Os Gemeos – ‘The Twins’


Image courtesy of Fatcap.com

I first discovered the outlandish work of Brazilian twins Os Gemeos a few years ago, in a book entitled Graffiti Brasil written by Tristan Manco and Caleb Neelon. Emblazoned with one of their trademark yellow figures, Graffiti Brasil was a situationist exploration of Brazilian graffiti and culture that framed Os Gemeos work within historical, social and political contexts, claiming that for many, it had come to represent Brazil’s graffiti movement itself.


Image courtesy of Fatcap.com

Now, after 22 years of spraying their vivacious art across the globe and gaining the respect of graffiti audiences worldwide in the process, Os Gemeos have, for the first time, taken their surreal mix sardonic and fantasy portraiture to Manhattan – just spitting distance from the birthplace of Graffiti, the Bronx.


Image courtesy of NY Times.

With a mural stretching across an entire Manhattan street corner situated on Houston Street and the Bowery, Os Gemeos (‘The Twins’ in Portuguese) have brought South America North, embellishing a section of New York’s cityscape with a multi-coloured, intertwined series of fairytale narratives, that is both other-worldly and yet intrinsically Brazilian.


Image courtesy of NY Times.

As Graffiti Brasil documented, the twins’ work in Sao Paolo exists in a sun-bleached environment of disrepair and dust. Their swollen, jaunty figures that are evocative of Botero at times and influenced by Brazilian folktales, literature, and Pichacao art, exist in an environment saturated with humanity; sweat, litter, protest and poverty.

So even when displaced to a city as modernised as Manhattan, these folk influences shine through Os Gemeos’ work, rendering the whimsical narratives – as fantastic as they are – a mere footnote. The mural’s beauty therefore, lies in this organic, brightly-coloured transmission of Brazilian culture. As New York Times said, “It’s magical realism with a touch of grit… a tale of escape and growth that begins in darkness…and ends in a stunning vortex of brilliant colour”

Video of Os Gemeos at work in Milan:

Kristian

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2 Responses to “Os Gemeos – ‘The Twins’”

  1. Plasticiens Volants & Os Gemeos present ‘O Estrangeiro’ « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] at the Fold have already expressed a fondness for the work of Brazilian street artists Os […]

  2. Plasticiens Volants & Os Gemeos present ‘O Estrangeiro’ – Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] at the Fold have already expressed a fondness for the work of Brazilian street artists Os […]

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