Nelio @ Wahaca Covent Garden

Nelio @ Wahaca Covent Garden


Once again it’s been a pleasure working with Wahaca, the London-based Mexican street food specialists, to bring art to one of their spaces. In mid-January we set to work on the revamp of their Covent Garden branch working with the French street artist Nelio. Wahaca wanted to work with an artist whose work encompassed 2D and 3D and in the end Nelio’s creations wowed us all! It was also a great pleasure for me to invite Nelio – an artist I had admired for sometime and was brilliant to work with even if it meant cutting my fingers prising nails out of old bits of wood…


Bursting with colour and energy the vibrant work of Nelio has been attracting a cult following worldwide, due in part to his many travels painting across Europe, Asia and Australia and recent shows in France and Denmark. When he is not busy traveling in search of inspiration and walls to paint, he works from his studio in Lyon.


Part of the appeal of Nelio’s work is his striking and unusual use of different colour palettes and tonality from nearly monochromatic to beautifully polychromatic compositions. These colours and forms in turn are often suggested by the found textures and hues he finds on faded and deteriorating walls. Another quirky attraction is the way he sometimes incorporates three-dimensional elements into his street pieces using found wood and discarded materials – something which he was able to do to great effect at Covent Garden. (See Below)




While his paintings are rooted in graffiti, his influences also include architecture, art history and graphic design. Among his references he cites the symbols of the ancient Egyptians and the Maya and the influence of “futuristic movements such as Suprematism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Op Art”. Fusing these influences he aims to create a universal visual language that is both ancient and futuristic. For his pieces at Wahaca he has looked to Mexico for inspiration, in particular Mayan architecture and the explosion of colours of a piñata party. See more examples of the finished work below…




My role in the project was to suggest and coordinate with the artist for the design and production of the final works. Thanks to Nelio, Mark, Lenny, Kerry and all at Wahaca, all the folks @ Softroom. Also to the helpful guys at Chrome and Black who found us all the right paint colours…