By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo Park’s Museum of Modern Art (MAM) will host a celebration of urban culture this weekend with the launch of Arte Core. From October 5th-6th the event will pitch up in the museum’s beautiful gardens with a heady selection of graffiti panels and live painting, music and skating.
“I think it’s beautiful and very symbolic, no?” the artist Rodrigo Villas, who will participate in the event, told The Rio Times. “I think it’s a milestone for Rio de Janeiro for a cultural institution like MAM to legitimize the production of street art.”
The Arte Core exhibitions are being curated by HomeGrown, an Ipanema-based streetwear shop and gallery that for eight years has nurtured and cultivated the growing street art and vibrant urban culture movements in the city.
“Homegrown plays a key role in the development of the scene in Rio,” said Villas, who maintained contact with the team even during his six years living in Spain. “Since they arrived on the circuit, we artists have gained a true option to work with someone who truly understands our reality, respects our work and incentivizes us to evolve. Arte Core is a clear example of this.”
Three main exhibits will take place; ’16 Artistas de Rua’, ‘Espaço Galeria’ and ‘Sneakers Br’. In the former, the work of sixteen of Rio’s finest street artists will be displayed in four 6m x 3m cubes with four people designated to each cube.
Cube one will feature the work of Piá, Leo Uzai, Bruno BR and SWK. Cube two will feature Onio, Mottilaa, AFA and Marcelo Ment, the artist who provided the promo graphics for this year’s Rio International Film Festival.
“I always try to relate to the neighborhood and the environment I want to interact with,” Villas, who began creating street art in 1998, continued. “Street art is not just graffiti, my main project is a bird made of wood that I place on electricity wires and on trees. I have the goal to ‘bombard’ the city of birds. I think that every action in the street should be well thought out, so that your work does not lose consistency .. or importance.”
For Arte Core’s Gallery Space, the works of fourteen artists; Bragga, Flavio Samelo, Alejandro Saavedra, João Lelo, Antonio Bokel, André Muniz Dalata, Rafael Plaisant, Vagner Donasc, Denys Melo, Rafael Uzai, Marcelo Macedo, Bruno Big, Izolag and Combone, will be displayed, many of whom have previously shown at Homegrown’s small gallery space.
The Sneakrs BR exhibit, meanwhile, will illustrate the history of sneakers in street culture, featuring a timeline of pieces connecting iconic footwear with historic urban movements.
Jorge Cupim, a legendary skateboarder from the city’s Zona Norte (North Zone) will also be on hand during the festival to provide skateboarding lessons to both children and adults. A skate shop will also be open on both days (10AM-12PM and 2PM-4PM).
Finally, the Espaço Rabisco will hold graffiti workshops giving novices a chance to grasp some of the basic techniques of the artform as well as discussions and debate.
“Here we experience a freedom to paint in the street that is unique in the world,” Villas concludes. “Nowhere else you could spend two to three hours painting a large panel with your friends, drinking a beer and really enjoying that time.”
What: Arte Core (artecore.com.br)
Where: Museu de Arte Moderna, Av. Infante dom Henrique 85, Parque do Flamengo
When: Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th from 10AM to 8PM. FREE.