In this episode of our AVANT/GARDE Diaries series we would like to introduce André Saraiva (also known as graffiti and street artist “Mr. A”) and his best friend and source of inspiration Olivier Zahm.
Years ago André used to tag his graffitis onto walls all over the urban landscape of Paris. Today he’s an established artist, club owner and now art director of L’Officiel homme.
“Avant garde is the opposite of the conventional, the opposite of the system […] I need the people around me to be creative and unconventional.”
André finds those qualities in his best friend Olivier Zahm, who publishes the famous Purple Magazine in Paris. Both share an outré taste when it comes to art, fashion and lifestyle and express in their sophisticated work.
Both André and Olivier are relating much to the term “avant garde” because of their eclectic view on new influences. Together they’re exploring the future of art, fashion and culture. Over the years André experienced that it needs to take risks and always step ahead, even if most of the people won’t like your ideas and would rather stay with the conventional.
In their opinion “not trying to please everyone” is a key fact in order to be unconventional.
“There is nothing to be afraid of and everything can be explored.“
As this quote induces André still goes out for incognito graffiti missions in different metropolises of the world, even though he has been caught by the police several times over the past years. Ground became especially hot in his hometown Paris, so he chose only to spray walls on demand and focuses more on his work as club owner and fashion icon.
His very outgoing personality and open and positive attitude to live made him many friends all around the world. Especially in the fashion scene he seems to know everyone and his clubs are a meeting-zone for designers, models , artists and in general: people with an open mind.