Horizontal printing system using street movements. Each print is exposed to traffic for at least one hour.

Photos: Eric Surmont et Eltono
Videos: Victor Thiré

Promenades Journal

Ongoing project
November 2013 – today

The Promenades Project is about walking, observation and spontaneity. It’s about wandering in the city with no pressure, no time limit, no goal apart from walking and enjoying it. It’s about walking with total freedom of time and space to be able to do all that things that you always want to do but you don’t because you have no time. It’s about moving crosscurrent in the city with time for contemplation to be able to observe details that most people don’t notice.



Rule #1: Walk and, if possible, create something on the way.
Rule #2: Only use material found during the walk – the only material I allow myself to bring is for
documentation (notebook, phone, camera) and a bag.
Rule #3: Only execute ideas created during the walk – or a predecessor walk.
Rule #4: Enjoy the walk.

This journal is a straight chronological transcription of what happened during each walk.


On going project – Eggshell stickers and fadeproof marker

One Minute Before

Since I started painting geometric shapes using masking tape I have always found the moment right before pulling the tape off very interesting. At first, it looks a bit uncontrolled and messy but with a closer look, you can already begin to see an organized structure among the chaos of the tape and paint. Because painting in the street (for obvious reasons) has to be a quick action, this moment where the paint and the tape exist simultaneously is always extremely short. The idea for this new series called “One Minute Before” is to generate a collection of drawings based on the re-creation of this brief moment just before the tape is pulled off and the painting is revealed – a moment that, apart from myself, very few people have ever seen. All the drawings are based on real paintings that exist or have existed in the street, most of them painted illegally.

The first three drawings of this series were created in Beijing in June 2013 using pencil, acrylic and watercolor on paper.

This new series of work was presented to the public for the first time during the Wooster Collective 10th Anniversary Show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York in August of 2013.

To ask about availability and prices of these artworks, please write an email to: artworks@eltono.com

The Barrios Project

I have always been fascinated by auto-construction. From the gate at the end of a garden to a brick house found on the slope of a hill in Brazil. This type of architecture is immediate, organic, it expands in an almost natural way. This urban fabric’s apparent chaos is often more human than one found in a city where the construction follows standard urban planning. Aesthetically speaking, worn out textures and the discovery of a variety of materials (bricks, cement blocks, metal panels, wooden slabs…) have always attracted me as an artistic surface.


The Barrios project began in April of 2006 when, invited by some friends, Nuria Mora and I painted in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. After exchanging ideas with the residents, I was very pleased to see that they were so receptive to what I was painting. They really appreciated the colors and the composition. This positive reaction led me to reflect on Contemporary Art and specifically its access to the public. It was obvious that, unfortunetly, the residents of the favela didn’t often visit museums or art galleries. Even though the appreciation of a work of art is universal, access to art itself is not. Since then, it has become a special mission for me to bring contemporary art to places where there is none. When discussing this with my friend Nazza, a fellow artist, he said, “what is the point of painting in the street in the center of Buenos Aires where people have money and can buy art and pay to enter museums, I only paint on the outskirts of the city.” He is completely right… Why give art for free to the people who need it the least? Where people really need art is in the Barrios!

This is not about outside eyes prying, or looking into a foreign world. My idea is to create a dialogue with the residents and enrich their daily lives by providing them with a humble gift. Sharing with them what I know and receiving what they can teach me. With Barrios, the human experience is always more rewarding for me than the artistic experience.

Barrios is an open project in constant development, more interventions and publications will come in the future. Of course, any idea or proposal is welcome as I am always looking to find new opportunities to make art more democratic.

Below you will find photographic galleries of six projects that I have developed within the framework of Barrios up until now. The photos were taken by project organizers, friends, neighbors and a few are my own.

Gardiena Azul

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 04/2006
In collaboration with Nuria Mora
More details: www.eltono.com/projects/gardenia-azul

Puerto Lumbreras

Murcia, Spain, 08/2006
Two week artistic residence within the neighborhood
In collaboration with Emece and Puerto Lumbreras City Council
A book about the project has been edited by the city council:
More details: www.eltono.com/projects/puerta-lumbreras

Huasteca, Santa Catarina and Espinazo

Nuevo León, Mexico, 11/2007
Paintings made with the help of Nrmal, Maf and Screw

Puerto Vallarta

Jalisco, Mexico, 10/2008
Ten day artistic residence
In collaboration with Paco Rosas and Libelulart
More details: www.eltono.com/projects/puerto-vallarta


Monterrey, Mexico, 04/2009
Two-month artistic residence within the neighborhood
In collaboration with Nrmal and El Narval
More details: www.eltono.com/projects/residencia-tampiquito

Villa Urquiza and La Matanza

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 12/2007 and 04/2010
Paintings made with the help of Nazza Stencil

We were returning to my friend Nazza’s home after painting, when we ran into the neighbor´s children playing football against a wall in front of the house. I paint lines, we had white paint and we were walking through a neighborhood in Argentina… It was pretty obvious that I would end up painting a goal on the wall! This is probably the most interactive piece I have ever painted.

Caochangdi – 草场地

Caochangdi, Beijing, China, 06/2012
1/1 Project with C-Space gallery
More details here: www.eltono.com/en/projects/1-1-caochangdi


Ongoing project
Started in September 2011

I have always been fascinated by all the marks, traces and treads that our daily movements leave throughout a city. The idea behind TRACES is to observe and somehow try to register these types of marks. For this purpose, I am working on some experiments that allow for the possible appearance of shapes and lines by exploiting these daily movements.

The first experiment is called Gravure au sol (ground engraving). The idea was to generate graphic works using the city as a studio. The four first attempts with a satisfactory result were executed on the asphalt of three streets (one in France and two in China) registering the passage of cars, motorbikes, bikes and a few pedestrians.

TRACES – experiment 1: Gravure au sol #1

Asphalt engraving on card, 18 cm x 28 cm.
13/09/2011 from 14h25 to 20h20, road D54, France.
Most of the marks were left by cars.

TRACES – experiment 1: Gravure au sol #2

Asphalt engraving on Canson Paper, 18 cm x 28 cm.
14/09/2011 from 9h32 to 16h54, road D54, France.
Most of the marks were left by cars.

TRACES – experiment 1: Gravure au sol #3

Asphalt engraving on Sumiaozhi-8K 160g Paper, 18 cm x 28 cm.
19/10/2011 from 15h00 to 16h19, 学院路 (Xueyuanlu), Beijing, China.
Most of the marks were left by bikes and bicycles.

TRACES – experiment 1: Gravure au sol #4

Asphalt engraving on Sumiaozhi-8K 160g Paper, 18 cm x 28 cm.
24/10/2011 from 15h48 to 16h45, 展春园西路 (Zhanchunyuanxilu), Beijing, China.
Most of the marks were left by cars.

I am in the process of conducting further experiments at this time. As soon as I obtain some more interesting results, I will post more examples.

As the results for these first experiments from the TRACES project are recoverable, they will be available for purchase, with my other graphic works, at the Boutique on this website.

Ropa de Trabajo (Workwear)

After so many painting projects throughout the years, I now have a huge collection of paint stained work clothes. It seemed incredible to me how quickly my clothes were covered in paint. Therefore I came up with the idea to start this new experiment called Ropa de Trabajo (Work Clothes). I realized it could be another way to create something that evolves on it’s own without me controlling the final result. As in many of my projects during the past few years, I found it interesting the delegation of the role of the artist as spectator in the creation of his own artwork.

Ropa de Trabajo #1 has been generated during the exhibition Murals at the Fundacion Miro.
Barcelona, Spain, February 2010.

Ropa de Trabajo #2 has been generated during the following projects: Festival Nrmal in Monterrey, Mexico, The Underbelly Project in New York, U.S.A., Postgraffiti, Geometría y Abstracción in A Coruña, Spain and Intervenciones Urbanas Iberoamericanas in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
From March to April 2010.

Ropa de Trabajo #3 has been generated during the exhibition Sala de Arte Joven 2.0 at the Sala de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Madrid, Spain, April 2010.