Cheery multi-coloured ghosts, doll-like Japanese girls, strange zombie babies. If you’ve been anywhere in Rio you will almost certainly have seen the work of the Flesh Beck Crew. I think they’re the best and most consistent street art/graffiti crew in Rio. And they are prolific!
Back when I was living in Gávea I used to walk past an abandoned car on my way to work. Each day I would notice that it had deteriorated a little more until the inevitable – one night it was completely burned out. And then a few days later I saw this:
|From an ugly wreck to a cheery feature in one short night.|
These guys, who go by the names of Toz (Tomas Viana) and BR, have a pretty decent website and blog and it turns out they actually do quite a lot of commercial stuff too. In fact they’ve even done an advert for Oi, the mobile phone network:
|Adverts?! Say it ain’t so…|
Does this detract from their credibility? Isn’t street art/graffiti all about anti-establishment, non-commercial, free expression? Still, I guess everyone needs to earn a crust and if you’re a talented artist/illustrator/graphic designer then why can’t you make some money from it?
Ah well, I’m not going to get bogged down in all that – I like their stuff regardless. And it seems that the guy responsible for the Cloudmen (Piá) is either a part of this collective or at least regularly collaborates.
If you like this kind of thing then you should definitely check out the ‘Wall of Fame’ opposite Jardim Botanico. I guess if you live in Rio then you’ll almost certainly already know about this, but if you’re dropping in for a visit then check it out – it’s a huge long wall that surrounds the jockey club (race course) and has a lot of interesting and varied graffiti. I’ll leave you with a couple of nice examples from the wall.
|Cloudman strikes again…