Spaulo 23 De Maios New Giant Mural

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 31 Dec 2008
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“Since January 2007, São Paulo has enforced a law called Cidade Limpa (‘clear city')” writes our Porto Alegre, Brazil based friend and Juxtapoz contributor, Ana Ferraz. “The objective of this law is to eliminate visual pollution by prohibiting all kinds of outdoor advertising such as billboards, building panels, taxi advertising, and so on. Of course, graffiti and pixação are on that ‘clear’ list too.”

It’s common knowledge that many globally recognized artists such as OSGEMEOS, Nina, Nunca, Vitché and Herbert Baglione call São Paulo, Brazil home so it would seem ironic, disrespectful even, for their city to not only prevent but to remove their public artwork from city walls.

However, that’s exactly what the mayor’s office did this past July. Thankfully, due to public and artist outcry, last weekend a massive mural by OSGEMEOS, Nina, Nunca, Vitché and Herbert Baglione was created in place of an old mural that had been painted over in grey paint with city funding.

Hear the entire story and see exclusive photos of the old and new mural as reported by Ana Ferraz below:

São Paulo: 23 de Maio’s New Giant Mural
by Ana Ferraz

Since January 2007, São Paulo has enforced a law called Cidade Limpa (“clear city”). The objective of this law is eliminate visual pollution by prohibiting all kinds of outdoor advertising such as billboards, building panels, taxi advertising, and so on. Of course, graffiti and pixação are on that “clear” list too. William Baglione’s article about the subject was posted earlier by Juxtapoz here.

This law can sound nice through the “new-blank-walls-to-paint” point of view. But for many graffiti appreciators, the mayor’s office made huge mistakes. The most well-known and relevant occurrence happened this past July, in which a 680 m² panel on the 23 de Maio Street, painted by OSGEMEOS, Nina, Nunca, Vitché and Herbert Baglione was painted over with the city’s grey paint. Remember that this was an authorized panel, made in 2002.


Old panel by OSGEMEOS


Old panel by OSGEMEOS


Old panel by Nina


Old panel by Vitché


Old panel by Vitché


Old panel by Nina


Old panel by Nunca


Old panel by Nunca


Old panel by Herbert Baglione


Old panel by Herbert Baglione

(Above photos by www.flickr.com/photos/mr_fran)

This episode opened many discussions. Some claimed that the mayor’s office couldn’t simply paint all the walls grey, simply forgetting the cultural aspects of a globally recognized city like São Paulo. Others have suggested that the graffiti artists should have to point out which walls have historical and artistic importance and report to the mayor’s office, but that would make these artists responsible for the wall maintenance. This is impossible, since every wall can be important to different groups.

What matters is that these artists, and especially OSGEMEOS, are infamous around the world. “It’s disrespect. We paint a castle in Scotland, the N.Y. mayor office called us to make a panel there. We’re respected and known worldwide. But here, at home, no.” says OSGEMEOS twin Otávio. Other than significance to the graffiti community, these murals have monetary, artistic, and touristic value for the whole city. Nunca added, “They didn’t clear a panel; they cleared part of the Sao Paulo’s art history. The mayor’s office has to make public apologies.” (www1.folha.uol.com.br)

It seems that this apology finally came, in the form of a new panel. The mayor’s office authorized the new graffiti, plus gave ink and machine support, through a private organization, called ACSP (Sao Paulo’s Commercial Association).

The new panel took more then 10 hours per day for over a week to be finished and presents OSGEMEOS, Nina, Nunca, Zefix and Finok work. It was officially re-given to São Paulo last Sunday, December 21st by the mayor himself, Gilberto Kassab.

On the occasion, similar to a campaign speech, Kassab even said: “I hope that the graffiti writers, through this action (the panel), can make more artworks in São Paulo. It’s a big city that needs to support the culture and make more jobs available. Our work at the mayor’s office is making the city cleaner through the Cidade Limpa program, and more beautiful through actions like supporting art in São Paulo.” (www.dci.com.br)


New mural


Nunca painting


OSGEMEOS and Nina


Nunca


Nunca

(Above photos by www.flickr.com/photos/caioguima)


Sao Paulo will have to wait to see the truth. Maybe it’s just a political act, an official answer to a huge mistake, or maybe people are finally recognizing the value of graffiti on their walls and supporting it. In any case, we’re quite happy that this grey ink politics is being questioned by the population and that a giant piece of artwork was given back to the city


Nina


OSGEMEOS


Finok and Nunca


OSGEMEOS


OSGEMEOS


Nunca


Zefix


Zefix and Nina


OSGEMEOS


OSGEMEOS


OSGEMEOS


OSGEMEOS


Nunca

Photos above by www.flickr.com/photos/tia_aninha1


Other info: overunder.blogspot.com/2008/08/kassabs-visual-pollution-clean-up-in.html

 

 

 

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