Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rio Cruzeiro

The art piece I choose today involves deep psychological meaning and it is important to analyze the history behind the artwork before discussing it. The piece of art I chose today does not have a specific author because it involved both renowned artists and local youth as a response to improvement of civil rights and equality in the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The art piece supervised by Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn is called "Rio Cruzeiro" and its located in Vila Cruzeiro, a slum in Rio de Janeiro.

This art piece took 8 months to finish, and it was hard to make due to the dimension of the piece, the enduring long periods of rain,shootings between drug dealers and cops and the police occupation of the slum. This art piece is 2000 square meters and it depicts a river with koi fish fighting the waves.The piece is inspired by traditional Japanese design created by master tattooist Rob Admiraal.
This project was created with the support of Favela Painting, an organization that promotes awareness of the harsh life that slum residents in Brazil face every day.

This project involves great effort by both artists and the residents to create a better life in slums.
What I like about this art piece is the vivid colors and the subliminal message of a flood trying to drown the Koi fish, but they do not give up.This message is an interpretation of the Brazilian government trying to "hide" the cruelty and brutality in slums, but the residents represented as Koi fish demand to be heard, not even if they have to "defeat" the river.
The art piece has a great message and it is one of the most controversial and political art projects in Latin America. This piece is seen as the resistance of the slum residents and the demand of a better life as Brazilian citizens.
This art piece also serves to protect the hill from mudslides during the rainy seasons, therefore this art piece is both practical and beautiful, attributes that in art is usually only achieved through architecture, but the artists made it in a painting format.

For more information about Favela Painting and to see more of their works you can go to http://www.favelapainting.com/ and you can actually donate to help the slum residents or the creation of new art projects.

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