The world-renowned Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra, continues to break barriers with his creative work.
A few months ago he unveiled one of his most important works: “Ethnicities, Unity among Peoples and Peace”, a tribute to the “ordinary and nameless people of Brazil who have helped “build the country”.
But the creative activity of this 43-year-old artist, born in São Paulo, is so frantic that you have to travel all over the world to discover his new pieces.
KOBRA PAINTS THE 9/11 VICTIMS
Kobra presented last September his tribute to the firefighters of New York, within the context of the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
The piece entitled “The Braves of 9/11”, located at the intersection of 150th and 49th Street in New York, shows a firefighter crouching and bowing his head with a helmet and an ax facing the American flag.
The piece is part of a more ambitious project integrated by 28 other murals spread throughout the city. It represents a global milestone in “street art“.
This “complex project”, in his own words, which took three years to complete, is aimed at showing the essence of his work as a muralist and his worldview on issues, such as immigration and refugees, as well as the history of the city, which the artist sees as “the capital of the world”.
KOBRA, A WORLD-SIZED GRAFFITI ARTIST
The mural “Ethnicities, Unity among Peoples and Peace” is 7.22 meters high by 27 meters wide, which, according to Kobra’s standards, is considered to be moderate in size.
It is a new vision of the most marginalized layers of Brazilian society, which is a constant feature throughout Kobra’s work, full of social commitment and political messages.
Throughout his 30-year career, Kobra has stirred the spirit of Brazilian society by addressing a wide range of “sensitive” themes in his artwork, including racism, prejudice, peace, migration and the situation of refugees.
KOBRA AND THE INDIGENOUS CLAIM
The prolific Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra became world-famous during the Olympic Games celebrated in his country in 2016.
He created a large mural in Rio de Janeiro that became one of the great icons of the city and of the sporting event itself. The Guinness Book of Records considered it the largest graffiti in the world.
But in 2017 he beat his own record by painting a graffiti on an area of almost 6,000 square meters, on several facades of a chocolate factory in Sao Paulo. Since that huge wall was not enough, he decided to also use the other walls of the building.
The graffiti represents a young Amazon native rowing a cocoa-laden canoe, in the middle of a river of chocolate. Once again he gained favor with the Guiness Book of Records.
“Even if people drive past it on the highway at 100 kilometers per hour, they can identify the message”, he said. “It’s the biggest mural I’ve ever painted. It is a tribute to all the people who work with cacao and their close relationship with the Amazon Forest”, he added.
The art world, however, has other demands when buildings are used instead of canvases. When the chocolate company Cacau Show placed the order, Kobra prepared a dozen sketches, all based on scenes from the Amazonian regions rich in cocoa.
KOBRA AND HIS VIEW OF GANDHI AND THERESA OF CALCUTA
Although he has taken his work to walls, façades and murals around half the world, Kobra has focused in recent years on redecorating the urban landscapes of New York with icons of music and human rights.
After painting a mural las Summer dedicated to Michael Jackson in the East Village of the Big Apple, Kobra created a 3-story image representing the opposing facial profiles of Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi, in a tribute to their peace role in the world, according to its author.
Gandhi and Mother Theresa are just some of the personalities of history and pop culture that Kobra has immortalized in murals all over the world.
GRAFFITIS FOR THE KINGS OF POP: JACKSON AND BOWIE
The list includes Anne Frank, Tupac, Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, Bob Dylan and Yoda. Even though he has created projects from Mumbai and Malawi to Moscow and Minneapolis, the New York City area has always been one of his favorite places to work.
Kobra used the prominent graffiti of Michael Jackson that include two images of MJ as a child and as an adult, bright colors and bold lines, but he remained faithful to the kaleidoscope concept which is customary in all his artwork.
“The technique of repeating squares and triangles allows him to give life to the famous characters he represents in his images,” as indicated in his website.
His love for pop and rock culture has been featured in many ways. One of his most famous murals is the one that brings together some of music’s biggest stars now departed: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain who share the same space in one of the most beautiful tributes dedicated to these music giants in the celestial realm.
Last year he did a monumental mural in a large apartment building in Jersey City, celebrating the late David Bowie in his character as Ziggy Stardust.
The Kobra phenomenon is unstoppable. Earlier this year, a photograph of the mural that the artist painted in 2017 in the building housing the Puertas de Castilla Cultural Center in Murcia, Spain was published on Instagram and in less than 16 hours, it had already obtained more than 435,000 Likes.
The mural is entitled ‘Face of Salvador Dalí’, and he used 250 cans of spray and 60 liters of paint, together with a group of local artists and urban art fans.
Eduardo Kobra was born in 1976 in the region of Campo Limpo, on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. He grew up immersed in the urban culture of the city. He has become a world-known street art figure for his colorful murals in more than 40 cities, from Los Angeles to Moscow. Kobra’s approach is based on the skateboard, breakdance and hip hop culture, which were part of his everyday life.