Eduardo Cupra: If today São Paulo is an open-air art gallery, it is up to artists like him

At No. 46 Rivington Street in New York (Lower East Side) you can admire one of the most famous works Eduardo Cupra: I am talking about 27 . club. A mural commemorating some famous artists who died so young, at exactly 27 years old. Cobra, in this iconic October 2018 action, portrays five unforgettable characters: Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Amy Winehouse.

27 . club (Working title in English) is just one of the many murals to which the Brazilian artist originally belonged Saint Paul He created it in The Big Apple but few know it’s a reinterpretation of an earlier work, still visible in his hometown (here’s the map for where other New York Cobra murals are). Yes, because work before 27 . club It is located in the Pinheiros neighborhood, the center of nightlife in São Paulo, the city in which Carlos Eduardo Fernandes (Kobra is the stage name) was born on January 1, 1976, in the Brazilian Opera, in addition to the above five internationally known names, we also find Jean-Michel Basquiatalso known as SAMO, is an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent who died in 1988.

Today Kobra is an international artist who brings together consensus and appreciation not only in the world of “callejero” but also among ordinary people. His works are scattered for five continents His name is a reference for the new generations. But this was not always the case.

Cobra actually began painting at the age of twelve in a clandestine manner in his neighborhood, Campo Limbo, south of São Paulo. The young artist was inspired by hip-hop music and cultural resistance Which in those years found its fullest expression in New York: the Internet did not yet exist, but the few pictures of graffiti on the carriages of the New York subway made its way. Major was arrested three times But even this did not stop the need for criticism and rebellion against an institutional urban project that was marginalizing entire realms of alternative thought that had descended into the physical and intellectual milieu.

If today São Paulo is internationally recognized as an open-air art gallery, it should be Only for artists like the big, which represented through street art the geography of contention and yet another narrative of a country, Brazil, where social and economic inequality and discrimination remain trademarks. Today’s Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) in São Paulo is a living testimony to the “rhythm of the street” that finds in color a dimension to freedom of expression and ruthless condemnation. Although Beco do Batman (Vila Madalena area) is now a popular tourist destination, it has not lost its icon and here Kobra recently made a comeback with an opera Dedicated to the Japanese community Sao Paulo: The largest outside of Japan.

Then in 2016, for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Cobra and his team won the Guinness Book of Records for Largest aerosol painting mural: A very symbolic work entitled Races, we are all one. It took more than 2,000 packages of spray paint and 1,400 liters of acrylic paint to create the mural, which covered 5,728.62 square meters and was 1,70,688 meters long.

But also in Italy Kobra made its mark with the mural created in Carrara in 2017 (Davy: Michelangelo David) and with Imola in 2019: the last work depicting the late Brazilian Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Sina. He died on May 1, 1994 during the San Marino Grand Prix, after a terrible accident at 211 km / h in the corner of Tamborillo, and is still the beloved Polistan driver of our country real fetish in Brazil. The mural painted by Cobra in Italy is paired with two others he created in 2015 and 2020 always in São Paulo.

Other famous names such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Anna Frank, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Gandhi, John Lennon and Yoko Ono are the protagonists of some of his works that present a unique style that is easily recognizable and puts him at the top of the list. world stage One of the greatest debaters in Latin American art.

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