The result is an eclectic imaginary that arouses curiosity as it’s digested. I believe this has led me to a state of continuous enquiry, a yearning to seek beyond my comfort zones. However, I eventually reached a point at which I decided to cut back on my work to focus on myself and find my own language in the world of art. 

Almost involuntarily, graffiti is present in everything I do. I’ve been doing graffiti for 14 years and it’s still a big part of my daily life. I’ve built my life, my friends, my lifestyle in the city, a feeling of freedom… all around this hobby. It means that many people know me as SAWE. I’ve also been able to develop my own style of letters, a style quite different from the norm. 

Although figurative, my work seldom accounts for the reality around us. I’m not interested in capturing the world as my eyes see it. My work can often seem dreamy as I try to listen to my subconscious as freely as possible, influenced by outsider artists such as Martín Ramírez, Bill Taylor, Ataa Oko and Adolf Wölfli, for their intrinsic motivation, their spontaneity, their freedom and their uninhibited use of materials. My influences also include major figures like Picasso and Karel Apple. 

My subconscious is always joking around and after a cursory glance, my works reveal themselves to be sprinkled with humour, satire and irony. I like this humour to be subtle, providing the viewer with space for their own reading and reflection.

From painting to video-art, including sculpture, murals and installations, I try to avoid barriers and to enjoy all the different processes. 

Shows mit Marti Sawe

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