Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Reverse graffiti in Sao Paolo

click on image to enlarge

A friend from Wellington recently sent me a link on reverse graffiti. I had been familiar with it when some pictures were doing the rounds a year or two ago featuring Ronaldinho on the back of dirty car windows, but this story sparked my intregue again, so I thought I'd throw it up.

Here's the article as it appeared on the environmentalgraffiti.com website:

Welcome to the world of reverse graffiti, where the artist’s weapons are cleaning materials and where the enemy is the elements: wind, rain, pollution and decay. It’s an art form that removes dust or dirt rather than adding paint. Some find it intriguing, beguiling, beautiful and imaginative, whereas others look upon it in much the same way as traditional graffiti – a complete lack of respect for the law. Reverse graffiti challenges ideals and perceptions while at the same time shapes and changes the environment in which we live, whether people think for the better, or not.

Alexandre Orion - Skulls in Sao Paolo

click on image to enlarge

Hailing from Brazil, Alexandre sees his art work as a way of getting an environmental message across to those who ordinarily wouldn’t listen. A few years ago he adorned a transport tunnel in Sao Paolo with a mural consisting of a series of skulls to remind drivers of the detrimental impact their emissions have on the planet.

The Brazilian authorities were incensed but couldn’t actually charge him with anything so they instead cleaned the tunnel. At first the cleaned only the parts Alexandre had cleared but after the artist switched to the opposite wall they had to clean that too. In the end, the authorities decided to wash every tunnel in the city, missing the irony completely, it seems.

click on image to enlarge

There's also a nice vid accompanying the story via youtube.
Here's the link:

There is a lot of gorilla graf happening now, from reverse graf to gorilla gardening (see previous posts from Canada). Nice to see peoples creativity transcending boundaries.

thanks to environmentalgraffiti.com for the pics and words.