Brazilian Street Artists Os Gêmeos Invite You to Enter their Surrealist World

30 Sep


Back in the Days, 2008

Portuguese twin artists Os Gêmeos first captured my imagination at the Aug. 2011 Art in the Streets exhibit at LA’s MOCA. Their vivid and surreal depictions of urban and rural characters were intoxicating. And the colors – not enough can be said about  their trademark palette. I was tickled when I noticed the above work at the current solo exhibition at the ICA Boston, because it is actually owned by MOCA’s embattled director Jeffrey Deitch, currently the most hated man in the LA art world. Below is my article that appeared in the Sep. 25. 2012 issue of The Citizen newspaper.

A street art exhibit featuring Portuguese twins who alternate between playful depictions of rural traditions and critiques of social inequity – the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Os Gêmeos seems custom-made for Kennedy School students. Need further proof? It’s free for Harvard students.


Amanheceu De Cabeca Prabaxo (Upside Down Sunrise), 2012. Mixed media on panel

The first US solo museum exhibition of the São Paulo twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo runs through Nov. 25 and is well worth the T ride to Boston’s waterfront. As with all great graffiti success stories, the twins’ tale begins during the explosion of hip-hop in mid-1980s New York City.

Inspired but lacking affordable spray paint and concrete knowledge of how the New Yorkers did it, Os Gêmeos were forced to pave their own path. Armed with paint rollers and latex paint pigment, the twins developed a signature style featuring yellow-tinged characters and surrealist scenes. While they are known for their large-scale murals celebrated around the world, their paintings that incorporate household objects and wood sculptures are among the most moving in this exhibition.


The Stars Are Fish Out of Water

On the 3rd Sat. of each month, local musicians will bring the sonic sculpture Os Musicos to life. A Brazilian or hip-hop soundtrack would be a welcome addition the rest of the time, but I suppose it may interfere with the enjoyment of the free audio guide.


The Last Station of Spring, 2010

After you exit the small one-room show and relish the breathtaking views of the expansive waterfront on your four-story descent, your surrealist street art journey is far from over. Armed with newly acquired insight and perspective, it’s time to find the twins’ murals around town. Start at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square, where you’ll find a controversial but awe-inspiring 70-ft mural on a Big Dig ventilation building. Then make your way to Stuart St.’s Revere Hotel before completing your journey at Webster St. in Somerville’s Union Square. The cross-town journey will be rewarded with the chance to experience the artists’ talents the way it was originally appreciated: on the streets and on a massive-scale.

os musicos

Os Musicos

Os Gemeos runs now through Nov. 25, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Art
, Boston


Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Toro: The Best Meal I've Had in Boston, So Far - TreasureMA - September 30, 2012

    […] a canvas, with the orange sheen of the fresh uni recalling the surreal characters by Os Gêmeos. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time at museums lately. The miso butter and pickled mustard seeds were nice touches. Tuna […]

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