|Collage with papered boy, Rio 2011.|
The streets of Rio de Janeiro are currently exploding with art, and any available surface is an opportunity for some rogue artist to express (presumably) him-self. Graffiti has reach masterpiece proportions, with artworks elbowing for space on brick walls, electrical boxes, undersides of bridges, and even the occasional slow moving vehicle.
These works in spray paint, by brush, or through decoupage, all tell tales in various styles, of class and struggle, of life on the street and life in outer space, of drugs and euphoria and love and violence and death and peace.
I like many and even love a few of them. In particular, I'm captivated with a few, including those who use original artwork printed on paper which is then pasted around the city in strategic spots.
|Illustrated Paper Woman, Rio 2011.|
|Papered Corset, Rio 2011|
|Papered Cristo, Rio 2011|
|Papered Allstar Shoe, Rio 2011|
The industriousness of this display can not be understated, as it allows the vandalizing artists to sneak in and out undetected, quickly applying the adhesive and then the image, presumably an original, before clandestinely moving on to the next "canvas", transforming the sprawling city into an urban gallery.
The more promotional amongst the lot, elect to repeat for effect, same or similar images in multiple locations, creating brand recognition and memory reinforcement.
|Art Wallpaper Swatch, Rio 2011|
Then, as I rounded the corner in the neighborhood known as Botafogo I encountered the most impressive piece of the day, lurking just inside the gates of the Universidade Federal do Rio, a prolific promoter had covered an entire building with his images.
|Universidade Federal do Rio, 2011|
And this, all within a short afternoon walk along the streets of Rio de Janeiro, the "cidade maravilhoso" living fully up to its name, without even the help of sun or sand or palm tree, just another urban landscape yearning to provide its population of artists a place to live and a place to express the emotions and concepts of that life.