Artists: Os Gemeos Grafitti

15 Jun

Os Gemos Tate Gallery

 Writing: the most immediate way to communicate, break the routine, change the city

The Os Gemeos twins Otavio and Gustavo, are two graffiti artists from Sao Paolo who are breaking walls (not balls) with cities around the world. Four hands and one idea, one fantasy oriented style, sensual, malincolic,  that takes pieces of the popular culture of  Brazil and transports it into an oniric space, where the composition of the elements takes on a whirlpool of meanings.

 So, two guys with curved backs that hold their gitaurs, remember and paint the illegal cock fighting in the square, a woman sitting down holding flowers like balloons that become a vase, the scene of a flood seems like the reason for a game of tightalking by a circus bird. Their people have yellow skin, long skinny leg, coloured clothes, cute little faces and with them, they have conquered the world of grafitti writing.

Coney Island

In 1998 they had a book printed about them in the American fanzine mag 12oz Prophet , then they hit the   international contemporary art scene, first with a  one man show at the

Gallery Deitch Project of  NY in 2005, finally arriving at gallery shows in Milan, Tate Gallery and around Europe.


In 2007 the City of Sao Paolo promoted the “Cidade Limpa” , a law to combat visual pollution which did not allow any publicity or  posters and limited the size of the signs and was primarily to clean up the city of grafitti. The 700 meter wall painted by the twins was destroyed on the Avnida 23 de Maio and in 24 hours everything had to turn back to grey, creating criticism in the media, to the point of convicing the City Council to take a step backward. And to ask the twins to repaint the wall.

The twins were recognized as creating  one of the most famous  urban scenes around,  and now its hitting Europe like a storm.


They used to hang out  in the street because there wasn’t money to buy games or videogames and so they invented games with what they found around. They used to watch Brazilian tv programs about these alligator-witches and other supernatural creatures. Outside the Brazilian culture they liked the Japanese heros like Ultramen. In 1984 they saw The Wall by Pink Floyd, and since then the cartoons of the ’70’s, the music, the mixture of reality and imagination have entered their subconscious minds and obviously this comes up when they paint.

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