Archive for the ‘rio de janeiro’ Tag

Kehinde Wiley: Ghetto Grandeur


All image cred: SuperTouch.

Spotted this fresh series by Kehinde Wiley on SuperTouch.

If you live in LA you can catch Wiley’s exhibition, The World Stage – Brazil, at Roberts & Tilton Gallery.


Wiley got his favela models to recreate the poses of key statues in the city.

In assuming the role the of the western colonizer, they challenge their status as socially invisible – so he explains:

Kehinde Wiley – The World Stage by PGrizzy on YouTube.

I found it strange there were no women in this series, but the artist has a logic:

“By enlarge, the absence of women is the normal state within the history of art. The reasons having to do with misogyny, empire, construction of power – being the sole territory of powerful men.”


The detail on these paintings is spectacular. Get in up-close on the website and you’ll see how grandiose they are.

As hyperrealism goes, they deliver loud and clear. It’s like the opposite of, and complement to, JR’s industrialised photocopies of black and white photo-portraits.


Previous favela:

– Diplo’s first feature film: Favela on Blast.

JR’s Women Are Heroes: the other face of ghetto grandeur.

Preview: Favela on Blast

After an earlier post about Nois, a boutique of Brazilian directors, I was granted a glimpse of the future.

Here are some stills from the upcoming film Favela on Blast – directed by Leandro HBL and DJ Diplo.

Still photographer: Rebekka Elhers

Production designer: Leandro HBL


Favela on Blast explores the universe of baile funk in Rio. An October premiere of the film in Brazil was followed last month by a European debut in Copenhagen.


The two directors first collaborated on the music video for Diplo Rhythm and aficionados will know that Favela on Blast bears the title of Diplo’s breakthrough baile funk mixtape.


I’ll keep this post updated on news of US/ UK release.

In the meantime it’s good to know that more favela films are in production. The World Film Collective are working with kids in the Morro dos Prazeres favela so they can make and edit footage from their mobile phones. (More on that here).

Previous Brazil:

Taschen’s Latin American Grapic Design

JR’s Women Are Heroes

Black Swan in the Rain

Pick, pack, pock, puck. Rain beats a rhythm and it changes the pulse.

Caught outdoors by the rain, people get wired. With a clear sky, they were flapping aimlessly like loose ends in the gentle breeze.

But steady rain snaps you into your circuit board. What were you doing? Where where you going? Well, do it quick and get going. Or it’s drowned rat o’clock.

Stand still in the street and you’re dead. Umbrella spokes zip past at guillotine height. Every man for himself. Selfishness rules the road. An electric chorus of angry.

I saw something different this time last year in Rio de Janeiro, staying on the Praia de Botafogo. It was Autumn and it didn’t rain much. But when it rained, you moved fast. Because it rained hard.

Everyone moved to the mall when it rained. It was the biggest sheltered public space.

Everyone was wet. Real wet. But they weren’t angry. Because it would just happen. It was relatively unpredictable, but they always knew what to do when it happened. Get to the mall.

Once they were there, and big numbers went there, it sparked random connections. Old friends would spot then snap each other with their mobiles in the glimpse of an escalator ride.

Click. Stop. The words are scampering too fast. What could any of this mean?

1. Running in the rain can make you a jerk-off (to bastardise an insight of Nassim Nicholas Taleb). Find shelter and watch the sparks fly. You’ll be constantly surprised.

2. Get drenched? It doesn’t matter when randomness brings you together with friends. And the black swan – the unpredictable high-impact event – can do that spectacularly.

(This post is available in very very amateur 3D, in case you’re still wondering about the doodles above.)