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Marriage between social and street art: interview with Greg Goya

Can we talk about social media as a means of artistic expression? We interviewed Greg Goya, Turin street artist, creator of fast art


Hey, Greg, how are you?

Hello! Well, even if it is a hectic and tiring period: doing street art with the temperatures of these days is very difficult!

I would start from the nickname, Greg Goya: link with the Spanish painter or simple assonance?

I should make up a shocking story behind this choice! Goya was certainly an extraordinary painter, but he is not part of my personal top 5 of artists: I wanted to tell myself but anonymously; I needed a cover name. I wanted it to focus on what I did and not on my name (not that I’m the son of famous people). Then it also reminds me to keep the bar high, I say it without pride: it is to remind me to always do well and great what I do.

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Un post condiviso da Greg Goya (@greg_goya)

Who is Greg besides Greg Goya?

He is a twenty-four-year-old from Turin to the fourth year of Law that, for about three and a half years, has started to make art on the street.

Did you start with custom sneakers?

Yes exactly, although I like to talk more about sneakers art.

What is the difference?

Everything lies in the approach: I did not work on commission, so the meaning of custom, literally customer, falls. I tried to make art as engaging as possible, where the meaning of the graphics I went to draw and not the aesthetics of the final object mattered more.

An approach that already emerged from some projects (I think the shoe Eidon) something more than the art object, a real performance.

Absolutely! The working model applied in the fashion industry is the same as today that I do street.

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Un post condiviso da Greg Goya (@greg_goya)

When the transition from the world of sneakers to that of street art? What were the needs that pushed you to this transformation?

From the beginning I wanted to do street. It was 2022, for four years I worked in fashion, also with important collaborations. I was coming back from an Armani Exchange event, a very tiring environment and activity, even if it’s hard to believe; I remember thinkingI’m fucking sick: now I throw everything away and street use social media”.

A change not just! I guess it was not easy to make this decision...

Actually, it was so belly-deep, I didn’t immediately think about the possible consequences. It was a very important change, on a personal and above all working level; to put it bluntly: I used to eat with what I did. Even on social media it was not easy: the algorithm and the audience are in their own way conservative; they are not very favourable to the great upheavals.

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Un post condiviso da Greg Goya (@greg_goya)

Do you remember the first installation?

It’s called Kiss stop, designed for TikTok, the fastest social. I drew a heart to Murazzi, urban area in the heart of Turin, with an inscription inside: kiss here. I watched and filmed the kisses, published everything: a million views in no time. It was beautiful live; it was beautiful online: a technically easy but highly impactful work. It gave me an incredible determination to continue.

How many fast art performances a week?

At least two: since social media is a fundamental part of my performance, I must be at their own pace.

Is it something you suffer or something that motivates you?

Both. In what I do there are many variables that can affect the realization of an installation: climate, flow of passers-by, reactions to the work... The rhythms are very high, but I have a lot of fun!

@greggoya tag who you want to kiss #streetart ♬ Another Love (slowed reverb) - Lrozen

What are the themes you like to treat? As a Turin citizen who comes across your installations, I would say more “what are the feelings”.

I do a lot of romantic art: talking about love is universal. I take Tumblr-core very much: it is in all respects an artistic current born on social networks, an entire aesthetic apparatus that has no equal. If you ask boys of our age, everyone knows how to associate Tumblr aesthetics with precise songs, a precise photographic style, even a writing style.

I have respect for street art and before making socio-political criticism, I still have to mature artistically: sensitize on a topic, do it well, it is not easy. We’re all a little touchy.

Don’t tell me you have haters!

No shortage, absolutely! Although I use washable paint and my works fade in the rain, I am accused of soiling the city. I’ve made my bones.

What you do is halfway between an art object and a reaction to that object: how much of these two elements are there in every performance?

They are two indissoluble elements: performance is designed offline for social media, becomes an offline installation, and then returns to the network. Somehow it survives time: the comments section of my posts keeps that work alive. It is such an important component, that in an installation at the Street Art Museum in Narni, at his side, a panel with the comments section in real time was placed.

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Un post condiviso da Greg Goya (@greg_goya)

Is there a reaction to your work, live, that you remember in a particular way?

At the Reggia di Venaria I installed a white bench with the words “if you could choose, who would you like to sit here with you?”: Anyone passing by could write the answer. There was a wonderful silence, people slowly started writing; then a gentleman in his eighties approached, accompanied by his daughter. Write the name of the mother” says the daughter, and the father while doing it, burst into tears: he didn’t care about me, probably didn’t even know what social media were; it was just him and the work of art at that time.

And the funniest reaction?

I had installed an emergency box with a bottle of wine inside; on the glass the writing “in case of broken heart, break the glass”. Usually, this kind of work lasts forty minutes, then some fans steal everything; that time I get a selfie video of a guy: “Bro I don’t hate your art, but my girlfriend dumped me and there it was written that I had to break the glass and I did it!”.

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Un post condiviso da Greg Goya (@greg_goya)

One last question, taken from your installation, Take a message from your future”: which message would Greg Goya like to catch?

I’m too young for aphorisms! I can think of two. On a business level, I’d like to talk to Greg Goya about the future, established in a tough and hairy industry, thanks to the strength of their community.

And the second one?

It’s about what I do, but in a more personal light. Artists tend to have two goals: conquer the world and change it; making art for themselves has no sense, it is masturbation. I would like to maintain the immediacy of what I do, to see people who, with my fast art, improve their lives a bit.



Image Greg Goya