Brazilian Artist Eduardo Kobra to Paint Five-Story Mural of Bob Dylan
Eduardo Kobra, an internationally acclaimed Brazilian muralist, will paint a five-story mural of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis at the 15 Building located at Fifth Street and Hennepin Avenue. He begins work August 26, 2015.
The mural will be painted on the west façade of the 15 Building, currently owned by R2 Companies and AIMS Real Estate, a business unit of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The 15 Building is an historic Art Deco office tower constructed in the 1920s. More recently, it has become home to many creative loft-office users including Channel Z, Hunt Atkins, Bloom Health and Assemble™.
The mural is a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust and adds to its growing portfolio of distinct projects that add art to unexpected – and often unadorned – spaces in the downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.
Kobra’s murals of famous or historical figures are renowned and distinctive for their kaleidoscopic use of bright colors and bold lines. Kobra will be assisted by a team of five artists including three Brazilians and two Minnesota-based muralists / visual artists, Erin Sayer and Yuya Negishi.
Eduardo Kobra’s new mural will add an invigorating and colorful international artwork to the downtown Cultural District and Hennepin Avenue,” commented Tom Hoch, President and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. “At the same time, it celebrates Bob Dylan who is not only one of Minnesota’s most admired native sons, but also a former owner of the Trust’s Orpheum Theatre.”
Kobra is part of the new urban, artistic vanguard in São Paulo, Brazil, and has made his mark on a global scale. He began as a young street artist in a low-income Paulista neighborhood called Clear Field and started tagging with an older graffiti crew called “Hip Hop.”
Kobra's massively scaled portraits are a labor of love created with methodical grid planning. He typically works on buildings and walls using a mix of brushes, airbrushing and spray cans. He incorporates repeating squares and triangles in variegated backgrounds and intricate shading and swirling effects to achieve a sense of photorealism while maintaining playful color themes.
His murals can be found throughout the world: from Brazil, Russia, Poland, Switzerland and Italy, to Los Angeles, New York and soon Minneapolis. Other notable figures he has captured in his work include Abraham Lincoln, the Presidents carved in Mount Rushmore, a ballerina poised as if for flight, inventor Alfred Nobel, activist Malala Yousafzai and pianist Arthur Rubenstein.
Another popular Kobra mural is viewable from the High Line park in New York City and is based on the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph, “V-J Day in Times Square,” which captures a sailor kissing a woman in white.
Kobra seeks to transform the urban landscape through art that captures elements of a city and blends memory and modernity. He often incorporates new technologies into his work and did the first 3D painting on the pavement of the Patriarca Plaza in central São Paulo, which looks different depending on the angle of the viewer.
A community event will be held to celebrate completion of the mural. For information about the mural and other activities, visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
Visit eduardokobra.com to learn more about Kobra and his art.
Kobra was born in the neighborhood of Campo Limpo, outskirts of São Paulo, and the design has always been a constant in his life. At age 12, already involved with older boys and connected to Hip Hop culture and “pixação”, a form of graffiti native to the Southeastern metropolises of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, he used to tag clandestinely walls from downtown in late 1980s. The contact with graffiti came five years later. Restless, he sought to improve his illustrations and began to have contact with the art of walls through books, besides meeting artists such as Diego Rivera and Candido Portinari, two of his great inspirations.
Following the urban art developments in São Paulo in early 1990s, he created the Studio Kobra, converging to an original mural painting and taking advantage of his characteristics as an experimenter artist, and skilled realistic painter.
Thus, he develops the project “Walls of Memory” which seeks to transform the urban landscape through art and redeem the memory of the city. This project is the synthesis of his peculiar way of creating, through which he paints but also adheres interferes and supersedes scenes and characters from the first decades of the twentieth century. It is an amalgamation of nostalgia and modernity, urging through scenographic paintings, sometimes monumental, from which he creates portals to wistful moments of the city.
The largest of these murals, measuring 1000 m2 was carried out in 2009, at Avenida 23 de Maio in celebration of the anniversary of the city of São Paulo.
Kobra develops his production with exhibitions in and outside Brazil, besides that he is always researching with different materials and new techniques, such as 3D (Kobra is the unique artist in Brazil that develops this technique), or anamorphic, pavement painting. At the invitation of the municipality of São Paulo, he made the first 3D pavement painting in Brazil.
Kobra has also painted several murals in London, Athens, Lyon, Los Angeles and New York, where he painted his powerful reinterpretation of Alfred Eisenstein’s most famous picture.
In the beginning of 2013, Kobra painted a huge mural of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, covering the full side of an 18 story skyscraper at Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, which has attracted worldwide attention and reverberated through several media outlets and art specialized media in different places around the world.
The artist has traveled around the world spreading his style, and the list of cities with Kobra’s artworks has been increasing quickly, comprising cities as Moscow, Lexington, Los Angeles and also Miami, where he painted at the 2013 Miami Art Basel.
Recently, Kobra painted a mural on the facade of MAAM Museum “Museo dell’Altro e Dell’Altrove”, which faces the historical Via Prenestina in Rome.
On his latest trips, Kobra went to Japan, Dubai and Tahiti to paint local figures such as a classical Japanese woman from 19th Century; a Bedouin, as a fundamental character from United Arab Emirates; and two natives from French Polynesia. Before he went to Sweden where he painted the “Alfred Nobel” mural in the city of Boras. After finishing his work in Sweden, Kobra traveled to Poland at the invitation of Urban Forms Gallery, which has previously invited prominent artists like Inti, from Chile; Roa, from Belgium and the Brazilian brothers OsGemeos (The Twins). The “Rubinstein” painting is placed on a huge wall – 22 meters long by 22 meters tall. Right after that, Kobra went to France and the USA, where he painted his latest wall in New York.
Currently, Kobra keeps his Studio at Vila Madalena, São Paulo and his development as an artist, and the recognition of his name as one of the great contemporary street artists has been growing more and more.
Restless and relentless in his creative pursuits, Kobra is now a phenomenon of Brazilian new-vanguard art that “no longer” allows to be ignored.