NACHO & LEON
Two of my favorite things are art and technology which is why I was excited to chat with the founders of Miami based company Mussa for this edition of #behindbasel. Ignacio “Nacho” Lopez and Leon Posada founded Mussa towards the end of 2016, with the intention of integrating augmented reality (AR) into the work of creative professionals. They describe the Miami art scene as being a mix of traditional and the innovative, with a bit of “tropical salt, pepper, and Cuban coffee.”
Mussa specializes in the integration of AR with street art and print media. Their projects range from murals to magazines and can be seen in several cities across the US and in Europe. Using their combined experience of architecture, 3d modeling, advertising, and online marketing, Lopez and Posada create comprehensive AR solutions across a wide spectrum of creative industries.
It isn’t easy being an artist, especially in a world where so many prospective clients expect to get everything for free. This seems to be particularly true in the urban art scene, which despite its strong presence in cities like Miami is packed with artists struggling to make ends meet. At Mussa, we are actively working to change that.
Mussa team working at 360 Spaces. A collection of collaborative offices in Miami.
What does Art Basel season mean to you?
Art Basel offers new artists a path to recognition, even if they can’t afford to attend any of the main events. It brings the city to life in a new light. If an artist can find a way to highlight his or her work, this light will maximize all their efforts during and after that week. That’s why we love launching new projects during the week. We use our technology as a tool to bring attention to the work of amazing artists, and do so in a way that is both meaningful and memorable to locals and visitors to the city.
How would you describe your taste in Art?
We have a weak spot for street art and invite everyone who comes to Miami for Basel to experience the city’s unique street art scene. People often forget to look and appreciate art, and this is gradually making us drift away from each other. Mussa, and its use of AR, lets anyone with a phone, which is usually a source of distraction, as a tool. A tool to connect us to each other, to the art that defines Miami, and to our world as a whole.
We love art and are firm believers in its power to shape our perception of the world.
Do you have any memorable Art Basel moments, and what are you looking forward to this year?
Our first two large-scale projects took place during last year’s Basel. It was hectic! We spent about four days straight with barely any sleep and launched an amazing AR mural and insane AR guerrilla marketing campaign. Completing the projects, after months of hard work and preparation, gave us a sense of accomplishment that we still carry with us. It opened the door to incredible new projects in Miami, Denver, and the UK. This year were looking forward to meeting old friends, making new ones, and seeing the amazing street art displayed throughout the city.
What can we expect from Mussa this Art Basel?
We’re taking the time to project Mussa into the coming year as we continue to redefine how people in Miami and the world experience the art around them. In 2018 we completed and sold out our first-ever limited edition AR print! We kept a limited number of prints for ourselves and will exhibit them in a couple of venues. It’s an edition based on an amazing original by Spanish artist El Pez, which includes an AR animation that brings the piece to life! We may even have some in store for a few lucky collectors, but we’ll keep everyone posted on that a bit a later!
What fairs and shows can we “NOT MISS” during Basel?
We have to go with the smaller ones! Large-scale events tend to focus on well-established artists from out of town, but Miami has an amazingly unique art ecosystem. The street art scene in Miami is full of local artists who produce some of the most amazing works around the city, but often there’s not enough support given to these guys.
What are your top 3 tips to survive the week?
Tip 1: Drink lots of water.
Tip 2: Drink lots of alcohol.
Tip 3: Enjoy the art and the city while drinking lots of water and alcohol 😉.