Interview: Os Gemeos, Futura & Martha Cooper At PS 11 In NYC: Day 3

Gustavo Talks About New York and Colors, While Martha Cooper Shows You Her Os Gemeos Shirt Designed by a Friend of the Twins

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

The Twins were hoisted into the air again today at PS11, where they are painting a huge kid mural as a gift to the neighborhood – and there were plenty of huge kids around today looking up at their work.  While Futura’s son, a photographer and video guy himself, hung out below, his dad continued the collaboration in the bucket above. We got to talk with Gustavo on a break for a couple of minutes with one his heroes, Martha Cooper, in the school yard out back.

BSA: When did you arrive in New York?
Gustavo: Here in New York, a week ago.

BSA: You are always traveling – When do you have time to go to Brazil and relax?
Gustavo: We were in Brazil one month ago and we started traveling again and we have been traveling for about a month.

BSA: You came straight from San Diego and the “Viva La Revolucion” show?
Gustavo: No, we went from San Diego to San Francisco, then here.

BSA: What is the thing you like the most about painting outside?
Gustavo: The relationship between the art and the public. We like to do free paintings for the public.

BSA: What motivates you personally when you are painting and you see people are admiring …when you go home and go to sleep how do you feel about your work?
Gustavo: We don’t know how to talk about this because we are very “inside” of our paintings.  It is difficult for us to go outside and see what is happening. We don’t know, we are really really very inside of what we are painting.  But we know that a lot of people are happy with the work we do. They like it. We know the people are feeling happy, like the neighbors here, they really love it.

They say, “Hey you guys have to paint the whole neighborhood, and make more pieces.” People like this. People are missing this. You know, New York back in the days was more colorful. Now everything is grey.

BSA: So is that why you paint so colorfully? Or is it because you are from Brazil?
Gustavo: The cities have to be all colors.  The whole city has to be in color. Everything, the streets, everything.

BSA: Do you feel very welcome in New York City?
Gustavo: Oh yes, very welcome. There are some cities that are very special and New York is very special for us.


Gustavo and one of his inspirations, Martha Cooper (© Jaime Rojo)

BSA: Do you consider yourselves cultural ambassadors from Brazil or do you see yourself more as “World” painters?
Gustavo: We are just two guys, Brazilian brothers, artists that like to paint.  People can say what they want. I don’t care. We always try to not just put our name, but Brazil’s name out there wherever we go to do something.  Down there (Brazil) we also have some nice artists, not only us; People who are really good.  And we also show respect because respect is the base of everything.

BSA: Can you talk about this piece with Futura? What is the relationship between all the flags and the kid?
It’s difficult to say because we are still in process, you know.  We are still working. Maybe later we can explain it better.

BSA: So you are continuing to improvise on the piece even now? You do not have a set plan?
Gustavo: The drawing yes, but the way we paint is all improvised.

Martha Cooper Wearing The Os Gemeos TShirt. (© Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper Wearing The Os Gemeos T-Shirt Designed by a Friend of the Twins . (© Jaime Rojo)

BSA to Martha Cooper: How are you enjoying this experience?
Martha Cooper: Oh I love it. I love to see them work you know. It’s my favorite thing. And they are so cute. They are the most adorable twins.

BSA: When did you meet them first?
You know I met them in Germany about 2004 at some Street Art event when Hip-Hop Files came out. They were actually quite a bit younger then.  See this shirt I’m wearing?  Gustavo was wearing it in Miami last fall, I admired it and he gave it to me. This shirt is covered with their pieces and it was designed by one of their friends.

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

Os Gemeos and Futura (© Jaime Rojo)

AKANYC and 12ozProphet are both design studios involved in this project.