& despite it all it’s all beautiful smiles, beautiful souls and beautiful beats.
Project by Leandro HBL (co-producer of ‘Favela On Blast’)
Really hating my life right now )): (
Now, Japan and Brazil (favourite countries everrrr) go head-to-head in my second Vogue cover off. Now I haven’t made this assumption on these covers alone but I reckon it’s pretty obvious that Brazil sexes it and Japan is all about the power of the outfit. That’s because no one does outfits like the Japanese and no one sexes like the Brazilians (!) T’is true! I’m reckoning that top-left screaming Adriana Lima with the wonky ‘G’ might be the one the best Vogue covers ever! Having said that, Fafi’s guest spot editorial at Nippon Vogue in July 2008 was pretty special. T’was lots of controversy being little girls and all, and the fact that Fafinettes are traditionally quite sexual (see left) but I dunno, these girls aren’t posing provocatively and as for the make-up, why I myself recall colouring eyelids and nails with felt-tip pens at such an age, (I assume they didn’t use such methods here), but I reckon it’s a-okay. Glad to post a reminder so we can all appreciate how cool a Vogue moment this was.
Now normally tagging over peices would cause serious beefage but this is a different breed of agro. Not your ego-fuelled aggression like what goes down in NYC, but real political statement. Having spent some time in Sao Paulo personally, and discovering what a hideously unjust place Brazil really is, you can’t help but feel remorse. Not for the mural per se, but the ghastly conditions that spawn the need for such demonstrations.
Seriously, Pixação (the tagging style) is fascinating, romantic and heartbreaking. Please, please, PLEASE check the clips I’ve posted. Below is an incredible trailer (check that sounddddd!) for a documentary on Pixação - don’t worry if you don’t understand what’s being said - Y’all vibe with it, I know you will!
And this interview (in English (!)) is with journalist and creator of the above doc, Joao Wainer. He explains brilliantly who the Pixadores are and why they do what they do. In fact, many established street artists feel the plight of the Pixadores so I guess it’s unlikey there will be too much resentment over the defacing of their work. T’is a “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” type-scenario methinks.
“How many artists do you know that risk their life to make art?”
That question just gets to me soooo bad.
God, I miss that place…(: (
What makes graffiti in South America, and in particular Brazil, and even more specifically Sao Paulo as good as it is,could be down to the fact that as street art or graffiti, it really does stand out as being the most non-aggressive form of the genre you’ll ever be likely to encounter. Whether it constitutes as graffiti is certainly an issue for writers from NYC, who consider that ‘graffiti’ as a definitive term works within strict parameters and attitudes, but In true Brazilian style, Brazilians have thrown off any adhererance to structures and the streets of Sao Paulo have blossomed into some of the most mesmerising sights you’re likely to see anywhere. Amongst the artists who make Brazilian graffiti what it is, is Waleska Tudo Nomura a stand out artist by all accounts and graffiti royalty here in Brazil (her brother Tinho was one of the original SP writers, and her husbad Adam Neate is highly acclaimed for his work). Her ideal is to “Spread Love And Positive Energies To The World’, which kind of spits in the face of old skool atitoods and aggression - cherry-blossom flavoured love-spit of course…
First of all can you tell me what it was like growing up in Sao Paulo (the people, the area, the politics)
Sao Paulo is a very crazy city to grow up in. Is one of the biggest cities in the world! And one of the most populated as well but the people are very friendly and happy and they know how to enjoy themselves no matter what life throws at them.
The grafitti in South America, particularly Brasil is - in my opinion - is the best in the world - what do you think makes the grafitti there so unique?
Since graffiti started in Brazil, we didn’t have that much exposure to the american and european styles, so, Brazilian graffiti kind of evolved in its own direction, thanks to the pioneering Brazilian graffiti artists like Tinho who decided to change his style from the traditional New Yprk wildstyle and pieces.
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Coming soon, exclusive interview with the gorgeous Sao Paulo graffiti artist by the name of Waleska as per featured in Thames and Hudson’s Graffiti Woman, on what its like to be able to go out onto the meanest streets of South America and spread a little love - as seen doing here with in collaboration with graff artist husband Adam Neate…
Not happy days on the hill unfortunately. Seems the police elite squad are gonna be doing a sustained attack here in Vidigal, which makes me feel warm and tingley for all the wrong reasons. The second BOPE (elite squad) tank rolled in today and left a few hours alter which probably means they’re figuring the best attack route. Cant imagine they came in for afternoon tea if you know what Im saying. Its weird because I’ve done a little research and I know the BOPE ( pronounced bopee) are a Government arm, are subordinate to the civil police - of whom they take no notice of anyway- and are actually a made up of officers who refused to partake in the usual ritual of killing a street kid on order to be part of the normal military. But don’t let that fool you into thinking they are somehow more compassionate. Check out their logo! I mean what kind of Government allows their military to be represented by that? And the fact is they’re going up there to try and kill teenagers and young men involved in the trafficking often out of the fact they are given little options. I interviewed a bandit from Vidigal only last week. He was smart, polite, a real gentleman and full of regret about cretain decisions he had made in his life, yet holding true to the opinion that it was either this life, or end up with nothing - just another young black guy from a slum who never had a chance. Now, I`m not condoning violence, never have and never will but the fact that the police are came in two days ago and are coming again to tray and kill this man devastates me. I`m praying for his life. Anyway, Brazil is perhaps the one place on earth where you could actually wax lyrical about the virtues of crime, and on that note I’m posting Dead Prez because sometimes people genuinely need crime to get by… c’est la vie.
Right, as my life is being dominated by wisedom toothache and English grammar- oh My God, that is even more depressing when in written form, Im posting a partcularly dark selection of graffiti handpicked from the CLFmag Botanical Garden Graffiti Archive (dontchaknow) to lure you all into my world of pain, discomfort and the blues…
Ofcourse this is all to do with my new job of teaching English to executive types, and having to re-teach myself riveting stuff like “The Gerund form”. Like what? Like why call it that?
Like “Hi, my name’s Sasha, I live in Rio and somehow the sun has well and truly set on all the fun stuff and I’m now I’m living alone, without a laptop, sleeping on foam and learning about The Gerund.”
Dark days indeed…
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY PEOPLE! It’s ‘Dio Dos Namoranados’ here in Brazil which literally translates to ‘Day Of Boyfriends’ according to my translation skillzzz so sending you all lots of dancing samba kisses your way! And to celebrate I’m finally going to start uploading this monumental backlog of graffiti pictures I have stashed here! How … romantic ?!! These images were taken near to the gorgeous Botanical Gardens here in Rio and I’m particularly smitten with the above image; the exquisite use of colour and delicate paintwork presented on this here fat parrot. And speaking of fat parrots I’d like to dedicate this special Valentines Day post to Miss Vien Le Wood - who is neither fat, nor a parrot - but she is exquisite and colourful and I hope she’ll be my Valentine!
Ohhh, I miss so you my feeder-friendling!
Loads more pics apres le jump so go enjoy!
EXTRA BEIJOOOS EVERYONE! (Sasha)
So, Brazil’s Fashion Week moves from Rio to Sao Paulo today, so it gives me more pleasure than is appropriate to bring you front row exclusive images of Tessuti and Walter Rodrigues shows here in El Rio!! And for what it’s worth, the past three days at Fashion Rio have been an absolute blast and its all thanks to my girl Luciana - the greatest, and might I mention the prettiest hustler in Rio state!!! MUITO ‘BRIGADA BABY BEAN!
Loads more exclusive catwalk pics and a look at ‘Who Wore What’ coming up…
So, in contention for my personal best day-out in Rio ever, I would like to give praise and thanks to Raizes De Movimento – a social awareness faction based in Rio’s Most Dangerous Favela TM* ; Complexo Do Alemao. Amongst many other socially conscious projects, Raizes were responsible for the gathering up of a whole host of national and international graff artist for a day long jam in the favela last weekend! Beleeeeze! Absolutely amazing to witness, seriously. Im gonna report more on the function Of Raizes Do Movimento, who basically operate in a similar tenet to Afroreggae; encouraging and motivating young ‘uns through artists expression. That is as soon as I can translate the email they sent me! But whilst Im doing this please enjoy the photographic evidence of some of the marvellous happenings and there’s more to come so stay posted!
Oh, yeah. I might as well tell you that ever single favela has a reputation for being ‘Rio’s Most Dangerous Favela TM’; a tag which does little to remove the stigma of favela living, (although neither does posting the image of a shoot-out but whatever – aaaawesome canvas painting!). You see, apparently I live in Rio’s Most dangerous favela, (Vidigal) but then so is Rochina, and City Of God. So I’m referencing some British Corporal in Iraq who when commenting on the Green Mile being the ‘Most Dangerous Road In The World’ said; “The most dangerous road in the world is the one the bus runs you over on.”
Loads more pics apres le jump…
Ok, so I kind of know this is lazy journalism but given that we are fundamentally an art based site I’m not gonna beat myself up to much about it - on the contrary I’m actually gonna give myself a hearty back pat for thinking up such a wonderous scheme… So, if I were you I’d be asking what the hell am I blabbering on about. Well the thing is my dear friendlings, I’m currently sat here drizzley el Rio, under a phenomenal work load - like stuff keeps happening (interviews, events, gigs, blah,blah,blah) quicker than I can process it in meaningful way for the magazine - but that’s what I’m working on. The flipside of this means I don’t have much time to research new stuff out there, however, what I have right here is too good to sit on any longer so I’m just gonna keep posting various artist works I have archived until the interviews and articles go live. That way you get to see the goods, the site looks awesome with minimal effort and everyone is a winner! So here’s little more from the lovely Sao Paulo artist Whip whose interview will be up here within the next week which should also satisfy my amaaaazing lady Fe’s (Girl responsible for best blog posts EVER TM) fetish for all things Easy-peasy Japanesey!
God, I love this city, just check out what might be the most heartbreaking and prolific projects I’ve ever witnessesd, plus the weather has turned shite here in el Rio, so I need to post this before the rain washes away the final remiminants of this visual phenomen. This is the work of an elusive French photographer who goes by the name of JR. The images you see here plastered onto the Grand Arches and Cecilia Mireles Rooms in Lapa are all part of the this years offical celebration of French culture in Brazil. All portraits are of women from the slum Morro de Provincia, and moreover, all are relatives of men murdered by the Brazilian police force.
The exhibition is amazing - both literally and figuratively - given that the Government for once had the character to permit this exhibition given the context. However, this isn’t the first time JR has done work in this area - his first exhibition in Brazil was actually in Morro do Provincia itself , where he adorned stairs and barracas with portraits of women of the same tragic disposition. The only permission he needed on this occasion came from the druglords who ‘reign’ over the slum, so if you check out the images (you must check out these images) apres le jump, you’ll see what went down there. And for the record, JR undertakes these personal projects completely off his own back with money from his own pocket. On an international level, perhaps JR’s most famous installation was ” Face to Face”. According to the site Demotix ” [The] photo exhibition along the Hebron wall in Palestine [...] representing blowups of the Arabs and Palestinian faces exposed along the wall, became very famous through the world media, but the initiative got JR arrested by the Israeli authorities.”
Que um homen…
Anyway some of the artists involved included Laerte - who seems to be everywhere I look in Sao Paulo at the minute which believe me, is a very good thing - Daniel Galera, Xico Sá, Marcelo Rubens Paiva, Mário Bortolotto, Daniel Pellizzari and many more. Apres le jump I’ve posted a series of images to give y`ll an idea of the diversity of artwork which was available to purchase so go check it! And if you’re feeking particularly charitable have a meander down there and see if there’s anything left up for grabs, otherwise my bank details follow. Nahahaha!
Rua dos Pinheiros, 493
In his documentary (which I posted earlier), journalist/photographer Joao Wainer posed the question - “How many artists do you know who risk their lives to make art?” And that very question seemed to reverberate around my head continuously until it finally struck me - pixacao (Pi-sha-sow - a unique form of tagging native to Brazil), might just be the street art form to end all forms of street art. I can’t deny the fact that most of my time here has been spent photgraphing the more asthetically pleasing street pieces and yet all the while, every time I put down the camera lense, my eyes have always been drawn skywards to the world of pixacao which seems to me to occupy such more mythical, elevated and altogether more notorious status. Well, I will wonder no more! From this day forth I do decree that I will endeavour to investigate pixacao and present it to the world, in my own vastly insignificant way! Why, Ive already discovered there are not one but two pixacao documentaries in the mix - one of which I’ve posted the trailer for - check out that soundddd! ‘Maaazing! So, seems my timing might be quite spot-on and I can’t wait to see where my investigations take me…
Oh, and just to translate; that crazy fruit at the end of the trailer is blaming pixadores and bandits for ruining peoples faith in religion… moral corruption… swine flu… losing his front door keys etc. Tosser.
Just like an exotic, hardcore episode of Emmerdale really.
There is a general sense of tranquility here which sometimes is even a little more worrying in that kind of, “Its all gone quiet” said Rubarb, “Too quiet” said Mustard’ kind of way, but for now I’m most certainly not complaining.
So Rochina, It was fun, I’ll miss all-week par-tays, the sushi, and of course the lovely surfer’s spot Sao Corado - but it was either I leave you, or my sanity leaves me, so ate proxima!
I’ll be writing more on the stinky craziness of Rochina vs the tranquil delights of Vidgal in the forthcoming weeks but for now I’m leaving you with my favourite Baile funk video filmed in Rochina, Vem Danadinho (which means ‘naughty boy’ - I think). Coming up apres le jump is and some pics taken around and about Rochina so go check `em out. Although I will apologise for these photos here. You see, I needed good pics of Vidigal’s visual and although I don’t remember much about these pictures being taken its pretty obvious that whatever the hell I thought I was doing in the first one, I was very obviously crapping my pants in the second. Nahahaha!
Choque Cultural gallery is pulling together a phenomenal amount of graff artists for what they’re calling their “one of our most exciting shows to date!” . That’s quite the statment but when you look at the international line-up you know its a claim to be taken seriously… amongst others there’s CHIVITZ (São Paulo), CLAUDIO GIL (Rio de Janeiro), CRAIG “KR” COSTELLO (New York), FEFE TALAVERA (Madrid), EINE (London), DICE (Osaka), DIMITRY OSKES (Russia), DIONR (Porto Alegre), LUCA BARCELLONA (Milan), IVAN (Hungry), LOOMIT (Germany) & many more…
The event itself finishes on the 27th of June so I’ve somehow got to get back down there before the final curtain falls on this one! Just one more thing however, the show also features the verrry lovely WHIP whose interview I’ll be posting in the next week, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to give y`all a little `Whip-tease`? Nahahahaha. Check out the image below - that’s him! Pretty impressive and you should see the guys yo-yoing skills - I guarentee its gonna be a good ‘un!
Rua Joao Moura, 997,
Ends 27th June
As promised here is the second installment of the Os Gemeos post relating to their Vertigem exhibition at the CCBB here in Rio which officially ends today! If there’s anyone out there still wondering whether to make the trip downtown, I ask you, look at the picture below - do we look like we’re not having the time of our lives? That’s what Os Gemeos induced happiness looks like, folks. Seriously, its all the fun of the fair and then some with incredible interactive installations, like the Os Gememos customised studio you see above, the hall of mirrors and the mind-bending Os Gemeos ‘head’ as well as their more traditional canvas work.
However, as this is an art review of sorts I now have to attempt to wax lyrical on the works of Os Gemeos. In case you didn’t know, Os Gemeos - meaning ‘twins’ in Portuguese - are twin brothers Otávio and Gustavo Pandolfo. They are two of the original and most respected innovators in the street art scene from Sao Paulo. Their work is largely illustration based although they do experiment with caligraphy. Their work is very accessible yet abstract which is really what sets them apart - just how they manage to relay human emotions they way they do with characters who don’t might not instantly resemble people, in utterly surreal contexts, using an exquisite comprehension of colours and textures is beyond description and something beyond beautiful. Their work within the Brazilian street art scene has pretty much set the bar, so if Brazilian graffiti is the best in the world (it is the best in the world ;- )), then they are the best in the world.
And that’s all you need to know!
Bizarrely enough, the brothers don’t have their own site to reference their work, but the fantatsic
lost.art.br (who will feature in a forthcoming interview here in CLF) have an outstanding Os Gemeos archive - the best on the www, so get over there and be educated -it might well change your life just like it did mine!
Vertigem by Os Gemeos ends today
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil,
Rua Primeiro de Março,
66 - Centro Rio de Janeiro
Entry is free.
“I can’t live my, ah, I can’t live my
I CAN’T LIVE MY LIFE THIS WAAAAAY!”
So unless you’ve been diagnosed with terminal soul-death, there is no way you cannnot be uplifted by This Way, geddit? So as you can imagine I was bouncing off the fucking walls last weekend when DJ BABU of DILATED PEOPLES, people (!) guest starred at the Squat Festival in Lapa here in Rio! Now, I`ve never been that great at forming opinion; the concept of constructive critisicm just eludes me ‘cos I find pretty much everything amazing howeverrrr, this gig truly was amaaaaazing. It also featured Brazilian DJ Sany Pitbull who along with the crowd were pretty awesome so thank you everyone and the ticket touts particularly for giving me such a memorable and decidely cheap night out.
Being in Lapa also afforded me my first glimpse of the phenomenal JR art exhibition which features the faces of women who’ve all had male relatives murdered by the Brazilian police , plastered over the magnificent Lapa Arches. I’ll be posting a much more in-depth review of that exhibition very soon. Heart-breaking stuff. And that weren’t enough, I returned home just in time to witness just about the most incredible sunrise ever from my very own terrace in Vidigal favela.
Now, I was torn between posting This Way or Worst Comes To Worst, two of my all time favourite tracks, but This Way wins out for being THE anthem my girl Nooshin `Moz Def` Shabani and my 2007 tour of Latin America, so this ones for you baby girl!
Loads more fun & pics apres le jump!
Ok, discovery of the day - week even - not to mention the perfect gift to keep my partner in crime’s chin up… we’ll get there baby girl! Anyway, the aforementioned discovery is the Brazilian website Zupi, which is basically where all the exceptional artistic talents of Brazil go to post their portfolios in hope of recognition - which I have to say is a wicked idea. Well, Daniel Rodrigues a.k.a. Semanas from Sao Paulo, you have been recognised and we’ll certianly be keeping tabs on you from now on! Seriously people this animated short is nothing short (Ha!) of extraordinary - just check out this soundtrack -one of the best I’ve ever heard in minature, plus the illustartions aren’t bad - and by not bad I mean they most certainly be the shit! Now normally I’d post pictors apres le jump but I couldn’t help but sneak a little treat to to entice y’all further!
Go see! Go see! Go see!
More pics after the jump
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