When I started writing this entry, I didn’t expect it to end up the way it did. It was a happy accident. When I decided to write about Os Gemeos it was because I’ve always been attracted to their art and wanted to share that. I didn’t realize how their work has become so much more than that to me. They are an inspiration, especially now.
If you haven’t heard of Os Gemeos, maybe you have seen their iconic characters – the poor, the hungry, the theives, robbers and rebels – which cover the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. They are twin graffiti artists. There are strengths of twins collaborating artistically. I once read an interview about how they paint together. It’s very similar to how Noey and I work. While they are painters and we are animators, the process is the same. For example, sometimes completing something the other starts. Just like finishing eachother’s sentences or saying something in unison. I think twins work so well together because we share the same twisted, imaginary world.
I identify with their work because it is so different, and I’m drawn specifically to their unique characters. Before internet, Brazil was isolated from outside influences and what emerged were their fresh ideas across the canvas of the country. I am into art that isn’t necessarily pretty. Noey and I are killing off a cute little bunny in our logo. Gritty, dirty textures and styles that border on creepy, for me that’s the kind of work that can evoke more emotion than something that is classically beautiful. In this interview, Os Gemeos explain that their inspirations and influences come from their surroundings – growing up in a city where you have to survive, a dense city where people are living on top of one another, poverty, ugly things, etc. People living in New York can relate to that on some level.
In some of the poorest areas, the techniques, and messages of graffiti are truly stunning. The way their characters interact with their surroundings … I think this speaks louder than if they were exhibited in a room. It’s true that the graffiti will be painted over. But then the artists come back to paint again, and with a new message for the world.
The cultural diversity and unemployment has an influence in their art. This has had a huge impact on me as an artist. Their will, determination and resilience is a reminder. Don’t sit back and wait for opportunities. Stand up. Produce art. If it gets you down and depressed, use it. React to social issues in an artistic way.