Spanish Artist Alehsy Loves Fast and Furious and the Sunshine in NYC
For our NYFW-kickoff dinner hosted by Paloma Elsesser to celebrate her new Vans “Classic Since Forever” campaign, we decided to bring Spanish artist Alehsy to customize a variety of Vans core classic sneakers for our party guests. The mysterious artist—he rarely shows his face to the public or creates commercial work—traded his holiday in Malaga for some time out in the gritty streets of Manhattan. This being only his second trip to New York City, we called him up for a chat about finding inspiration in the Fast and Furious movies, the right time to hit the streets, and his rules for Instagram.
INTERVIEW: Where are you calling from today?
ALEHSY LAMBO: I’m in New York. I came here when Interview contacted me for the event, to paint Vans for the dinner at Raoul’s. Also for holiday and Fashion Week, a lot of things coming up.
INTERVIEW: When was the last time you were in New York?
LAMBO: I was here before Covid in 2019. It was actually my first time. I’m from Barcelona.
INTERVIEW: So what do you like about New York so far?
LAMBO: The city is the people. I really like the vibe of the people here. The sunshine, especially, is very intense here in New York and in the States. It shines so much. That’s my favorite thing, the sun.
INTERVIEW: Did you always know you were going to be an artist?
LAMBO: Not really. It just came up organically. When I was a kid I was so inspired by the underground scene, so started painting graffiti when I was 14. By the time turned 20, I started tattooing. Then it became popular to work on canvasses, then collaborations—everything came so organically. I didn’t pretend to be an artist. I don’t even call myself one now.
INTERVIEW: How many tattoos do you have?
LAMBO: Me? A lot [Laughs]. I’ve never counted.
INTERVIEW: Can you tell me why you fell in love with graffiti and tattoos?
LAMBO: I don’t know if I fell in love with graffiti. I just did it because it was cool to write my name on the walls and shit. I love it and I hate it. I don’t identify as a graffiti artist. I’m an artist—I do graffiti, I do tattoos, and I have so much fun in the streets. Graffiti is just a way to blow your mind and forget about some things.
INTERVIEW: What do you practice more now?
LAMBO: I’m not tattooing right now, I’m more painting on canvas, making sculptures, working on collabs. I forgot about tattooing for a while this year. I was more focused on canvas and the galleries.
INTERVIEW: Where do you find inspiration for the canvas you make?
LAMBO: In the streets and on the internet. Sometimes I find the inspiration in movies, because I like to find iconic scenes. I like to manipulate them and take them into my own personal work. I’m also a photographer, so I like to take pictures of the stuff that inspires me. I like movies with cars like Fast and Furious.
INTERVIEW: I see the references all over your Instagram.
LAMBO: Yeah, it’s one of the first movies I saw when I was a kid, and that really boost me in my career. The style that all the people were wearing, the vibe of the characters, and the cars. Everything was a vibe.
INTERVIEW: Did you have a favorite artist growing up?
LAMBO: Not really. I have those idols that I really love. My last idol was [Salvador] Dali. I love this guy so much. Picasso as well. I was born in Sevilla, in the south of Spain. The first artist that crossed my mind was Picasso because he was from Malaga, and he’s a worldwide star. But I love Dali, his character. His way of approaching art. I don’t consider myself an artist just because of my paintings. You can be an artist and you have no idea to paint. You can be an artist and you just make fun of yourself.
INTERVIEW: What are you obsessed with right now?
INTERVIEW: Any particular color?
LAMBO: Primary colors. And with food.
INTERVIEW: So, fries or no fries?
LAMBO: Fries always. French fries, please. Double ration.
INTERVIEW: Any sauce?
LAMBO: Mayo or truffle mayo.
INTERVIEW: Who do you like to follow on Instagram?
LAMBO: Oh, that’s a nice question, because I don’t like to follow anyone on Instagram. I hate to press that button, man, but I have to. I like to follow some funny content of my friends exclusively. No media, no bullshit, no stress. Just love. And no references. I don’t like to follow artists.
INTERVIEW: So what is next for you?
LAMBO: Who knows? I don’t like to know what’s next. I didn’t even know I’d be here a week ago. I was on holiday when Interview called me. I think that’s the way I like to do my life.
INTERVIEW: So you said that you’ve got a lot of inspiration from the street. I’m wondering, what is the best time to hit the streets?
LAMBO: Past midnight. You see shit you’ve never seen before.