“Too risky, too dreamy” – Tito/Mulk

“This part is total freestyle. There’s no sketch. It is like an infinite conversation where what the other just drew gives you a new idea for your next drawing and vice-versa.
This is only possible because we have incredible compatibility.”

We’ve likely heard from our parents or the voice of misleading reason in our heads: Study something practical to fall back on in case your dreams don’t come true. This voice echoes longer and louder for artists. “Too risky, too dreamy” thought both TITO/MULK, artist duo, at the pursuit of a career in art. They decided upon graphic design as a means of rationality but shortly after meeting in 2013 discovered they had long since tired of their work and that they possess unique chemistry. Drawing together during moments of boredom while working as art directors at Publicis in Paris, Tito and Mulk joined forces.

Their work, consisting of sculptures, street art, paintings and beyond, is a dual act executed by an initial discussion regarding the overall concept they wish to develop, according to Tito this process lasts approximately 15 minutes. Followed by quick planning they begin to freestyle drawings on opposite ends, often meeting in the center while inspiring each other simultaneously. Their style: black-inked images predominantly over white background in elaborate detail of life and death, saints and sinners, childhood cartoons on the periphery of nudity, and all other aesthetically pleasing versus taboo images we’ve accrued from infancy to adulthood produce a morphed yin-yang. A larger image constructed by innumerable caricatures intended for reflection of self and milieu.

Upon meeting, Tito and Mulk discovered that ennui for the sake of practicality could be cured by creating together. The aspiration of becoming artists seemed to peer over the horizon on a slow but steady ascent.

“It’s been really therapeutic because it made us realize that we both are artists.
It is a very long process to accept yourself as an artist, and you’ll only achieve it by creating, meeting people and other artists and growing from it.”

Since 2017, they’ve shared space at 59 Rivoli – arguably the most famous art squat in France, where they design and connect with other artists and their viewers. A relatively new experience for Tito and Mulk has been creating street art for the past year and a half. They describe it as being an incomparable sensation to receive the energy of the public during their artistic process. The finished product resulting in a tidal wave of imagery, consuming yet flowing naturally as if placed there to remind us of all we know but daily forget.

TITO/MULK’s edifying constructs adorn cities such as Amsterdam, Chengdu, and of course, their home – Paris. For the remainder of this year, their projects have been postponed due to COVID-19 but they express their belief that we will emerge better humans post-pandemic. Despite not being able to create jointly due to active quarantine measures, we anticipate with enthusiasm the surreal depictions they’ll design at the end of these tumultuous times.

All pictures by Tito/Mulk.
Text by Romina Bertetti.
Curated by Romina Bertetti.

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