Brazil: An Open-Air Museum
Graffiti is no longer the same. This street art, initially considered vandalism, won it’s space! Evidence of this lies in the actions that take place throughout Brazil and the appearence of artists who take this medium and our country's name to other places.
São Paulo could be called the world capital of graffiti! Those who walk its streets can see the charm of the drawings, lines and colors, regardless of the neighborhood. The bold graphites impose themselves in a city that is often characterized as being grey. In 2014 street art in Rio de Janeiro was legalized, making Brazil an open-air museum. Eixo Rio, the government agency that ensures landmarked properties are not "vandalized", allows many buildings and city walls to be public canvasses. In places like New York, subways were the main backdrop for graffiti. In Brazil, trains and stations were an object of pride and well protected against the art form, but well-known artists in the early 2000's were green-lighted by the government to paint train cars. Os Gêmeos was one of them.
Actually Os Gêmeos are two of them - Octavio and Gustavo Pandolfo (twin brothers) are artists known around the world for their Yellowman geometric figures. They started out as hip-hop dancers in the 80's and transitioned their craft to graffiti in 1987. Their works can be seen throughout São Paulo. They have also exhibited their talent in the United States and Europe.
They also "tagged" the entire plane fuselage that transported the Brazilian Soccer team during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil (2014).
Mundano and his “carroças”
In 2007, another Brazilian artist and social activist, Thiago Mundano, created "Pimp My Carroça", a project that began with him painting the “carroça” ( an improvised vehicle for loading cardboard, plastic and other recyclable items ) of recyclable waste pickers. The idea was so successful that he was able to garner sponsorship and the project expanded into other cities throughout Brazil, such as Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba. All with graffiti!
In 2014 Mundane hosted a TED Talk, where he stated:
"I am a graffiti artist and activist and my art is social, environmental and political in nature. In 2007, I took my work beyond walls and onto the carroças, as a new urban support for my message. But at this time, giving voice to the catadores. By adding art and humor to the cause, it became more appealing, which helped call attention to the catadores and improve their self-esteem. And also, they are famous now on the streets, on mass media and social."
Contests and Exhibits
Everyone wants to be the next famous graffiti artist in Brazil! The country invests in contests to elect the best artists and art exhibits. Many of the competitions are free to enter, and many promote the experience of artists interacting more with the environment. Competitions became so popular that in 2010 the country had its first edition of it’s now famous International Biennial Graffiti Fine Art with showcases of works by 50 artists.
National Graffiti Day
In 2004, a law was sanctioned in São Paulo instituting March 27th as the National Day of Graffiti. The purposely selected date is in tribute to Ethiopian-born artist and resident Brazilian, Alex Vallauri, who died in March 1987. When he arrived in the country, Alex used bold and beautiful colors in his famous high-heel shoes wall art, painted in Sao Paulo and even in New York. The day after Alex died his friends painted the tunnel of Avenida Paulista in memoriam. This day is honored throughout all States in Brazil.
BY ANA MARIGLIANI
Contributing from Brazil
Learn more, follow your favorites, or #pARTicipate in the next Fine Art showcase.
- Os Gemeos - http://www.osgemeos.com.br
- Os Gemeos On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/osgemeos/?fref=ts
- Pimp My Carroca - https://www.facebook.com/pimpmycarroca
- 3º Bienal Graffiti Fine Art Os Gemeos - https://www.facebook.com/3bienalgraffiti/?fref=ts
- 3º Bienal Graffiti Fine Art Os Gemeos - http://avax.news/touching/Brazil_Graffiti_Biennial.html
- Os Gemeos plane tagging (the process) - http://copadomundo.uol.com.br/noticias/redacao/2014/05/26/aviao-da-selecao-na-copa-do-mundo-tera-pintura-dos-grafiteiros-os-gemeos.htm
- Thiago Mundane TED Talk 2014 - https://www.ted.com/speakers/mundano
- VISIT! - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/11-fun-facts-about-rio-180954485/#Dec7SJsY3plTMlWX.99