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El Pez (aka Jose Sabate) was born in 1976 in Barcelona, where he learned to paint. He started doing Graffiti, quickly developing his own characters and the “Barcelona Happy Style” – his signature aesthetic, instantly recognisable by way of his grinning, giddy fish creatures, some with stars in their eyes. He is, in fact, known to friends as “the smiling fish” (Pez is fish in Spanish) and his artwork is full of joy and color, a celebration of school of life. His unofficial slogan reads: “Smiling since 1999.”

“My [smiling fish] character is born from experimentation, comics, ska, punk, freedom, LSD, marijuana; a character who smiles because he laughs at anti-Graffiti laws,” Pez says. “He is free and happy because he does what he wants (like me!).” Pez went from painting the streets to showing in galleries practically overnight, but the streets are still where his heart is: “Right now, one of my favourite places to paint is Miami. I love to walk around Wynwood during Art Basel week, hang out with friends, join the parties and festivals, paint walls, eat good food, exhibit my work and have fun everyday.”- Pez


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