By Maíra Amorim, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Identical twin brothers Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo started drawing on the walls of their house in Cambuci, a middle-class neighborhood in São Paulo, when they were kids. Now, at the age of 35, they are worldwide known graffiti artists having their first individual exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), in the center of the city.
They sign their work and call themselves Osgemeos, which means “The Twins” in Portuguese. The exhibition “Vertigem” occupies three rooms of the classic gallery, with wall paintings and installations that go beyond graffiti.
With “Os Músicos” (The Musicians), they invite visitors to play instruments and to form a big chorus. Guitars, drums and pianos are connected to several speakers in the wall in an installation where interaction is the keyword.
Interactivity is also present in another piece of art presented by Osgemeos. Guests are welcome to participate and enter the sculpture “Cabeça” (Head), a giant cube-head that hangs from the ceiling. Going into the body of the sculpture, visitors will find out that the interior of the cube-head is filled with mirrors and lights that create a powering effect of an infinite reflection.
The paintings presented in the main exhibition room reunite the elements that consecrated the Gemeos’ work: human figures with yellow skin, separated eyes and very colorful outfits. It is possible to recognize the influences of the Brazilian folklore and of the country’s urban reality in the backgrounds and images that reflect the contemporary world – with excluded and disabled people being depicted.
Gustavo and Otávio work together in what they call a “very natural process of improvisation”. Most of the work presented in Vertigem has only been seen in an exhibition that took place in Curitiba at the Museum Oscar Niemeyer. Some of the pieces were designed exclusively for Rio’s exhibition; such as the big painting (5x10m) on the gallery’s wall – defined by Otávio in a recent interview with O’Globo as a “window to a new world” – and the one in which a small house is portrayed.
Oddly enough, Gustavo and Otávio acquired international prestige way before their work started to be recognized in Brazil. Last year, the outside of the Tate Modern Gallery, in London, received a giant yellow man made by the two brothers, who have also painted the walls of Kelburn Castle in Scotland, in 2007, in an innovative project that brought attention to the artists.
The exhibition will be at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil until May 17th. It is then going to open in São Paulo and afterwards in Brasília.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro – Rio de Janeiro – RJ – CEP 20010-000
From Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm
Until May 17th 2009
Telephone: (+55 21) 3808-2020