Thursday, 17 June 2010

Brazilian Colour Bomb

Colours, rhythm, flair! I love how there's nothing shy or apologetic about Brazil. Although Tuesday night's match between Brazil an unwavering Korean red wall begs to differ.

Shortly before the match I attended a graffiti and live painting exhibition featuring the Brazilian graffiti artist Mateus Dutra. The exhibition coincided with Gary Rowe's aka Real's exhibition titled Urban Decay also featuring the legendary 1982 docie-film Style Wars. The limited range of pieces were made up by the fact that they were so brilliantly executed in terms of line work, combing an illustrative cubist style exploding with colour! All that contained these pieces were their frames and if I had an extra 5000 bucks in my back pocket, 1 of these would be gracing my studio wall.

After the docie, Mateus explained how, for him, graffiti is about re-apportioning public space specifically with those who interact with that space - whether they may live there, or just happen to stumble upon it by chance, while walking past. My friend Kristin and I made the observation that there really isn't much graffiti in Windhoek and posed the question that graffiti probably only really takes off in completely saturated urban settings, where cities have started sprawling and visual artists take it upon themselves to counteract massive growth and concrete urbanisation.

Coincidently, Design Indaba featured Haas&Hahn in their recent Positive Painting post about a Dutch design duo doing similar creative work in Brazilian favelas - "transforming the hillside slums or favelas of Brazil into colourful works of art, encouraging urban renewal."

I love it when people own the spaces they live in - after all we are the ones who live there, why must they be littered with bad advertising and one billboard after the next - I'd much rather have a fantastically coloured mural - whether it has a message or whether it is just that - a fantastically coloured wall.

Favela painting is well worth checking out it'll add some colour to your day and maybe make you re-evaluate your own public space.

Pics via WOW and Design Indaba

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