The Cosmic Boys are an artist duo who paint murals all around the world, often collaborating with local people to make bright, colourful creations that unify communities from Syria to Brazil. BristoLatino’s Social Media Editor, Helen Westlake, gives an overview of their work.
This month, Arte Core held a two day convention at the MAM (Museum of Modern Art) in Rio de Janeiro for the sixth consecutive year to celebrate street art and other forms of urban culture such as skating and alternative music. Sponsored by brands like Converse Brasil and Itaipava (a Brazilian lager drunk on every beach and street corner of the city), the convention included DJ sets and clothes customization workshops. Arte Core also invited 14 talented artists from all over Brazil to paint pieces on site for passersby to admire.
Two of the canvases painted during the convention were created by the visual artist duo who go by the name of Cosmic Boys: Zeh Palito from Sao Paulo and Rimon Guimarães from Curitiba (capital of the southern state of Paraná, dubbed Brazil’s “green capital” by the Guardian). Both artists have travelled the world for solo projects as well as together, leaving their colourful mark on the walls of each city they visit. Their murals are big, bold and bright, often featuring fruit, plants and animals from their home country, such as jaguars and different kinds of tropical birds.
The Cosmic Boys’s work is hugely influenced by their travels. The duo clearly have a high awareness of cultural fluidity, and look to celebrate this phenomenon in the murals they create. Rimon even called his first solo exhibition in London “Diaspora”, and the 16 canvases on display celebrated Africa and explored the African diaspora around the world.
In 2017 they famously painted the biggest mural in Syria with the help of local children as part of the Cosmic Future project run by the Brazilian charity Conexus Project, who look to “connect people through art”. As part of the same art and education project, they revamped a school in a Syrian refugee camp and painted a school bus in Lebanon.
More recently they made headlines for transforming Alto Veracruz favela in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais state in Brazil, into an explosive “macro-mural”, painting over 40 houses with their trademark tecni-colour patterns. Community members actively participated in the creation by helping to paint the piece. Through collaborating with locals, the project brought brought people together and made them see the beauty of their community. The Cosmic Favela can be seen from all over Belo Horizonte, as it is positioned high on the morro, a term that literally translates into “hill” in English, but is also another term for a favela in Brazilian Portuguese. It is now a beacon of colour shining down on the city. Favelas are often stigmatised for being dark, dirty and dangerous places, a view which divides Brazilian society much of the time. Murals are highly visible due to their scale, therefore the target audience could be anyone. The Cosmic Favela, by drawing attention to the community and the beauty it has created, can be seen as a protest to the rest of Belo Horizante against the silencing and condemning of favelas in Brazil as a whole.
To learn more about the Cosmic Boys, follow their Instagram, @cosmicboysofficial. To read more about Conexus Project’s work in the Middle East go to https://www.facebook.com/conexusproject/
Photo credits: The Wire, Cosmic Boys