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The Art of Politics

The political situation in Brazil is tense. The country is in the midst of corruption scandals, an impeachment battle, resurgent crime, budget cuts and a Zika epidemic. The unemployment rate is at a record of 11.4%, pollution concerns and a collapse in oil and other commodity prices has torn through society like a tornado, leaving devastation in its path.

The political situation is met by frustration and anger both by people in general and Brazilian artists. Thus in March the population of Rio the Janeiro found 100 of their most famous statues blindfolded by red scarfs. Among them statues of the musician Tom Jobim and the former president and “Father of the Poor”, Getúlio Vargas. Oraculo Projects, the street artist behind the action, wanted – in good tradition –to remain anonymous, but stated that the thought behind the action was to protect Jobim, Vargas and the other statues, so that they wouldn´t have to witness what´s going on in Brazil.

Sunderø Gallery artist Claudio Ethos is another of Brazils famous street artists. Born by the name of Claudio Rafael in 1982 in Sao Paulo, the gifted young man has been working with graffiti since the 90’s. He is influenced by the Sao Paolo tag hand style murals, but has developed a unique and easily recognizable style. The leading motive in Ethos works is mans struggle against inhuman systems and brutal living conditions.

His motives and characters depict emotional and spiritual states of mind, and often describe humans fighting to survive; anxious, disconnected, twisted and invaded by forces beyond their control.

Ethos prefers to work with large dimensions, some times up till 30 meters tall. The scale of it makes it fascinating to know that the base of his huge and meticulous murals are small ballpoint drawings like the ones we present in ArtLego.

View murals by Ethos in San Paulo, Brazil