Le Dédale

Le Dédale, art circuit in the public space
Belvès, Dordogne, France, 06/2016

When I was offered to participate in the Dédale in Belvès, I went strolling the street of the village to find ideas and ways to intervene in it. Used to work in cities, to create in the streets of such a charming and harmonious little village was for me a real challenge. Quickly, I noticed the presence of a lot of unoccupied houses with windows blocked with wooden planks. I had the idea to intervene directly on these planks and old shutters to highlight the buildings without denaturing them, without touching their stones. To paint on these ephemeral supports, marginal witnesses of an interrupted activity, provides them with a certain dignity and gives them back an honorable role in the city: support for a works of art.


The Frieze

Chkondideli neighborhood
Rustavi, Georgia
October 3rd – October 11th 2013

Project curated by Tamara Bokuchava (www.socialphotocaucasus.org) and Nini Palavandishvili (www.geoair.blogspot.com) with the support of EU delegation to Georgia and Internews Georgia.

Panoramic animation (pass your mouse over the image to move it).

Based on the idea of a running frieze that would tie the neighborhood together, I painted each individual spot envisioning a design that would run from door to door. At first I thought we would ask the people and then paint, but actually the project turned out differently. The first door I decided to paint was the entrance of an abandoned house so we decided to paint it without asking permission. While I was painting this first door, locals who were passing by asked us what we were doing and started to spontaneously offer their own doors. At that point I decided that it would make more sense to just follow the flow of people offering their doors – that way I wouldn’t control the way the frieze was growing in and around the neighborhood.

Rustavi is the fourth largest city in Georgia. During the second half of the 20th century, the city was rebuilt by the Russians as an important industrial center with around 90 factories implanted on its territory. Chkondideli, the neighborhood where we worked, used to be a dormitory neighborhood for immigrants working at these factories. After 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, almost all the factories were closed down and the unemployment rate jumped to 65%. Today only two factories are still in use.


Process pictures (by Tamara Bokuchava):

Pictures by Tamara Bokuchava and Eltono.
Thanks Tamara, Nini, Data, Manu, everyone who helped to accomplish the project and of course all the residents from Chkondideli.

1/1 – Caochangdi

Red No.1 – C1 & C2, Caochangdi, Beijing, China
June 30th – August 26th 2012

Curated by Nora Jaccaud – Directed by Melle Hendrikse

The 1/1 project aims to bring contemporary art to the street and the street into the gallery. Bringing art to unexpected places has been the goal of this French artist since he started painting abstract geometric figures in the street back in 1999. At the entrance of Caochangdi there is a sign that reads “Caochangdi Art Village”. However, when Eltono came for the first time, he was surprised to find an almost tangible frontier dividing the village and the galleries. After spending a few days in Caochangdi it became clear to him that the people who come to visit the galleries often miss the village, and very few villagers go and visit the art galleries. During his one month residency in Caochangdi, Eltono decided to use his paintings to create a link between these two worlds. To begin, he mapped out the village including all of the tiny streets and alleyways, noting down all the doors he found interesting or inspiring. Entering into conversation with the villagers he explained the goal of his project and asked permission to paint their doors – this served as the first link between the artist and the village. Over the next several weeks, he spent time connecting with residents and painting, creating a path throughout the neighborhood filled with mysterious abstract images.

A selection of life size photographs, the result of Eltono’s residency, were on exhibit in C-space gallery until the end of August, 2012. The rest of the doors can still be viewed by wandering the streets of Caochangdi and following the map produced by the artist (downloadable here).

The aim of this project is to create an exchange between two groups: the art community and the local residents. Those who regularly visit art galleries are invited to have a walk in the village and enjoy the paintings in their original locations, while the residents are invited to enter the art gallery and see photographs of their doors in a new and unfamiliar context. The “1/1” title refers to the life size printed photographs of the doors as well as the one to one relationship that exists between the exhibition space and the street – for Eltono these two spaces are equally valid when it comes to displaying art. The life size photographs create the illusion of real doors and build a virtual passageway connecting the street and the gallery. Using street art as his medium, the 1/1 project by Eltono hopes to provide a platform where art is accessible to everyone.

The life-size door photographs are available for purchase through the gallery. Each photo is unique and numbered 1/1. The pictures were taken with a 6×7 medium format argentic camera and printed with giclée technique on high quality photographic paper.


草场地村的入口,有一块写着“草场地艺术村”的招牌。埃尔多诺第一次来这里的时候,他非常吃惊地发现了一个几乎看得见摸得着的界限,将村子与画廊分割开 来。在草场地度过几天之后,对他来说非常明显,来参观画廊的人往往忽略了村子,而且很少有村民来参观艺术画廊。在草场地居住的第一个月,埃尔多诺便决定用 自己的画来营造这两个世界之间的某种联系。
一开始,他在地图上标出了整个村子,包括小街道和胡同,记下了他觉得有趣或者有灵感的所有门洞。他开始与村民交谈,解释了自己这个计划的目的,请求得到准 许,在他们的门上画画——这成为艺术家与村民之间的首次联系。接下来的几个星期,他花时间建立居民与绘画之间的联系,在整个村落里营造了一条路径,充满了 神秘的抽象图案。
“1/1”这个标题,指的是按照实物大小制作的大门照片,以及在展览空间和街道之间存在的一对一的关系——对于埃尔多诺而言,在展示艺术的时候,这两个空 间同样是有效的。实物大小的照片营造了真实的大门的幻象,构建起连接街道与画廊的虚拟通道。埃尔多诺利用街头艺术作为自己的媒介,1/1计划旨在提供任何 人都能接触艺术的平台。



Process Pictures:

Photographs printing and installation:

Opening pictures:

Photos by Sierra and Eltono.
Thanks Melle, Nora, Wangfan, Lina, Cindy, Liugang, Angela & Aitor, Sierra, Alonso, Jacob, Elisa and of course: Xinkai, Haizi, Maomao, Caochandi Number 1 and all the residents of Caochangdi.

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


Tampiquito, Monterrey, México
April – May 2009

Project curated by Nrmal and El Narval

Residency project:
From April 1st to May 26th 2009
Exhibition at La galería en el Taller Mecánico:
From May 21st to July 7th, Calle Plutarco Elias Calles #419, Colonia Tampiquito,
San Pedro, NL


I’ve been invited by Nrmal and El Narval to be the first artist to participate in Residencia Tampiquito, an artistic residency in a popular neighbourhood in San Pedro (Monterrey, Nuevo León, México). I lived and painted for two months in Tampiquito and at the end we opened an exhibition in a gallery to show the result of the residency.

I painted around 50 pieces on people’s houses, had a 10 years old best friend and assistant (because of the flu, the schools were closed so Javi my neighbors’ son was helping me to paint almost everyday!), had an incredible crew working with me sorting out photos, videos, press and BBQ’s and felt very sad when I had to go back home!

If by chance you are in Monterrey, download the map of the paintings here, print it and have a walk in the awesome Tampiquito neighbourhood!

One day while I was painting, an amazing cumbia was played from a huge pick-up parked next to me. I met the owner of the car, Raúl el Tamborín, and after offering me a couple of beers, he gave me the tape as a gift! Nrmal made a mixtape out of it so everybody can enjoy it: https://nrmal.net/blog/nrmal/residencia-tampiquito-mixtape!

The project had an incredible press coverage, you can check it here:

Thanks to: Lucas (Nrmal) and Luis (El Narval), Lalo, Samuel Catherine, Screw, Huizar, Maf, Malo, Angel, Lara, Telma, Paco, the Briones Morales family, Ofimodul, all my friends that helped and all Tampiquito residents!

Direct links to the picture galleries:

1 – Paintings pictures
2 – Exhibition pictures
3 – Opening pictures
4 – Extra pictures

Pictures of the street paintings:

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Pictures of the exhibition at La Galería en el Taller Mecánico:

For the inside part of the residency, I worked on an installation, some prints and 4 wood replicas of paintings originally done in the street. With the great help of Screw, Huizar and Paco we built up the installation inspired in Tampiquito “do it yourself” architecture with typical elements we found around the neighborhood.
The replicas were made of wood and are life-size reproductions of paintings number 5, 28, 36 and 46.

More pictures on the Nrmal website:
Expo Residencia Tampiquito : Eltono

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Pictures of the opening at La Galería en el Taller Mecánico:

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Extra pictures:

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Y así nació la CUADRIMETRÍA!

Pictures are from Eduardo Hernandez (Nrmal.net), Samuel Catherine, Lucas, Luis, Telma and Eltono.

Street Art

Tate Modern
London, U.K.
May 23rd – August 25th 2008

Curated by Cedar Lewisohn and Rafael Schacter

The Street Art Walking Tour:
An urban tour of site-specific art from a group of five Madrid-based street artists: 3TTMan, Spok, Nano 4814, Eltono and Nuria Mora.

For the Walking Tour, I painted four pieces in the streets around the Tate and did the Public/Private signboards installation in collaboration with Nuria Mora.


Especially for the event, I designed a 9 colours silkscreen print, edited by the Tate Modern, you can see it in the Boutique here: www.eltono.com/en/boutique/patchwork-print

Eltono Tate Modern London

Download this map as your guide: https://www.tate.org.uk/file/street-art-exhibition-walking-tour

Puerta Lumbreras

150 doors , 15 days
Puerto Lumbreras, Murcia, Spain
August 17th – August 31st 2006

In August 2006, I’ve been invited by Miguel Angel Cayuela and the Puerto Lumbreras City Council to spend 15 days in the village and paint 150 doors in the old center. You can download the map of the doors here: Puerta Lumbreras Map.


Puerto Lumbreras, una localidad con algo más de 12.000 habitantes que durante 15 días al final de agosto del 2006 ha abierto su casco antiguo a las intervenciones que Eltono se dispuso a realizar en 150 puertas. La clave: no cubrir ni transformar el ambiente real, todo lo contrario, buscar la integración de estas intervenciones subrayando los detalles que puedan tener estas puertas en cuanto a texturas y colores, buscando dar protagonismo a esos lugares que han quedado al margen de un uso estético existente pero inapreciable para el peatón. Más detalles del proyecto aquí.

A book about the project has been edited by the City Council of Puerto Lumbreras.


Artículo en Puertolumbreras.es
Artículo del cierre del proyecto en Puertolumbreras.es