Kobra Pays Honor to Architect Niemeyer in São Paulo

Brazilian Street Artist Eduardo Kobra and four other painters have been working six hours a day since January 14th to complete a 52 meter high mural that honors architect Oscar Niemeyer who passed away in December just days before his 105th birthday. Covering the entire side of a skyscraper on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo’s financial district, the artwork is inspired by Niemeyer’s architecture, his love of concrete and Le Corbusier.

If you look closely among the colorful forms that overlay the photo-realistic portrait, you’ll find that some of them are based on Niemeyer’s works. In this case, art on the street could not find a more fitting tributary than a modern architect who espoused populist sentiments that his field should serve everyone, not just the privileged few.

Eduardo Kobra. Installation in progress. São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Alan Teixeira)

“Oscar Niemeyer was an important figure to us,” explains Kobra during a break from painting, as he talks about the Rio born citizen of the world and Brazils modernist icon, “The decision to paint this here reminds us of the importance of the several works he did in the city. Given their relevance even today, I think he deserved this great space on Paulista Avenue.”

The logistics and costs of this labor of love have been as great at the mural is high. Beginning in the early autumn, the process included getting permission from the building and city hall, placing the scaffolds, agreeing on and setting the design, and buying the paint. “In the end, the paperwork was the most difficult part and I wanted to get it all resolved so I could paint the mural,” explains the artist.

“Furthermore it was a very expensive project. The staff of the building gave us the paint, the André Art Gallery helped us with the equipment, there was a hotel near the building that hosted us and we also got a restaurant to help us with food. This project relied upon genuine cultural support and it could only happen  because of it,” says Kobra. “For this project we didn’t receive a penny of compensation – we are doing it for the pleasure of doing a job here at Paulista, the most important avenue in São Paulo.”

Eduardo Kobra. Detail. São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Alan Teixeira)

Eduardo Kobra. Detail. São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Alan Teixeira)

Eduardo Kobra. Detail. São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Alan Teixeira)

Eduardo Kobra. Detail. São Paulo, Brazil. (photo © Alan Teixeira)



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“Luz Nas Vielas”, Transforming a Neighborhood with Art

“Luz Nas Vielas”,  Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil;  A short film.

Intervention!  That’s the more academic word choice that people like to used euphemistically to describe putting up a piece of street art sometimes  – and one that belies a more holistic perception of Street Art’s overall potential to impact a community. So when Spanish Street Art collective Boa Mistura began talking about their planned “participative Urban Art interventions” in São Paulo this year, the implication was to somehow positively change conditions in the dense favelas using art and the creative spirit.

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)

Describing art as “a tool for change and inspiration”, the Luz Nas Vielas project took place at the beginning of the year in the neighborhood of Vila Brasilândia, a community struggling economically. Hosted by the Gonçalves family, artists and organizers took time to get to know the neighborhood, study and analyze the narrow and winding streets that comprise a sort of urban net, and took part in a dialogue with residents.

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)

With the active participation of neighbors, the Boa Mistura collective focused on some concepts that were identified as important to the area and used them as guidance. The words they collectively chose were Beleza, Firmeza, Amor, Doçura, and Orgulho (roughly translated as beauty, strength, love, kindness, and pride).  With these universal values in mind, artists made their interventions with the intention of using art as a tool for change and intervention.

See the video for a full account and judge for yourself how successful they were.

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)

Boa Mistura “Luz Nas Vielas” Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, Brasil. 2012 (still from video © Boa Mistura)


Visit Boa Mistura site to learn more about the work they do. Click here.

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Italian Street Artist Göla and His Fantastical Hybrids in Brazil

Italian Street Artist Göla is in Curitiba, Brazil working with Brazillian Paulo Auma as part of a public art / street art exhibition called “Hibrido”, or Hybrid. Engaging the children, adults, and walls with fantastic and glaring color drenched combinations of genetically modified animals, insects, food, and technological wonders is meant to be more than entertaining eye candy – while it clearly succeeds in doing that. As the French Street Artist Ludo does with his animal/techno fantasy combinations, this four month exhibit is an explicit call for us to think about the goals and results of our experimentation with the natural world, our ethics, and our blind obeyance to scientific endeavors for their own sake.


Göla. Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)

“I try to ask about the relationship between man and all other living beings,”says Göla about the influences in his work.  With his painting and subject matter a meditation on the laws of nature, he warns of the dangers of messing with it. Fascinated with the hybrids that are coming about, his depictions profess affinity for the natural world.

As he name checks futurist artists like Eduardo Kac and Alexis Rockman , Göla explains “My work is influenced by an ever-present closeness with the animal sphere,” as your thoughts wander to discussions of trans-human futurism, fluorescent fish, all terrain dog-robots delivering bombs, and flying nano bugs watching you through the window while you drool over a Lady Gaga video.

brooklyn-street-art-gola-fernando-cesar-brazil-2011-1-webGöla. Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)

Heady stuff for Street Art you say? Not really when you consider that today’s generation of Street Artists is coming from a huge variety of backgrounds with a flood of abilities, carrying with it bags of tricks only imagined in the aerosol infused reveries of yesterdecade. Göla, for all of this heavy thinking, is a jubilant ombudsman of a hopeful future, bringing an extremely playful and childlike wonder to his work, making it all so much more engaging.

While in Brazil, Göla took time to explore the country and to get up in various towns big and small. Here is the product of his work and collaborations with some local artists.


Göla. Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)


Göla. Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)


Göla, Paulo Auma “Hibrido” Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)


Göla, Paulo Auma “Hibrido” Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)


Göla, Paulo Auma “Hibrido” Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)


Göla. “Hibrido” Curitiba, Brazil (photo © Fernando Cesar)

brooklyn-street-art-gola tag-n-juice-fernando-cesar-sao-paulo-brazil-2011-web

Göla, Sao Paulo, Brazil (photo © Göla)

brooklyn-street-art-Gola- Ninguem-fernando-cesar-dorme-sao- Paulo-brazil-2011-web

Göla, Niguem Dorme  Sao Paulo, Brazil (photo © Göla)

brooklyn-street-art-milo-gola-tim-tchais-dedo verde-fernando-cesar-sao-paulo-brazil-web

Göla, Milo, Tim Tchais, Dedo Verde.  Sao Paulo, Brazil (photo © Göla)

To experience Göla’s world click on his site:

“Hibrido” is on view from March 20-June 19, 2011.

To learn more about “Hibrido” click below:

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Göla in Sao Paulo : Riotous Color and a Free Imagination

Italian Street Artist Göla is in Sao Paulo for his show with Brazilian Paulo Auma called “Hibrido”, or Hybrid. A wild man who channels his emotions into walls and sculptures composed of a kaleidoscope of intense colors and shapes, Göla studies the human condition, the natural world, genetic modification, biodiversity and the spiritual universe, free associating his way from there with saturated color, biomorphic shapes, and vibrating pattern. Together with Auma, he has begun a series of installations outside the gallery for a show that blends blend anger with joy, natural with man made, in a integrated collection of public works.

Here is a sample of some of his new work. More to come.


Göla in Sau Paulo (image © Göla)


Göla poses inside his piece. (image ©Fernando Cesar)


With work that easily lends itself to the imagination of childhood, here is a new colorful public installation by Göla in a park. (image ©Fernando Cesar)


Göla collaborated with Ninguem Dorme for this street collaboration in Sau Paulo (image © Göla)

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JR’s Movie, “Women Are Heroes” comes out 01.12


Photo credit: ©

Parisian Street Artist JR takes photos of people, creates giant billboard sized posters of them, and plasters them across roofs, trains, steps, river canals, barns, entire neighborhoods, you name it. All over the world.

“So what?,” Herschel at the corner grocery would say, “Coca Cola has been doing that for years and you don’t make a film about it.”

Trailer – Women Are Heroes – English Version
Uploaded by JR

In this case the man behind the camera is engaged with the stories of his subject, people he discovered as he traveled to places like Kenya, Phnonm Penh, and Rio de Janiero. As he talked with locals he was drawn to the simple and profound pain of women who have suffered the indignities of war, poverty, and loss.  By engaging with the grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and children who comprise more than one half the worlds population but suffer wars’ cost at a much higher rate, JR conveys their humanity, their warmth, and sometimes their hope.

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Copyright-JR-Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh. Photo credit: ©

The TED Prize Winner for 2011, JR showed his movie “Women Are Heroes”  at the Cannes Film Festival last year.  In about 10 days, beginning in France, it will have wide release for the rest of us to see.

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

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.

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Invader Uses GPS to Map Attack of San Diego


Actually it’s just a street art tour, complete with map

French Street Artist Monsieur Invader, a favorite of New Yorkers and Jonathan LeVine Gallery, has created a 21 stop Invader Tour in the streets of San Diego for visitors to the new show “Viva la Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape” opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD).

The show features 21 artists from 8 countries including Akay (Sweden), Banksy (U.K.), Blu (Italy), Mark Bradford (U.S.), William Cordova (U.S.), Date Farmers (U.S.), Stephan Doitschinoff [CALMA] (Brazil), Dr. Lakra (Mexico), Dzine (U.S.), David Ellis (U.S.), FAILE (U.S.), Shepard Fairey (U.S.), Invader (France), JR (France), Barry McGee (U.S.), Ryan McGinness (U.S.), Moris (Mexico), Os Gemeos (Brazil), Swoon (U.S.), and Vhils (Portugal).

Invader in New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Invader in New York (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Heavenly Invasion Space Invader
Heavenly Invasion, Space Invader (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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