I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Os Gemeos recently, for various reasons, and was planning to write a general post about them. Rumors then began to surface that they would soon be painting the wall at the corner of Bowery and Houston Street in SoHo that was formerly home to a Keith Haring tribute mural. This rumor was confirmed as the twins were spotted beginning their work today.
For those who don’t know, the Haring mural, a recreation of one of the artist’s 1982 pieces in the same spot, was commissioned by the Keith Haring Foundation, Deitch Projects, and Goldman Properties, the wall’s owner, in honor of what would have been Haring’s 50th birthday.
Although the Haring mural was really nice, it’s going to be great to see what the twins get up there. In anticipation of it (but really because it was an excuse to sift through lots of pictures), I thought it would be nice to take a look at some of the great street pieces they have painted over the past ten years.
This first mural is from 1999, when people outside Brazil were really just starting to get to know who Os Gemeos were. You can definitely see the evidence of their hip hop/b-boy/graffiti roots in their use of shape and color. The piece is a collaboration with Vitche (most of whose work is actually captured in a second photo – it is a very long wall!) I’m not sure who took the picture, but it is featured on Art Crimes.
This wall was painted in Porto Alegre in 2000. I really like the flow from figurative to wild style here. I connect with the character in the same way I connect with the characters in the work of Barry McGee, a great friend of the artists since 1993. Again, the photo is from Art Crimes.
I recently visited Cuba, and although I saw very little Cuban street art there, I saw work by Os Gemeos and Nina everywhere I looked (a lot more than I saw in Sao Paulo, strangely enough). This fantastic photo, taken by Robin Thom in 2005, really illustrates how the artists can transform an entire environment with even the tiniest piece.
This piece was painted in Shibuya, Japan in 2007. It’s a great example of the magical world Os Gemeos invite us to enter and indulge in. Photo by ae7c.
Also from 2007, but painted in Sao Paulo, this depiction of pixacao writers offers a perspective on life in the twins’ native city. Nearly all Os Gemeos pieces contain an element of social commentary, which is heightened by their use of cultural emblems and fine attention to human behavior. Photo by ndrc.
This is one of Os Gemeos’ most famous murals as it was painted on the Tate Modern back in May last year. Simple but very powerful, it is quite representative of their current style. Photo credit to Lois Stavsky.
Now, after looking through at least two hundred amazing photos, I’m more excited than ever to see their new piece!