Whoever walks through the Historic Center of Porto Alegre noticed that Praça Otávio Rocha is gaining color. Until December 10th, four black artists from RS, SC and SP, who are references in urban art in the country, are working on the painting of Mural Aurora Negra in two gables of the former Master Hotels. The work is a collective construction of artists Braziliano, Felipe Reis, Gugiê and Negritoo and preserves the lines and style of each one. The assistant artists Trampo and Ofavo supported all the development.
Artists and their inspirations
The art of Mural Aurora Negra was elaborated in four parts, bringing a little of the history and traits of each of the artists. "Projecting who we are as the stories, possibilities and ancestry of our Afro-centered visions is a way of building, through new feelings, a possible future", says Felipe Reis, who is also an art educator. He worked directly with Gugiê, who lives in Florianópolis, in creating the work painted on one of the facades. “I like to think that the baby is a developing human being, full of the future. It depends on an entire community—a huge and complex network—to tread its path, representing a future struggle. In this work I bring a re-reading of an old poster that said 'react to racial violence: kiss your black woman in a public square'. Based on this reflection, in my kiss, I want to hope through affection, interacting with the character of my dear colleague Felipe Reis”, explains the artist.
On the second façade, the mask designed by Braziliano, from Santa Maria, calls for another important reflection: "Connecting with the mask to acquire its characteristics in a rite of transformation: where half-closed eyes symbolize a peaceful attitude, self-control and patience. A straight nose means determination and decision. A small mouth is humility. A large and prominent forehead, wisdom", he narrates like a poem. His partner, Negritoo, came from São Paulo: "To contribute to the Aurora Negra mural, he brought representation, strength and the imposingness of black women through their striking expression and colors that make them stand out amidst the troubled Historic Center of Porto Alegre. In addition, the final work, together with Braziliano, refers to the ancestry of black people in order to encourage the search by the strength of our roots so that we don't forget where we came from and the importance we should have”, he adds.
To support the audience in interpreting the work, the group created a manifesto: “In our black consciences there are no margins, because we are the center of our stories — stories of affection, pride, struggle and preservation. Feelings concentrated in a sensitive kiss in our children, future afro utopias with our little kings and queens, masks bare the face and open portals to other times. Gratitude for the lineages that brought us here and put us with our chins held high, empowering our poetry. Keeping in mind that for our heads to be in the clouds, it is important that your feet are on the ground — watching the new day, a new dawn, the 'Dark Dawn'”.
To paint the gables, which together have 648m² — more than 280 liters of paint and varnish and more than 100 spray cans will be applied. Currently, it is the façade with the largest painted artwork in the city. The activities started on November 15 and should include 20 days of work involving 35 professionals in the project, including artists, assistants, producers, technicians, engineers, security, among others. The painting is located at 221 Rua Senhor dos Passos.
Revitalizing the Center
With this work, Porto Alegre joins other Brazilian capitals, where painting murals on large gables is already a reality. The Aurora Negra Mural is the fifth public art on the facades of buildings located in the central region of the state capital. In addition to modifying the urban landscape, projects like this have an important social impact, causing reflection and contributing to the economic, cultural and social development of the city.
“In addition to individual benefits for citizens who relate to these images: there are improvements in health, cognitive and psychological development and also in interpersonal bonds”, says Amorim, who also organizes the Festival Arte Salva.
With the realization of the production company Pólen – Arte em Movimento — by the curator, Vinicius Amorim —, the initiative has the support of the Municipality of Porto Alegre and cultural encouragement from Grupo Carrefour Brasil. “The company made eight commitments to contribute to the fight against structural racism. We understand that the encouragement of art with this theme, being legitimately produced by those who speak, opens up space for reflection. We are very happy to deliver this project to the city of Porto Alegre, opening a dialogue with artists who are so talented and committed to the cause. We hope that our actions will multiply with investments from other companies”, explains Lucio Vicente, Sustainability Director at Carrefour.
Below, check out images of the work.
About the image
Porto Alegre (RS)
On the night of November 19, 2020, João Alberto Silveira Freitas was killed on the premises of our store in Passo D'Areia, in Porto Alegre/RS, in an act that does not represent and is not consistent with Carrefour's values.
On this website, we reinforce the actions we are taking in view of this fact and the commitments made to society and to our body of more than 100,000 employees throughout Brazil. With the objective of continuing to evolve as a company and contributing to the fight against structural racism in Brazil.