You’ve got the entire car-park to yourself, in front of this monster-sized piece by Toz (the largest mural in Rio). Where are you going to park?
[click it for larger view]
As a kid I spent quite a lot of time staring out of the window when I should have been concentrating. My teachers used to say I was “staring into space” which always confused me as I thought they meant outer space! I hadn’t seen a single planet, comet or asteroid. I was just looking at the clouds…
A couple of weeks ago, Mrs Eat Rio and I did our own little Comida di Buteco crawl (it’s like a pub crawl but with added stuffing your face). As we strolled out of Antigamente, a nice little bar on Rua do Ouvidor, I looked up and saw a view that looked photo-worthy.
I don’t think it’s a masterpiece or anything, but I like the way the line of the street leads up to the space between the buildings. This was taken on my phone (hence the grainy appearance) so it wasn’t until I got it back to the computer that I noticed a cheeky little character looking back at me.
That little yellow bird is wearing a cap which says “SRC” on it. Great, I thought, I’ll Google that and find out who did this. Problem: On the internet, SRC is a very common abbreviation of “source” as well as an acronym for about a million different organisations.
The next day I was walking down a street in Tijuca and what did I see?
A couple of weeks ago I was getting off the Metro station in Copacabana. I was in a big hurry because I was running late, but just happened to look up for a moment and saw something pretty amazing.
This is the work of Portuguese artist Alexadre Farto, AKA Vhils. Apparently his process involves first painting an image onto a wall, then using drills, chisels and other tools to chip away at the painting to leave the final image.
Here’s a close-up:
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Copacabana recently. A few months back they closed the Metro station in Ipanema, so nowadays the bus drops me on the beach in Copacabana each night and I wander the streets looking for either Siqueira Campos or Cardeal Arcoverde stations to complete my journey home. At first it was a real pain – I got lost quite a bit – but after a while I found that I was getting to know my around the neighbourhood.
As I walked the streets of Copa, I noticed one set of letters appearing over and over: PXE. I’ve seen these letter on walls, shop fronts and especially on those nondescript, grey boxes that contain, erm, telephone wiring? Electricity stuff? Clearly I have no idea what these boxes are for, but I do know that they look better when they’ve received the PXE treatment!
PXE, or Marcio PXE to his friends, has a pretty cool blog - he even actively encourages people to download examples of his work. I have noticed several themes running through his work and these themes have meant I’ve had to learn some new vocabulary!
Last week we had a couple of guests from Colombia staying with us. One of these guests was a graffiti artist from Bogotá who goes by the name of Dast. Those of you who have picked up on my street art obsession will not be surprised to hear that I was rather excited about the idea of having a real-life grafiteiro to stay. Not just that, but Dast just so happens to do some very cool, geometrically themed graffiti – check it out.
A few hours after Dast and his friend left, Mrs Eat Rio and I decided to go out for a stroll. We hadn’t got more than a few minutes from our house when we turned a corner and saw this:
Wow! Dast had very kindly added an Eat Rio dedication to his fine work. Of course art appreciation is a subjective matter, but in my opinion at least, Dast also did everyone a favour as this gate had previously been covered in some really annoying scrawlings. I accept the fact that I could be a little biased on this matter…
This kind of art is ephemeral and I have no idea whether this will last a week, a month or a year, but I must confess that seeing it gave me a little glow of pride. Many thanks to Dast – come again soon!
During my first 6 months in Rio, my journey to work took me past the long wall that runs opposite Jardim Botânico. This wall is covered with some of Rio’s finest graffiti and because I passed it every day I was soon familiar with every piece on the wall.
As well as recognising the individual works, after a while I started to recognise the characters and styles of the different artists too. One of my favourites was a guy called Toz (real name Tomaz Viana) and the collective he was part of, the Fleshbeck Crew.
Toz (sounds like ‘Toyzh’) has been in the news a lot recently – his enormous work in the port area of Rio deservedly gained a lot of attention.
But I wanted to tell you about another piece of Toz’s work. I was wandering through Gávea about 6 months ago when I saw this:
Regular readers will know that I have a soft-spot for street art. I know it’s not to everyone’s liking and some people even have quite strong objections to what they see as ugly vandalism, but I like it. Having said that, I definitely have more trouble with the pixação so common in São Paulo – while street art (in my eyes at least) makes places less ugly and more interesting, pixação seems to do the opposite.
Today I wanted to illustrate the positive effects of street art in Rio. Praça Quinze de Novembro is a large open square in Rio’s Centro (downtown) neighbourhood. Running straight through the middle of Praça Quinze is the Elevado da Perimetral, an overpass or flyover. Take a look at the scene back in February 2012, taken from Google Maps Street View:
Today I’m going to pick up from where I left off in the last post with João Gilberto’s seminal album Chega de Saudade. One of the songs on the album is a light, lilting number titled Maria Ninguém (“ninguém” is Portuguese for nobody/no one). If you don’t know the song, here is a link (be warned, it can get stuck in your head for days…).
As you may recall, I was listening to this music back in London, meaning my usual Brazilian cultural encyclopedia (AKA Mrs Eat Rio) was not around. It was only when I got back to Brazil that I discovered that Maria Ninguém has a husband named João and that this couple are actually figures of speech!
During my time in Brazil I’ve noticed that young Brazilians seem to lack the apathy that is common in many of their British contemporaries. It is quite normal to see Brazilian teenagers and 20-somethings wearing t-shirts bearing environmental messages: “Save Water!”, “Protect Mother Earth!”. Their British counterparts wouldn’t be seen dead in a t-shirt which was this earnest! They would snort derisively and read out the slogan in a mocking voice. “Oh yeah, ‘Save the Planet’ man.”
Take a look at this: