[artinfo] Street-Art Brazil at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

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Fri Sep 6 12:41:42 CEST 2013

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Street-Art Brazil
5 September-27 October 2013

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Online magazine: 
In conjunction with Brazil's appearance as guest 
of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013, the 
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting the 
multifaceted world of Brazilian graffiti art for 
the first time ever in Germany. The major cities 
of Brazil are home to one of the world's most 
vital and fascinating graffiti scenes. In terms 
of both content and aesthetic quality, this 
colourful, dynamic and unique movement differs 
significantly from the American and European 
street-art scenes. Brazilian street art stands 
apart from the globalized graffiti culture by 
virtue not only of the specific political and 
social climate in a country rocked by profound 
upheavals, but also because of the incredible 
abundance of styles and techniques it 
encompasses. Eleven artists and artist groups 
from São Paulo and other Brazilian cities have 
been invited to exhibit their paintings in urban 
settings throughout Frankfurt, beginning with the 
Schirn building, and thus to alter the everyday 
image of the city. Their works include figurative 
and abstract, light-hearted and socially critical 
paintings ranging from oversized murals to 
unpretentious, ephemeral signs and symbols. They 
will appear, among other places, on bank towers, 
bridge abutments on the banks of the Main, the 
floor of the "Hauptwache," "St. Matthäus" Church 
and the former city police presidium. Yet another 
highlight is a painted subway train. Known as a 
"whole train," this form of graffiti is regarded 
as the supreme discipline among graffiti artists. 
A mobile app developed specifically for the 
exhibition featuring a wealth of background 
information and artists' videos is available to 
help visitors navigate as they stroll through 
downtown Frankfurt.  

The metropolis of São Paulo is a leading centre 
of Brazilian street art, rivalled only by Rio de 
Janeiro and Curitiba. Since the mid-1980s, the 
local scene in that city has evolved into one of 
the most vital and artistically diverse 
street-art cultures in the world. It is 
characterized by highly distinctive and extremely 
varied interventions in urban space-and it is 
omnipresent in São Paulo. After twenty years of 
military dictatorship, the strong desire to 
promote the free expression of public opinion led 
to the growth of a politically motivated 
counter-culture. In contrast to the global scene, 
graffiti is not only tolerated in the cities of 
Brazil, it has been accepted to a certain extent 
as part of the visual culture. Brazilians 
distinguish between pixação, the Brazilian form 
of tagging, and graffiti, as represented by 
large-scale figurative and abstract murals of the 
type painted by the eleven artists invited to 
Frankfurt by the Schirn. Chronologically 
speaking, Street-Art Brazil begins with 
representatives of the first generation of 
grafiteiros (Vitché, Speto and Tinho). Born in 
the late 1960s and early 1970s, they began 
invading the streets with their paintings after 
the fall of the military dictatorship, thus 
giving voice to the desire to promote the free 
expression of public opinion after years of 
silence during and after the oppressive rule of 
the military regime. Facing a shortage of 
artistic resources, they opted, as they still do 
today, for wall paint and rollers in addition to 
relatively expensive spray cans. The younger 
protagonists in the scene also respond to the 
current social, economic and environmental 
problems in their city and are inspired by 
elements of indigenous culture as well. Common to 
all is a distinctive position achieved through a 
singular visual language. Artists define 
themselves through public exposure-by presenting 
their works to public view and disseminating them 
as widely as possible. Recognition of their 
artistic signatures-their brand-is crucial to 
their success. 

Participating artists: Herbert Baglione, Gais, 
Rimon Guimarães, Jana Joana & Vitché, Nunca, 
Onesto, Alexandre Orion, Speto, Fefe Talavera and 
Tinho, Zezão

App: In addition to the exhibition catalog, the 
Schirn has developed a mobile app designed to 
help visitors navigate through the city. The 
mobile app is already available free of charge 
and will be available for Android within the next 
days. The app can be downloaded in standard 

Director: Max Hollein; Curator: Carolin Köchling

Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-7pm,
Wednesday-Thursday 10am-10pm

Press contact:
Axel Braun (head Press/Public Relations): T +49 
69 29 98 82 153 / F +49 69 29 98 82 240 / 
<mailto:presse at schirn.de>presse at schirn.de / 
(texts, images, and films for download under 

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