feeder insider w/ Pisica Pătrată
mural, illustration, street, art
Alexandru Ciubotariu aka Pisica Pătrată is one of the most appreciated illustrators and muralists in Romania, and also the founder of the Comic Books Museum. Always set to work, he draws square cats and does not keep back from challenges. His street artworks signal forgotten monuments and inspire dialogue, such as Cinema Marconi or Capitol Summer Theatre. In 2016, he launched Pisica Pătrată – an artist book, a thoughtful selection of his recent works.
When I look at the sky… it means I have time.
Where there’s no art… the walls and people suffer.
Life is for me… a big mystery.
When I’m not drawing… I’m not drawing.
Before I start a work… I make a sketch.
When I was 6 years old… I wasn’t sketching, I was freer.
When more artists gather… they’re having a good time (most of the times).
When I wake up… it’s too early in the morning.
I think that nature is… too kind to us.
More paint means… more work.
If you ride the bicycle you will make your… leg nicer.
I want a collaboration with… Branea, Noper, Kero.
feeder: Hello, great to meet you! How is it going?
Pisica Pătrată: Hello. It’s good even though it’s a more soft period because of the weather and the date in the calendar.
feeder: We would like to know what is the correlation between Alexandru Ciubotariu and Pisica Pătrată?
Pisica Pătrată: Well, Pisica Pătrată was a lucky character of mine, but, in time, I started to use it as a name especially for the creation of street art or public space interventions. And from there on, everyone knew me as mister Pisica Pătrată. This name helped me a lot, especially at the beginning when I decided to intervene in the public space because it offered me a semi-anonymity which I needed back then. Under this name, I could make technical and stylistic experiments. It was my most serious childish play and I try to keep things in this playful manner. I am Pisica Pătrată.
feeder: Why a cat and not another animal?
Pisica Pătrată: It was something purely random.
feeder: From amateur to an accomplished artist; how do you see this evolution, generally speaking and how was it in your case?
Pisica Pătrată: For me, it was kind of a predictable path. In the 3rd grade, I was already taking special drawing, arts, chromatics etc classes and later I graduated from the National Univerity of Arts, the graphics section. So I think everything was quite predictable even though it wasn’t easy.
That’s why I mentioned the necessity for artistic anonymity because I needed to offload my expectations somehow after all these classes. And this combination worked for me.
feeder: How much of your life is dedicated to drawing and what is the importance (sentimental, financial, social) of drawing for you?
Pisica Pătrată: It’s hard to say, especially because I don’t see it as a part of my life. It is my life. Everything I do, everything I feel is somehow filtered and surrounded by drawing. Even when I’m not actually drawing, everything that happens to me can be used in a future work, we can say.
feeder: What have you been drawing recently and how can you be so busy all the time?
Pisica Pătrată: I’m happy that recently I got the chance to draw more on walls and canvas but I also enjoyed doing the Greuceanu volume at Vellant publishing and Neghiniță at Casa Radio. These are works very close to my heart.
feeder: Comic books, book illustrations, street art, canvas… What is your relation with each and which is the environment closest to you?
Pisica Pătrată: As I was saying earlier, everything I do completes me and challenges me in its own way. For the sake of the argument, I’ll choose one, even though it’s really hard. Comics have a special place in my heart, but for a period I would like to make more canvas…
feeder: Life is hard as an artist and sadness can creep in at any time. Many people ask themselves how to get rid of this sadness. How do you handle things?
Pisica Pătrată: Sadness has its own place, but I have friends and family that can get me out of tough situations every time.
Neon: I think, in time, you used all of the drawing tools that there are. Which ones are your favorites? Pick one to describe it in more detail, please.
Pisica Pătrată: A recent discovery is the nib. A charming tool which can be hardly compared with anything else. After many years of digital drawing, I’m rediscovering the joy and freshness of the mark left by ink from the nib. There’s also the brush which has many qualities but many secrets too. There is the charcoal which is another technique that I discovered recently and it gave me special satisfactions. I could also say some carving techniques, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to use them, at least not recently.
feeder: You illustrated a lot of books. How is it to try to adjust yourself after a script as opposed to a free drawing, street art?
Pisica Pătrată: Even when you have a script, you have the freedom to make your own composition and graphic vision. Of course, you have to adjust to certain screenwriting coordinates but maybe this is the key to the visual reinterpretation of a written text. We’re talking about street art, sometimes this also has a rigor that needs to be followed. It could be the idea which it needs to follow the space where it will end up or the technique which will be used, all of this must be take into account.
feeder: What plans do you have for the near future?
Pisica Pătrată: I have bits and pieces of projects, many unconfirmed yet, but I hope their finality is close.
feeder: It was a pleasure and thank you! Peace in art!
Pisica Pătrată: Thank you! Peace!
Words by Neon (feeder)
Photos re:art, Pisica Pătrată, VJ VLC (feeder)