Brazil based Cranio has a quickly identifiable character – the cerulean blue native in traditional garb who feels entirely outside the modern consumerist world, even as he negotiates his way through it. According to the artist, the blue is a nod to his cultural heritage as an indigenous person from the Xingu region of Brazil. The blue figures in his work often appear to connect his personal history with broader social and political issues, particularly those regarding the marginalization and erasure of indigenous cultures.
Fabio de Oliveira Parnaiba began painting in the streets of Sao Paulo in the early 2000s and has since become known for his distinctive aesthetic and commentary on contemporary society delivered with humor and pathos. A school of illustration influences the overall style you may associate with other Brazillian street artists such as Os Gemeos – an adventure-seeking childlike superhero who is willing to play the game as soon as they can confidently discern what it is.
In many of Cranio’s works, his blue figures are placed within a modern, commercial world, surrounded by symbols of consumerism such as logos, billboards, shopping bags – and destruction. The traditional clothing and markings of the indigenous figures are not meant to be ironic but may strike you so as you realize the path to becoming a successful artist includes embracing the modern urban environment – even while commenting on how globalization and capitalism have impacted indigenous communities. Today Cranio’s work can be found in cities around the world, from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to Paris, London, and New York and in addition to his street art, he has also exhibited in galleries and museums and has collaborated with brands such as Adidas and Mini Cooper.