Alonso Alcalde is an artist with many different aliases: if you discovered his work through Tra/montana1 or the monumental monograph released in 2020, you may know him by the name Patiperro2. If you’re into train-writing culture, you undoubtedly know him from way back when and by his established street name: Ale VLOK3.
Regardless of the moniker you’re familiar with, one thing is for certain: his style is unmistakable. Coming straight – or rather painstakingly, in his case – from Chile, the land of earthquakes and brave-hearted people, Ale landed in the old continent along with his camera, his talent and a strong will to leave a mark.
This website is the culmination of 5 intense years of world-wide trips, the most recent of more than 20 years dedicated to traveling: from adrenaline-filled tales to powerful action, from atmospheric photographs to paintings and amazing mixed media collages, his artistic path has developed in different yet strictly interconnected ways, thus taking the short-lived nature of his train painting one step further.
In fact, along with a personal and fully recognizable graffiti style that mixes classic lettering with pure calligraphy, the artist experimented with different avenues exploiting various media and materials — all without escaping the frame of the purest graffiti domain.
As the word writer suggests, he produced a collection of tales, entertaining and poetic without being fictitious, capable of bringing the reader into the very exclusive domain of the system hunters: expressing emotions, fears, joys and failures of people who — all too aware of breaking societys’ rules — keep the hunt for freedom of expression alive in an over-exploited world where only riches can afford to occupy the so called public space.
Every graffiti writer has to deal with photography in one way or another, since oftentimes pieces live for just the blink of an eye. Taking pictures is the only way to collect the fruits of these endless nights and days lived alongside people who, in some cases, remain friends for a lifetime.
He is among the many writers who took on the task of portraying actions and pieces seriously, to the point where they are more interested in that than the piece itself. And through this, he was able to find his own recognizable style, composed of closeups and wider fields, action shots and portraits, highlighting the mood of the moments rather than the dangers.
His portrait has been shot by the legendary Edward Nightingale, showing Ale has no fear of comparing his work to those he respects, all in the quest for his very personal recipe to show to the graffiti realm. Last but not least, collages and paintings complete the frame.
Not many artists coming from the trainbombing culture ever dared to walk the path Ale has chosen of cutting beautiful shots into bits and resampling them, just as a DJ juggles beats into standalone pieces, playing with different hand-sketched texts or cut-offs from other media. And the same happens with his paintings: while these works are much more magnified, Alonso is once again able to blend together a range of styles, making them personal and interesting, and capable of expressing a specific subject — all while maintaining his characteristic abstract aesthetic.
1 MTN quarterly magazine, featured an insight on the Patiperro book in issue 4
2 In Chilean, a globetrotter with an attitude for living a street life
3 Vida Loka, a worldwide graffiti crew whose members include Os Gemeos, Style, Finok, Japon, Remio, Mind and more.