Is Bragga the Brazilian Banksy?
Rio graffiti artist's new show in alternative streetwear store Homegrown is at odds with beach culture environs
Rio de Janeiro street artist Bragga’s portrait of African music star Fela Kuti is somewhere between fan poster and distressed graffiti stencil: Kuti is recognisable, but a giant red force-field seems to be exploding behind him.
“I worked on top of a photograph, and incorporated my style of painting into it. It’s a digital work,” says Bragga, a 32-year-old carioca (Rio native) grafiteiro (take a wild guess) who still paints on the street. “I am a fan of his and I really like his story, it’s a very strong story.”
It's one of a tiny yet eye-catching exhibition of just six new works by the self-taught young artist upstairs at the small Ipanema street fashion store Homegrown.
Bragga's work blazes with colourful exploding graphic abstracts. Diamonds and jagged shards abound both in and out of focus. Clearly it is not just São Paulo that has all of Brazil’s blooming street art talent. “It is a work really inspired by music, and design, more abstract forms, to do with movement, with velocity,” Bragga says.
The independent Homegrown shop itself is something of a centre for alternative style in the city. It's an incongruous sight in a bairro as focused on beach and straight-up glamour as famous old Ipanema and its arts-related openings spill out messily and happily onto the street. 6R99a is at Homegrown, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro until December 8. Check out our book Latin American Art In The Twentieth Century in the store and browse our growing archive of Brazilian content.