Imagine a 360-degree, 70-foot (21 metre) tall outdoor mural that’s over 23,500 square feet (7,162 square metres) in size. And it’s not just any mural. This one is designed and created by OSGEMEOS, two uber-exciting Brazilian artists who happen to be identical twin brothers. Inspired by hip hop music and the Brazilian cultural vibe, they have evolved into seriously recognized and innovative artists. OSGEMEOS, which means “the twins”, have taken the Contemporary art world by storm. Recognized as one of 25 artists who are shaking up public art, this is their biggest project to date and their first in Canada.
The mural will be created on the six gigantic silos that are part of the Ocean Concrete manufacturing and distribution plant on Vancouver’s Granville Island alongside the world-famous Public Market, Emily Carr University, and boat docks that attract 10.5-million visitors per year.
“The mural is destined to become one of the most recognizable and iconic works of public art anywhere in the world, and if all goes as envisioned, it will become a legacy of the 2014-2016 Biennale exhibition”, says Barrie Mowatt, President and Founder of the Vancouver Biennale. “People need to realize that these unassuming guys have exhibited at some of the most prestigious art institutions in the world including the Tate Modern in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Their most recent project was the FIFA World Cup Boeing 737. We are immensely proud that OSGEMEOS is making their Canadian debut through the Vancouver Biennale. They represent an innovation and accessibility that fits the mandate of the Biennale and they join the roster of international artists including Ai Weiwei, Andy Goldsworthy, Vik Muniz and Jonathan Borofsky in transforming Vancouver into an open air museum at the 2014-2016 Vancouver Biennale”.
Today the Biennale also launches an Indiegogo crowd sourcing campaign to offset the $125,000 cost of the project. “Had it not been for the generosity of the artists, Ocean Concrete and the curatorial, administrative and project management support from the Biennale, this would easily have been a million dollar project, so we’re putting the "public” back into public art”, says Miriam Blume, Director of Marketing for the Vancouver Biennale. “Our campaign slogan, Who says you have to be a gazillionaire to be a patron of the arts, reaches out to the global community to contribute $5, $10, $50 to be part of the team that makes it happen”.
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“The first challenge of this project was to find a location that would fit with our idea. We did not want a conventional two-dimensional wall that we had done before - we wanted something different, special and unique. We have an ongoing project called "Giants" that has been realized in several places in the world such as Greece, USA, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Brazil and England, and we will continue now in Canada, but with a difference. As the proposed Biennale has a strong connection with sculpture, we decided to find a place where the painting can be transformed, creating a dialogue between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds. Another aim of this project is to bring new characters to Vancouver while sharing perspectives and cultures and establishing a relationship between the people who frequent this site and integrate this work into the city scenery. The connection between water and land on Granville Island, on the False Creek margins, also had a lot to do with the choice of location - for us, the water acts as a vein, symbolizing life, and it is very present in our work.”
Aug 6th: Colour blocking on the silos begins
Aug 11th: Undercoat and colour blocking for entire mural complete
Aug 13th: Os Gemeos begin detailed painting
Sept 7th: Official unveiling and public celebration at Granville Island
About the Artists
OSGEMEOS (b. 1974, São Paulo, Brazil), translated as “THETWINS”, Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, have worked together since birth. As children growing up in the streets of the traditional district of Cambuci (SP), they developed a distinct way of playing and communicating through artistic language. With the encouragement of their family, and the introduction of hip-hop culture in Brazil in the 1980s, OSGEMEOS found a direct connection to their dynamic and magical world and a way to communicate with the public through their street art. Today, recognized and admired both nationally and internationally, the artists utilize this combined visual language, improvisation and a sense of playfulness to intuitively create a variety of projects worldwide. They have held numerous solo and group shows in the most prestigious museums and galleries throughout the world, transforming the dialogue of art from the common to the sophisticated.
Report courtesy of Vancouver Biennale.