In 2006, the Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn started deaveloping the idea of creating community-driven art interventions in Brazil. Their efforts yielded two murals which were painted in Vila Cruzeiro, Rio's most notorious slum, in collaboration with local youth. The artworks received worldwide coverage and have become points of pride in the community and throughout Rio.
boy with kite
The first painting, finished in 2007, was a 150m2 mural depicting a boy flying a kite, by far the most popular pastime in Rio's favela's.
The painting took three months to finish and was painted, together with local youth, who were attracted from the Soldados Nunca Mais program of the Ibiss foundation. They are offered alternatives for a life of crime in one of the three drug gangs.
Our second large painting in Vila Cruzeiro was finished in 2008, It was situated on a massive concrete structure, built to protect the hill from mudslides during the rainy season.
It was painted together with local youth, who learned a craft, while earning money at the same time.
The traditional japanese design was made by master tattooist Rob Admiraal.
A random day of work, on the stairs of Rua Santa Helena, where we created 'Rio Cruzeiro'
A short film we shot during one of the many police invasions during the making of Rio Cruzeiro
One of Rio's most famous soccer players Adriano's comments
After 8 months of painting, enduring long periods of rain, shootings and police occupation, the 2000m2 artwork was finally finished!
The artwork was opened by Rubem Cesar of VivaRio and Nanko van Buuren of Ibiss.
Fernanda Abreu, a famous brazilian singer, sang at the opening event
Thousands of people showed up, both from the favela as from the center of the city!
The Favela Painting project has already attracted intense media interest in Brazil and abroad. The most recent painting, 'Rio Cruzeiro' was covered by news agencies around the world, including CNN, Fox News, and Al Jazeera. In Brazil, the painting attracted reporters from every major newspaper and TV station.
up next: o morro
Our initial dream has always been to paint an entire hillside favela. After the success of the two murals, we feel ready to embark on this amazing journey. This third stage of the Favela Painting project involves employing the inhabitants of a favela to paint their own houses according to a pre-arranged pattern. It will turn their community into an artwork of epic scale and will produce an explosion of color, joyfully radiating into the world. read more about this amazing project on the 'O Morro' page.