Photo Essay: Brazilian Graffiti Artist Attempts World Record With Olympics Mural
"… I wanted to show that everyone is united, we are all connected."
While athletes of all sizes and backgrounds, across all sectors of sports and gymnastics, aim to bring home the gold, Brazilian graffiti maven Eduardo Kobra, 40, is enacting his own best performance yet.
On a huge wall in Rio's formerly dilapidated port area, which has been rejuvenated ahead of the Games, Kobra is attempting, with his spray cans and polychromatic colors, a Guinness World Record for the largest mural created by one artist.
The 190-meter-long artwork stands tall at 15.5 meters, and is nearly 3,000 in square meters. “I was really happy I got to display my work here in Rio de Janeiro,” said the São Paulo native to the Olympics' official website. “This was something I have wanted to do for a long time.”
The mural, which could be recognized as the largst of its kind in the world, is titled Etnias ('Ethnicities'). The muralist and a team of four guest artists had been at work at least 12 hours a day for the past two months, before their masterpiece was officially unveiled on July 30.
Approximately 100 gallons of white paint, 1,500 liters of colored paint and at least 3,500 cans of spray paint were used to complete Kobra’s composition of the faces of five indigenous people from distinct nations on five continents.
The artwork is part of Olympic Boulevard, a large and vibrant site stretching about three kilometers, offering Games coverage on big screens, three stages with live music, street performances, firework displays, activities for the youth and food trucks.
“We’re living through a very confusing time with a lot of conflict. I wanted to show that everyone is united, we are all connected,” said Kobra, adding that Etnias builds on the themes of an ongoing project featuring Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Mother Teresa, among others. See more of Kobra's work, here.