“It is my humble and naif homage to our history, our traumas and our feelings and makes me proud of sharing it.”

Pepo Moreno wearing Alled-Martinez by Jaime Cabrera

The late-Millenial Spaniard from Tortosa Pepo Moreno who flirted with a singing career while graduating in communication and advertising and left the countryside to move to ‘poor but sexy Berlin’, now lives in Paris: the city where he exhibits his paintings for the first time.

A lover of the sad, the gay and the ugly. The mocking artist celebrates gay stereotypes in Western pop culture and carves a niche for himself in art galleries with his characteristic myriad of saturated colours through which he reflects the contradictions of the experience of modern queer life. Acrylic brushstrokes on different supports, such as pornographic magazine posters, with a strong message, where the ‘dimoni’ (demon in Catalan) personifies the inner disorder of self-identification and the magnitude of dissonance between good and bad.

An artistic manifestation of all the learning that Pepo obtained in the German capital. An appeal to gender dysphoria as well as the inner issues of cisgender. It’s all about ‘Dimoni’, an exhibition that will be held until the 6th of February 2021 in Galerie Charraudeau, 3 rue Bonaparte.

We have talked with him about his art, his inspiration and his methods. This is what he told us:

Five years living in Paris and working on projects related to fashion and beauty. Besides, a queer artist exposed at Galerie Charraudeau. When did you start painting? How did it all start?

I drew for fun and I started seeing that people enjoyed it the same way I did.

I never attended art school, but I did grow up in an environment where creativity was valued and encouraged. Also, my parents had some friends who were artists themselves and their influence was very important to me in my teenage years. I guess that it was this extra thing that kept me drawing besides my childhood. 

From ‘poor but sexy’ Berlin to Paris. What did this change mean for you and your work?

Love both cities and both of them had built me the way I am now. 

I got to Berlin very young  (back in 2009) and lived there for almost 3 years. I got in contact with a sense of freedom I never experimented before and got introduced to a certain queer scene it didn’t exist anywhere else by that time. I  also had a lot of free time and very few euros, so I started experimenting with drawing and illustration and took a certain time to think and to develop my own style I guess.

I moved to Paris back in 2015 for work. Illustration was part of my persona and I took it with me anywhere I moved but never got that important until this year’s confinement. I guess that finding myself alone, with very few social interactions, pushed me to start trying new things and also looking back in my own life and asking myself questions about being a queer gay man. I found myself painting every day over kraft paper, magazines, cardboards… anything was good. I started painting with acrylic instead of markers and watercolors. And what I think it was more important, pushing myself and showing it to the others. Being isolated was a game-changer for me.  

In your paintings, you portray the ‘dimoni’ (demon in Catalan) under a male figure with a deranged, half childish and monstrous face over its genitals on the poster. Why a demon?

I grew up in a very catholic school and always liked the origin of demons: angels that fought for their freewill and got expelled from heaven and their privileges. In the same way we as queer individuals have to fight for our freedom and lost parts of ourselves in the process. 

Also, demons for me are a reference of the burdens of the community that are still haunting us today: the internal homophobia, the inherited trauma, the aids pandemic and the xenophobia, the racism, the transphobia… 

It is also a word that takes me to my childhood and it makes reference to my origins. And it can be understood in almost every language, which makes it relatable to almost everyone.

Overpainted acrylic painting in pornographic magazines, as well as on canvas or paper cuttings. What does the medium mean to you and what meanings does it bring to your work?

I think that not having specific art school background has given me a certain freedom of using whatever I thought was alright for my purpose: from newspapers from the 70s that I found in the attic of my building in Paris to photocopies or book covers. Anything is a canvas for me. 

I guess it means everything and nothing at the same time: I can use a cardboard I find on the street or create my own canvas with magazines from the 2000s. It only serves the purpose of painting and the fun of trying new things.

The dissonance between good and bad, as well as the inner disorder of self-identification becomes somehow the creative thread of your creations. What does Pepo Moreno conceive as good and bad? What is your worst fear? And your biggest fantasy?

I guess that from my own perspective good and bad are definitely not absolute values anymore and what I thought I considered as absolute good when I was a young queer at 21 it doesn’t apply anymore. Also, DIMONI also refers to the mistakes we made and the way we have to embrace them and live with them.

My worst fear is not getting to know myself. My biggest fantasy is quite intimate.

Most of the exposed series were carried out during the period of confinement and self-isolation. How has the pandemic affected you on a creative level? 

Being able to have time and a space to work was an amazing opportunity for me, even with all the impediments. I think it is something that many people experimented with, especially drying the first wave. Turning such a complicated situation into something creative and fulfilling was my own little salvation. 

Your paintings become a mockery and celebration of gay stereotypes in Western pop culture. A direct response to homophobia and the censorship of homoerotic desire. Could you explain more about what you discovered in Berlin about the spectrum of homosexuality and how has this influenced your work? 

Berlin is known to be a free-spirited city in all aspects and sexual and identity expression is one of them. In Berlin, I started to experiment with my own looks and the way I was projecting and showing myself to society. Also, I made friends who didn’t identify with a specific gender and at that moment, non-binary was not even a word. That definitely built up my empathy and openness. I will always be grateful to have lived that experience.

In your exhibition, you use the collage technique, from which you have captured your paintings where ‘Gay’ is the word that stands out the most. An arrangement that draws the attention of those who pass through Rue Bonaparte. Why did you choose to use collage?

Actually, the mural (which is built through a collage of different pieces and materials) came up out of necessity. I had literally no more space in my desk and I started gluing and piercing the drawings in my room’s wall pretty randomly: the composition happened to be interesting and composed kind of a moodboard of feelings and obsessions. When the gallery approached to me,  the first idea was to move what I did in the intimacy of my bedroom to a public space. And so we did.

Recently we could read in your Instagram: ‘Queer Is Demonic’. Could you tell us more about it?

Because it is magic and dangerous and political and they have to fear us.


As a queer artist and representative of new culture shock models, what role do you see queer art playing? Do you think that the allusion to the inventory of sexual practices leads to ‘shadow banning’ on social media beyond real life? 

I didn’t experiment such a shadow banning on social media I guess because my signature turns out to be naif and pop, even if the message is quite clear and maybe uneasy. However, I do have friends who are activists and their core of work is more related to BSDM practices that had experimented with that sort of situation. 

Social media is fantastic for artists but it is clearly a medium that should allow all sort of expressions always keeping respect and education on top. They have to serve to something else that to promote brands and services. They have to push conversation and feed your mind.


This is your first exhibition at Galerie Charraudeau in Paris. A room whose walls are impregnated with drawings between the sad, the gay and the ugly that explore the spectrum of homosexuality since January 9th. What can a visitor to the gallery expect? What is ‘Dimonis’ and why do we should make room for it in our agenda?

I think Dimoni speaks about my personal journey and experience (as a gay cisgender man in his 30s) but also to the community. It is my humble and naif homage to our history, our traumas and our feelings and makes me proud of sharing it.

Also, it is fun and colorful and a bit dumb and sure you will appreciate a bit walk around the 6th arrondissement.

Follow Pepo Moreno on @PepoMoreno

Dimoni’s exhibition will be held until the 6th of February 2021 in
Galerie Charraudeau, 3 rue Bonaparte.

Exhibition pictures by Jean Picon.
Portrait by Jaime Cabrera