Boa Mistura paints the favelas of Brazil with a series of multicolour anamorphic alleyways. The artists aim to bring vibrant colour and poetry to the neighbourhoods.
In the north of São Paulo, the favela of Vila Brâsilandia has been given a multicolour metamorphosis by art/design collective Boa Mistura, a Spanish art collective composed of five self-described ‘graffiti rockers’. As part of the ongoing project ‘Luz Nas Vielas’ — first initiated back in 2012 — the urban works seek to empower neighbourhoods and connect residents through strategically scattered paintings across alleys in Brazil.
The artists, whose name comes from the Portuguese for ‘buena mezcla’ (‘good mixture’), worked with residents to paint and reface the winding ‘vecos’ and ‘vielas’ of the favela with uplifting messages. When viewed from a specific angle and distance, the anamorphic paintings have spelled out words that describe the daily life of the residents, like beauty, pride, strength, and love. Now, Boa Mistura returns to the favela to add two more written works to the landscape.
Boa Mistura has painted ‘Poesía’ and ‘Magica’ in purple and green respectively, speaking to the magic of the area’s spontaneous urban growth, and the intensity of the relationships between neighbours. The project intends to simplify the spacial complexity of the favela’s narrow alleyways using the technique of anamorphosis to generate a single canvas across the buildings. The collaborative process sees residents and artists as one, taking over the walls and the floor — an event that brings the entire community together under one colour field.
“It is in these streets where you get to feel the true life of the hood,” the team describe, “where it truly makes sense to include people, to create change. This project aims to be a colourful shout in the middle of a brick ocean, in which life is on the edge. Usually, municipal authorities turn their back on the outskirts, which we often get to know because of the infamy from the media. We as urban artists have to reverse that process of negativity because the favela does not have to be a synonym with violence, because life in this place is more intense and real, because: there is no purest and most sincere poetry, than the one that comes from the favela”.