Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bigger than Life

A long life (in fact, he lived until he was 104), a huge talent, a lively man, Oscar Niemeyer, the renown modernist Brazilian architect, left remarkable buildings throughout the world with the unmistakable signature of his genius. He was responsible for the construction of Brasilia in a record time (1956-1960), the present capital of Brazil. This astonishing city, which was born out of the dream of another visionary as was President Café Filho, was to be inaugurated by Jucelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, in 1960.

A tribute to a man who was, actually, bigger than life and whose works have released him from natural oblivion could only be designed and achieved by another unique talent. Eduardo Kobra, the famous Brazilian mural artist from Sao Paulo, internationally known for his amazing, massive-scale creations decorating buildings in emblematic cities around the world, such as – for instance – Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, has created an outstanding mural depicting the face of Niemeyer in a pensive attitude, which covers the entire side of a skyscraper on Avenida Paulista, at the very heart of the hustling and bustling city of São Paulo.

In its 52 meters height and 16 meters width, the mural inevitably captures the attention of all for its vibrant colours, for the deconstructive elements breaking into the composition and introducing details of some of the architect’s works, for the illusion of a three-dimensional rendering of a Niemeyer that seems to stare at all passers-by.

Kobra’s tribute to the respected architect honours not only the man but also his works, which are skilfully interwoven in the details of the mural. This stunning art piece has earned deserved recognition and has actually changed the cityscape of Sao Paulo. Completed in the end of January 2013, it is bound to become one of the main attractions of the great metropolis and a reference venue to all visitors to the town.

Kobra spent only two weeks to complete this colossal and stunning mural with the valuable collaboration of four other artists in his team, who worked under his guidance and supervision, side by side with him, on the scaffolds prepared for that purpose.

Impressive and touching as they are, Kobra’s portrait, for its quality, beauty and outstanding effect on the one hand, and Niemeyer himself on the other, for his remarkable genius  and energy, which kept him active until he was 104 years of age, can both be said to be bigger than life.

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