North-American subcultures like punk/hardcore, hip hop, graffiti and skateboarding were exported to various countries via movies, magazines and other Medias. Brazilian kids first tried to emulate the music, art and tricks from those subcultures, but soon realized that was impossible due to economic and material difficulties and cultural differences. It didn’t stop them to adapt everything, from materials to attitude, creating new branches for this American-turned-global new urban culture. Now Brazilian artists with urban roots and skateboarders are getting international recognition, mostly by the new flavor they’re adding to the game.
In June 2008 Santander Cultural, the biggest art space in Porto Alegre, one of the biggest cities in Brazil, opened its doors to TRANSFER- an exhibition showcasing street art (skateboarding included), with photos, videos and live performances, independent rock, skateboard related art, underground comics and fanzine art from the last two decades and also original artwork and installations from international acclaimed Brazilian artists with roots in urban culture. North-American artists that are both influences and contemporaries to this Brazilian generation also are having their first large exposure in Brazil with TRANSFER. The show was curated by Lucas Ribeiro Pexão.
The exhibition is organized in four different sections: Beautiful Losers, Mauditos, Intervencionistas and Street Fine Art.
Beautiful Losers – The partnership with the famous international exhibition brought the work of 27 American artists to Brazil, mostly for the first time, and also the presence of the curator Christian Strike. In this section the public can appreciate prints, photos and videos by artists like Cheryl Dunn, Andy Jenkins, Barry McGee, Evan Hecox, Geoff Mcfetridge, Harmony Korine, Larry Clark, Raymond Pettibon, Shepard Fairey, Steve Powers, Terry Richardson, Todd James, Wes Humpston, Ryan Mcginness, and others.
Mauditos – Late 80’s and early 90’s Brazilian finest underground graphic artists where reunited for the first time in this section, by the curators and artists Fabio Zimbres and Alexandre Cruz (aka Sesper), outcast legends themselves. Visitors can see an impressive collection of experimental fanzines from various authors and skateboard decks, together with never exposed original drawings from Billy Argel, the artist behind the most famous Brazilian skateboard graphics from the 80’s. Old and new works from artists like MZK, Lourenço Muttarelli, Weaver Lima, Lauro Roberto and Alberto Monteiro are also displayed, proving why they are or could be (some of them are still unknown for most artists even in Brazil) the heroes for the new generation of urban artists.
Intervencionistas – Exhibits images of the most original urban intervention in cities all over Brazil, with painted/pasted artworks by artists as Osgemeos, Vitché, Alex Hornest and Sesper and tricks by skaters like Cezar Gordo, Jarbas Alves, Rodrigo Maizena and Diego Oliveira. Photos and videos showcase the interaction between artists and the city by the unique views from www.Lost.Art.br website and CenporcentoSkate magazine photographers.
Right in the middle of Santander Cultural, at the grand hall, Noh (a skateboard, architecture and art group), along with the well-known Brazilian architect Pedro Mendes da Rocha, designed a multi-functional space to be used for live performances, like music jams and specially skateboarding. Pro skaters are invited to take over Santander´s art space and adapt to the unusual structure, with its forms created by architects who project urban landscapes, and not skateparks. This experiment questions the notion of how spaces for skateboarding should be projected in a time where street skating is by far the most popular way to ride a board.
Street Fine Art – Right now, there’s a whole new generation of Brazilian artists entering the established art world, producing paintings and installations, traveling around the globe to show their work in independent or mainstream art spaces. Names like Herbert Baglione, Nunca, Titi Freak and Bruno 9li are getting more and more famous and the prices of their work are rising fast. They don’t have the traditional background for artists, most of them haven’t had formal art classes, but they share roots in urban cultures and do-it-yourself ethics. First inspired by overseas counter-cultures, this vibrant new Brazilian art have now many other particular influences, such as pixo reto (Sao Paulo’s original graffiti style) and Brazilian folk art. Like in other big cities around the world, these artists are heavily involved with skateboard, independent music, fanzines, indy magazines and videos, but used to work in “third world” conditions and make it happen anyway.
TRANSFER shows many original art, made for exhibitions or owned by art collectors, pieces by artists such as Alex Hornest, Bruno 9li, Luciana Araujo, Silvana Mello, Vitché, Felipe Young (aka Flip), Stephan Doitschinoff. The acclaimed artists Nunca, Titi Freak, Kboco, Carlos Dias, Flavio Samelo, Walter Nomura Tinho and the young ripper Rimon Guimarães (aka Rim) painted big wall panels inside the building, while Hebert Baglione painted an entire room. Also, there are four huge wood columns, used as protection for the historical building, painted by the artists Geraldo Tavares, Nina Moraes, Mateus Grimm and Trampo.
TRANSFER shows many original art, made for exhibitions or owned by art collectors, pieces by artists such as Alex Hornest, Bruno 9li, Luciana Araujo, Silvana Mello, Vitché, Felipe Young (aka Flip), Stephan Doitschinoff. The acclaimed artists Nunca, Titi Freak, Kboco, Carlos Dias, Flavio Samelo, Walter Nomura Tinho and the young ripper Rimon Guimarães (aka Rim) painted big wall panels inside the building, while Herbert Baglione painted an entire room. Also, there are four huge wood columns, used as protection for the historical building, painted by the artists Geraldo Tavares, Nina Moraes, Mateus Grimm and Trampo.
Lucas Ribeiro (aka Pexão) is a journalist and curator rooted in skateboard culture, underground comics and fanzines. He was part owner of Adesivo, one of the first Brazilian art gallery related to urban/underground art, home of early exhibitions by artists like Bruno 9li, Carlos Dias, Stephan Doitschinoff, Felipe Young and Sesper. Now he runs Fita Tape, a gallery focused on contemporary graphic art. Lucas also edits Vista Skateboard Art, a free glossy national distributed magazine, and Skatismo skateboard video. Right now he works on all this projects and many others under the umbrella called Noz, a creative/design/silkscreen studio, together with graphic artist Ana Ferraz.