The first several days in Rio was like Limeira and Sao Paulo, I got on a wall to FumeRioize it right away. We ate at a cafeteria style buffet, then loaded and fueled up to rock. I painted Medo’s portrait this time. The following day we went to the beach where I, Zeh Palito, Kaja Man, Medo and Kaja’s partner, Bobi, relaxed at a shop where Kaja and Bobi manage a local art collective in the Ipanema section. There I did a small canvas painting for my host upon request.
Ipanema has a famous song named after it, “The Girl From Ipanema”, an old time lounge music classic. Looking out from a tall rock at the end of Ipanema beach is where I gazed upon the beautiful panoramic views. In the distance I saw the lush vegetation of coconut trees and tropical plants wedged between the beachfront hotels at the steps of the iconic Rio mountain skyline hugging the long stretch of sandy white coastline creating a sublime view. How majestic it was when the sun rays beam through the thick, fluffy Brazilian clouds and the light reflects upon the surface of the water. After 11 days of painting it was nice to feel my feet on the sand and step int the South American Atlantic Ocean which is about all there was time for. Now it was back to the car and on to the next and final mural.
The final portrait was of Kaja Man. We went back to his neighborhood on the other side of the city near the favela. The plan was for Kaja and Bobi to go to the supermarket to get food for an authentic Brazilian barbecue as we painted, but while inside the store, Bobi’s car was stolen. We all felt bad for him as he is a really kind-hearted, good-energy guy. Kaja’s camera and the images that have been documenting our journey was also in the car. But we pressed on and soon afer we were painting again.
With my final portrait, I completed 12 murals in 11 of the 13 days during my visit to Brazil. On the 13th day I said goodbye to Medo, Kaja Man and my great friend Danilo Zeh Palito for an experience of a lifetime…a personal right of passage; thank you. I remember Danilo asking me via Facebook months before my trip if I wanted to party or paint. My reply, “paint”. It was beyond the scope of my expectations.
Thank you all who were a part of the ‘thrill of Brazil’ and to whom I had the pleasure to meet. Brazil is a wonderful country with awesome people, amazing graffiti, urban-contemporary and grafstract expressionism plus plenty of walls for artists to play with. I will never forget “going global” to Brazil.