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Interview with the Argentinian Berlin-based artist Caro Pepe:

I present to my viewers my most essential truth, almost like a confession of who I am and how I feel. With that, I intend to be the trigger, to stimulate self-reflection, to facilitate the conversation with oneself, to dive deep into one’s feelings and thoughts.  

You are an Argentinian artist and muralist, based in Berlin for the last ten years. After working in advertising as an art director for several years, in both Buenos Aires and Madrid, you decided to dedicate your work full time to art, which led you to painting and exhibiting in different cities in Europe and abroad since then. Exploring the inner world and the complex nature of emotion, your art highlights the subtle power of female figures that carry an underlying symbolism and often float in the absence of backgrounds and time, always seeking the balance between naive and provocative motifs. Painting on canvas, paper and/or objects, and both small surfaces and big scale murals, you work indoor as well as outdoor and mix different techniques such as spray paint, acrylics and wall emulsion. 
Do you have an artistic education, or how did you come to art in general, and finally to art in public space? 

Although I do not have a formal artistic education, I have painted since I can remember and have attended artistic courses and workshops since I was four years old. Due to an unexpected turn of events, I ended up in Berlin and got in touch with a group of people running an urban art event. Up until then, I had never painted a wall and all of the sudden I had to paint one at the legendary Tacheles. I will remember those days forever. It took me ages to finish that wall, and the result was very far from good, but, looking back, that was the spark of everything that came afterwards.

“Her work is framed around intimacy, it’s a whispered ​truth” is noted on your website. What truth do you want to convey to the viewers? What is your main interest: stimulation of self-reflection, emotional exchange, or rethinking?

I present to my viewers my most essential truth, almost like a confession of who I am and how I feel. With that, I intend to be the trigger, to stimulate self-reflection, to facilitate the conversation with oneself, to dive deep into one’s feelings and thoughts. 

What are your sources of inspiration? Are there other artists who inspire you? 

My main source of inspiration are emotions, usually coming from my own experiences or stories I hear or read about. My body of work is based on how I process the reality around me. There are many artists that inspire me and whose work I admire deeply, like Eliza Ivanova, Helen Bur, Conor Harrington, Malakkai, and Andrew Hem, just to name a few.

Looking at your works, one quickly notices that almost all your figures are one-eyed: a symbol for our human, subjective approach and partial view on reality, from that imperfect perception we define our worlds. On which topics would you most like the world to finally open both its eyes? 

Even though for several years I have painted a one-eyed figure, more and more I’ve been adding the second eye to my creations, due to personal development. I’m aware now of many things I wasn’t before; therefore, it feels more honest to do it that way. 

Regarding your question, there are several topics that I would love for the world to finally open both eyes to. One is, for sure, this increasing tendency of homogeneous thinking. I believe this one is a very dangerous path we are embarking onto. This belief of “if you are not with me, you are against me” does not leave room for debate or understanding and, in my opinion, has the potential to escalate to a very intolerant society.

Another characteristic of your work is that you paint almost exclusively female figures in a slightly surreal environment, often carrying a strong sense of melancholy. Because you’re a woman yourself, you can best empathize with them and relate to them on an emotional level. Are there other reasons, or could even a feminist approach be read into it? 

I paint female figures because I can relate better to all the depths and layers of being a woman. There is a struggle we carry within: the mandates, the social and the self-imposed pressure, the roles we are supposed to fulfill and how we feel about them. All of these topics constitute an endless universe that I want to address over and over again. So, could a feminist approach be read into it? For sure. 

You work under your real name Caro Pepe, but people also know you under the nickname Geduldig (“patient” in German). As you say yourself, of the thousands of words you could use to describe yourself, this word best fits your actions. In what areas does this quality help you the most? Do you also approach new projects with planning and patience, or is your way of creating art more spontaneous? 

The word “Geduldig” was given to me more than I chose it myself, and I embraced it gladly. In a moment where everyone around me was improving their skills to paint “faster”, I was in a more introspective phase, and every time I approached a mural it was more like a meditation exercise. I wanted my soul to directly connect with whatever I was doing. This, of course, made me way slower than my peers, and so I became known as “Geduldig”. 

Even though I sped up my painting a bit, I kept my way of doing it. I immerse myself so deeply into my art that, every time I finish, I always have the feeling that a piece of me has been left behind. 

This quality has helped me a lot to overcome those moments of doubt and frustration that are implicit in the process of creation. It helped me to quiet those voices in my mind and keep going, because I’ve learned that, in the end, everything turns out just fine. 

When it comes to preparing projects, these days I plan them ahead. I sketch first, prepare my colors carefully, and then (half of the time) do something completely different.

Unlike art in the studio, art in public space addresses itself directly and unfiltered to all who frequent this space. What does that mean for you as an artist? What purpose must urban art fulfill, and what responsibility do you see for urban artists?

For me, painting in public spaces feels like a huge responsibility. While I’m doing it, I try to do my absolute best, as I’m bringing something out to the community. I always have in mind that I’ll be present in people’s everyday life, and I want my art to have a positive input. The purpose of urban art, in my opinion, is to make art accessible. For so many years, art was something exclusively for the elites and now it is in the streets. It’s there for everyone but belongs to nobody; it’s a shared value. 

What was your most exciting or rewarding project so far? 

I have done several exciting projects from which it is very hard to pinpoint one.

Having painted a homage for 100 years of women having the vote in the UK is, for sure, among my favorite projects.

However, the one I feel most proud of myself for how I overcame obstacles was painting a six-story building with a scaffold, while having a fever, and having to complete it in record time due to the construction schedule. I wanted to give up so many times; so many times I thought “there’s no way I can pull through this”, but I used up every last fiber of strength I had in my body and made it happen. 

Every week, I receive one or two messages of people living in the area, telling me how happy my mural makes them. That, to me, is beyond rewarding.

What are you currently working on? What plans and dreams do you have for the future? 

I’m currently focusing on exploring new techniques. I’m giving myself time to experiment without the pressure of the outcome. Being always in a rush doesn’t leave any room for doing so, although it is the one way to push one’s art forward. Parallel to this, I’m also jumping into NFTs with a platform (Metawalls) specializing in urban art that is introducing co-NFTs, a collective ownership of one piece.

In the big picture, I plan to keep on painting until the day I die. I dream of doing it all over the world.


Berlin, Germany


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Pictures © Caro Pepe


April 2022

by Laura Vetter