Pablo Perra entered the art game as a child by making his own playable sculpture, to fill in for his parents refusal to buy him a Saint Seiya toy. Later as a teen Pablo entered the world of street art to add some spice to his small-town boredom.
As an adult Pablo studied at the Art Academy in Milan and shortly after graduating escaped to Berlin.
In Berlin Pablo promptly flourished in his new surroundings, gaining press and praise for his many solo artistic ventures – large sculptural works, cartoons, fine art and everything in between.
Later Pablo came into contact with Germany’s ‘King-o-Toys’, Mr. Lucas Rellecke – owner of the ‘Toy Sector‘ shop in Berlin. Almost immediately the two bonded over a shared love of pop-culture ephemera, art and vintage plastic.
Shortly after Pablo and Lucas’s meeting ‘Goodleg Toys‘ was born, a collaborative artistic outlet between the pair that presented Pablo with a creative outlet unique from his solo work.
(Picture below of ‘Rainbow Powder’ a 2013 limited to 15 print work by Pablo Perra)
Currently Pablo is getting his Art Hustle on hard in 2013, with international and local shows with ‘Goodleg Toys’, recent collaborations with artist Ralph Niese, a new personal studio equipped with screen-press and a brain continually spilling over with ideas.
So get schooled on Pablo Perra’s many artistic ventures, by reading the interview below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Pablo Perra, February 12th . 1982
City, State n Country you’re Repping?
I´m coming from a small town in the italian alps called Bolzano but i think it’s more Berlin that i’m representing anyways.
(Picture below of a one off sculpted work by Pablo, from his Infraworld series)
Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Perra’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.
* age 10 – pre pubes:
Hah, that’s funny… when i was 8 or something i fell in love with manga stuff like Saint Seiya. They were called “Cavalieri dell Zodiaco” in italy.
As the action figures came out i wanted them so bad but my parents told me i had to wait until christmas…
So i took an old G.I.Joe fig and started building a Saint Seiya like armor for it made of copper-sheets, cutting and bending the shit out of it.
When i first showed my creation at school, telling everybody that this was a original Saint Seiya figure, most of my schoolmates avoided those figures as christmaspresent, thinking they were pretty poorly produced.
* age 15 – pube rage:
I was always into drawing. Then Skateboarding came along with Snowboarding and the Weed and the Girls and all that stuff….. It seem like we did all the same in those days. oh yes…. graffiti.
Even though it was more “bombing” and “tagging” and possibly ruin something.
We were pretty bored back then.
* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:
So that’s where i got into art.
I always rejected being an “artist” and back then i wanted to study design or something but i was too late for university matriculation that year and to avoid to serve the armed forces i found no other way to start studying at the Art Accademy in Milan.
Then Streetart started there with Bo130, Microbo, Abbominevole, Ozmo… and as soon as i could i escaped to Germany where i still live.
(Picture below of Pablo’s work in Auditorium Magazine’s Black and White issue from October 2013)
I break my own rules and mottos all the time so there is none.
Dilla, MAdlib, Flying Lotus, Apollo Brown, Trance Farmers (Purple Hay), Morricone stuff, AcDc, blablabla….
Mostly beatmakers stuff in the end…
…and everything i can dance to until sunday evening in Berghain completely fucked up with my bros.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Breaking Bad was the Shit!, Twin Peaks, Mario (a hilarious italian series), East bound & down… stuff like that.
Oh yes and ALF ! and Married with children… Jefferson is the man! and Southpark of course, especially everything with Randy Marsh.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
none, but my brother loves A.S. Roma so i guess that’s also my team somehow.
Most Tarantino movies, some Rodriguez stuff, Lynch, Wes Anderson, Carpenters first works and so on.
The last one i really liked was VHS2 ! the thirt short was incredible and so was the last one that was directed by Jason Eisener ( Hobo with a Shotgun ).
Favorite books and comics?
Everything that Charles Burns did.
Specifics on Art
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
It does not follow any rules so i consider it art.
(Picture below of a cartoon piece, by Pablo)
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (sculptures, drawings, paintings, anything)?
I always needed to express myself in some way, most of it it was something visual so i think in the end, even if i did not consider myself an artist back in the days now i can’t find a better word to describe what i am doing.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
When i sarted to earn my money with it.
But it is still kinda hard sometimes so i started to spread into different directions.
The whole toy thing we got now with Goodleg Toys is a new way for me to do things and i really enjoy it.
Then sometimes i work for some friends of mine called “Sculpture Berlin” and we build gigantic sculptures for artists all around the world and lately i started my own Fanzine project called “the goldielocks sine” featuring diverse artists or just interesting people all around the globe.
First issue is coming soon by the way. I’ll keep you updated for that!
Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?
My parents first of all! My mother is a designer and all around talent and my father a photographer so i grew up surrounded by creative people.
The first 10 years of my life they took me everywhere with them to shows like the Venice Biennale and stuff….
Then of course the Accademy of fine arts in Milan and after that the one in Braunschweig, Germany.
We make toys. We like it rough.
Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?
I love the Chapman Brothers, Katsuhiro Otomo, Charles Burns, Hieronymus Bosch and i still think Banksy is doing amazing stuff…
Then a friend of mine called Zhivago Duncan and the newest discoveries are Ralph Niese and Alexis Ziritt…Maaaan i need that Mekano Turbo Comic !
Luigi Presicce was a highlight for me back in Milan and also Abbominevole and Ozmo.
There is a lot of other peeps here in Berlin that i like a lot, but too many to write them all down.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
Galleries that are too busy and overchallenged to push their artists properly.
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
It’s what you make out of it…
Pablo Perra Art Questions
Describe the method of making a Pablo Perra piece…
– your cartoons?
(Picture below of Pablo’s work desk, mid creation)
i just start with a panel, lay down the pencils, smoke a spliff, watch a documentary, listen to something and things come along…
– your highly detailed large illustrative pieces?
it’s mostly the same procedure.
– your sculpted art toys?
That’s more a back and forth thing with Luke. I sculpt something then we share pics over the internet or we meet, then i sculpt some more, Luke comes up with some ideas, i come up with some other stuff and in the end we get what we wanted.
Sometimes i just sculpt something without showing him and he does the same until it´s finished and then we decide what to do with it….. it’s a 50/50 balance between us and i like that a lot.
It is the first time that i share my work with somebody else.
Luke has the knowledge about the whole scene and all the figures in Toy-history and stuff…. he’s the Top-partner for that !
– your large sculptures?
Man, those are a pain in the ass….. my old studio is filled with them and honestly i can’t afford to make new ones because i need to get rid of the existing ones.
I sold a couple of them but that’s still not enough, so until they are here in my studio i wont do stuff like that anymore.
(Pictures below of a very very large sculpture, by Pablo)
Your large, ongoing mixed media work ‘Infraworld’ is HUGE. And encompasses so so so many artistic styles – comics, art toys, sculptural works…
– what is ‘Infraworld’?
Infraworld was the name i gave my first studio here in Berlin.
It was my hideout after a really hard time i had here in Germany and i pretty much started a “new” Pablo Perra in there.
So Infraworld became a kind of label for me and i started to work with different media under that name.
– why the decision to create an ongoing, seemingly never ending art-piece?
Actually i wanted to do a show called Infraworld here in Berlin creating some kind of “nerdy”-shop in an abandoned store somewhere around the city displaying everything from self-made Infraworld-comics, to Infraworld-T-shirts, Infraworld-Actionfigures, Infraworld-Shortmovies and so on….
I just need more time, but the idea is still there.
I know that ‘Goodleg Toys’ is made up of yourself and your friend in toys Luke Toywalker…
– what roles do you each play within ‘Goodleg’?
(Picture below of a table filled with ‘Goodleg Toys’ pieces)
We both come up with concepts.
At the beginning I was the sculpting guy and Luke did the internet, commercial, socialnetworking stuff.
Now we both paint, sculpt, mold, cast….. we do a little bit of everything.
(Picture below of a ‘Goodleg Toys’ War on Prehis resin work 2-Pack)
– how and why did you and Luke team up? – I am interested in your take after hearing Luke’s!
Actually we met a couple of years ago at a fleamarket.
I was looking for toys to cut into pieces and there was this guy sitting behind a massive amount of toys on his table.
I wanted a Skeletor on Pantor Set but i didn’t buy it in the end…
anyway, a year later i organized a massive exhibition in Berlin with a bunch of friends in this 1300 squaremeter hall.
Luke’s brother saw the Infraworld- installation and hooked us up.
At first i thought i had found a good connection for buying toys here in Berlin… but then everything went differently.
‘Goodleg Toys’ + Pablo Perra General Questions
‘Goodleg Toys’ was involved in an art-show back in May and a second one (upcoming at time of interview) in October 2013 in Berlin, Germany that was presented by Jungbusch…
– how were your resin pieces regarded by the Berlin art world?
Very good actually.
We had no expectations at all, but the feedback was really good and everybody was super-interested in what, how, where…. and, and, and.
So we started to realize that maybe we were doing more than just toys.
Most of the people at the show were comparing it with art.
I think we are in between of two worlds right now… it’s a grey-area.
(Picture below of the poster for the October 2013 ‘Goodleg Toys’ art show at Jungbusch Art Space)
– why the decision to present your pieces, in a formal art space?
Actually Jungbusch is a bar that shows art.
The guys in there pick different artists, styles and ideas and show them in their space. They do a good job.
Usually i’m not that much into showing stuff in a place like a bar, but in this case it really worked. We reached lots of people and it was a super fun-night!
While i am writing this we are carrying the new figs to Jungbusch for our second annual show there. We’ll see what happens!
What are the best and worst aspects of the Berlin art scene?
The best aspect is that there is so many artists and similar here in the city that you can’t avoid getting inspired everywhere. Overload of Creativity…..
At the same time that can also be the worst aspect.
Why, in your opinion, is Berlin such a magnet for artists these days?
Rent is cheap and Life is cheap. That is how it got started and suddenly the whole artworld wanted to come here. Now things are changing, everyone wants a piece of the pie… and there is not much left i think.
Somebody has to bake a new one.
What was it like growing up as a child in Bolzano, Italy?
Oh man. Probably the best childhood possible.
I mean, Mountains, fresh air, nature, lots of friends, skateboarding, snowboarding…it was beautiful.
Back then i always wanted to live somewhere else though. You know, neighbors grass is always greener…hehe.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Europe?
Colored ! There is 47 Countries in Europe, most of them speak different languages and follow different cultures. And it’s all reachable in a couple of hours !
Top 3. maybe…… really i don’t know. I don’t even know if there could be a ranking-order.
Maybe that was not even your question….
…but there is worst.
(Pictures below of Pablo’s original art + the later finished picture, for ‘Goodleg Toys’ War on Prehis line)
What are your thoughts on the current status of the art-toy ‘scene’, and why?
It’s tuff… i just started with this whole thing here… i did not know about the toy-scene since last year.
I saw that there is a lot of interesting people out there doing really nice things and being a big inspiration for lots of people.
At the same time there is a lot of hate involved sometimes.
I do not really understand why but it looks like lots of people try to hide something, keeping everything for themselves…..they are scared of letting their baby grow… do you understand what i mean?
Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?
It’s a new way for art to be accessible. I think this is a good thing but the two scenes are still two different worlds. We’ll see what the future brings us.
Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)
Muckman and Joe Eyeball, no doubt.
(Picture below of the TMNT – Muckman and Joe Eyeball figure from 1990, by ‘Playmates’)
What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter-Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?
My family stands behind all the shit i do and they always pushed me wherever i wanted to go!
I don’t feel like an adolescent-peterpan-syndrome…thing.
I started a company, improved my work-flow and i think i am sitting in the right train to realize my dreamfuture.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Talking about Goodleg, for sure some stuff with Ralph Niese and Lee from Bigmantoys.
For all the rest i don’t know… i like to do my own stuff by myself.
Any major projects you want to hype man?
Of course! there is an A2 doublepage drawing coming out in the new issue of “Stijl Royal” magazine, check that out if you can, then four doublepages in the new “Auditorium” magazine.
My own fanzine creation is coming soon. It’s called the Goldielocks-zine and the first issue is featuring friends/artists like Zhivago Duncan, Alexis Ziritt, Kalin Lindena, Fubbi Karlsson ecc.
I am still working on my first long, long comic… and i just set up my new studio.
Screenprinter included ! so watch out!
Pablo Perra – ‘Such a Disgrace’ blog
Goodleg Toys – Site
Goodleg Toys – Facebook
Goodleg Toys – Online Shop