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When Street Art Really Enters the Gallery-Brasil

September 11, 2008

AbandonView tipped us off to an action that happened in Brasil on September 6th.

No dia 06-09-08, um grupo de 30 Pixadores invadiu a Galeria Choque Cultural em protesto à comercialização, institucionalização e Domesticação da Cultura de Rua, por parte dos galeristas e do Poder Público.

On 06-09-08, a group of 30 Pixadores invaded the Galeria Choque Cultural (Cultural Shock Gallery) in protest to the marketing, and institutionalization of Culture of Domesticação Street, from the gallery and the Public Power. In addition to the physical dependencies of the gallery, about twenty works exposed there were also victims of the attack and a work of the artist Speto was damaged. The owners of the Shock were doing an exhibition in London.

Only armed with translation sites online, I’ve enjoyed reading Ataque à Choque Cultural and the various threads on the Choque Flickr page. There seems to be a large discussion about the commodification of Pixacao and graffiti. While translation sites are super limited and I’m not familiar with the “players” involved it seems to have captured people’s thoughts more than NYC’s splasher actions.
Lots of comments on the Flickr thread discuss the gallery’s function in the art market, many of them supportive of this role. Also represented is the fundamental sentiment that it belongs on the street, which is why, I assume, these grafiteros went to town inside the gallery. Other comments raised larger issues with commercialization, eef

pena que o protesto contra a ‘comercialização, institucionalização e domesticação da cultura de rua’ tenha focado em galeristas e não publicitários, marcas de tênis, roupa de grife, festivais, refrigerantes, e outros que fazem a tal ‘cultura de rua’ virar modismo, commodities, sinônimo de produto pseudo moderninho.

“unfortunate that the protest against ‘marketing, institutionalization and domestication of the culture of street’ has focused on galleries and not advertising, brands of shoes, clothes, grife, festivals, soft drinks, and others who make such a ‘culture of street’ fashion, turn commodities, synonymous with pseudo moderninho(?) product”

From RRAURL “According to the Folha de S. Paulo, the action was organized – by email- by Rafael Guedes Augustaitiz (Rafael Pixobomb), the same artist who in July this year had been expelled from the Faculty of Fine Arts (SP) for having done a similar action on the premises of the course


With slogans that proclaimed “Open your eyes and see the inevitable mark of history”, the action at the Faculty sounds very performance like and attempted to awaken the viewers to the exclusivity and economic realities of the institutions. The recent action called “ATTACK PART 2 : A CAMINHO DA REVOLUÇÃO 2008” in the flyer, seen to the right, appears to have a similar intent.
I’m inspired and totally interested by these actions and would am stoked if anyone has more info or contacts about this.
The update on the site states:

Tuesday 09/set the owners of shock came with a representation in the 14th Police District of Sao Paulo (Pines) against the group of pixadores. Low Ribeiro, one of the owners, made a bulletin of occurrence and in their testimony stated that the loss of the gallery was something between $ 10,000 and $ 15,000. Rafael Guedes Augustaitiz is taken as a major contributor.

For a tiny bit of background:

Pixacao-Literally meaning ‘trace’ or ‘stain’ and dating back in its contemporary form to the mid-1980s, pixaçõe is a striking form of graffiti unique to the city that developed when Sao Paulo writers began creating imaginary calligraphic signatures influenced by hybrid blackletter, historic letterforms and the logos of heavy metal and hardcore bands.

Text from a recently published book Pixacao-Sao Paulo Signature.


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3 comments on “When Street Art Really Enters the Gallery-Brasil”

From myspace blog
Art-Attack: pixador student explains his thesis at the Fine Arts in Sao Paulo
by Camile Sproesser
“Vagabundo! Just because work has not either spoil my urrava one of the students in the midst of commotion caused by forming Rafah Pixobomb this Thursday the night, the end of course exhibition of visual arts of the University Center Fine Arts. Artist and pixador formed by the illustrious school of the streets and buildings in large scaled babilônia of garoa, is resident of Rafah Pixobomb Barueri, west side of the metropolitan region of Greater Sao Paulo – and thanks to a grant of studies, university being thesis of completion of course.
Everything seemed calm in the foyer that houses the university’s central gallery, where paintings, videos and installations produced by the time the trainees were exposed as required. Students, parents and teachers proud transiting through the boulevard of entry where the greatest speech ever seen in an artistic power of art began to take shape. In the infantry, Rafah, in the face and shirt rolled latinha in hand invades the gallery and starts pixar one of the walls: “are you …”, quickly, one of the mothers esbofeteia the head of the student with a bouquet of white roses, and a sequence of passersby, angry, pushes the pixador with enthusiasm. Confusion. Another pixador had already invaded and painted another wall, and then one of the security guards the power begins to use physical force.
But to these heights the effort that brought together some thirty pixadores a significant crop and the city had already painted the other building, the walls outside – and according to tradition, at times unachievable – the hall, the first flight of stairs . Art as crime, crime and art, phrases like “before the deafening noise”, making reference to TSSSssss echoing the cans, “Open your eyes and see the inevitable mark in history”, like the shock between academia and unprecedented street, and ” The fine arts “in homage to outraged cocotas university. It is aggressive, strong and is involved in the disorder of viewers thought, because these letters are pixadas by a bunch of crazy semi-suicídas serving as a hole-lock for profound social issues and hyper abandoned by the intellectual and humanistic perception of the middle class in general. And gives you time to time.
It was interesting to see the reaction of mega reactionary young students of art. Who studying art these days seems to feel the spirit of today’s greatest aesthetic movement in Sao Paulo, only the chill. You are in every corner. At the peak of the highest buildings in windows, on walls and trains. It’s ugly right, with the aesthetics of those who abused only if fodeu in life but has inexhaustible strength pra climb 20 floors, drop, shock lead, have the brink of upheaval tietê, always in hand with latinha get there. And in fact the noise is deafening. What will we tell these boys and with whom to talk risking their own lives, to take all the time general of police, to subvert the vision of urban city? And why will not they afraid?
Perhaps the answer is too large, and begins with the phrase that Rafael Pixobomb never ended: “It is YOU …”.
And the stick was even ate loose in the street, violence, porrada, cans flying, nervous security guards, a series of cameras. It seems that the Folha de Sao Paulo until the time came to pick up something. The room security for the delegacia, Rafah and over half a dozen pixadores not arredaram the foot of there – almost unprecedented in the form pixação since everything must always happen as soon as possible to escape to be rightly – were detained a good time.

Hi, from Choque Cultural gallery. We are a group of three guys that opened the gallery 5 years ago. We started to work as a publisher, making limited editions of prints. Check out: or .Here in São Paulo we have a big urban art scene, that mix street art, graffiti (and his more radical form pixacao), tattoo art, comics, illustration etc. We started the gallery like a space to show artists that came from these new urban art forms. Our goal is to promote the dialog between these artists and the others, coming from the mainstream and the art schools. Since the beginning we put together old masters, famous painters, emergent talents and people from the streets, sure. For our first public exhibition, called Calaveras (skulls),we invited 15 artists came from the streets and 15 came from tattoo studios to show an art work inspired by skulls. In 2006 we put together a dozen famous Brazilians contemporary artists and a dozen street artists, in a swap with the most important traditional Brazilian gallery. In 2007 we start to show abroad, in a partnership with Americans and Europeans galleries. We took more than 15 Brazilians guys to show in NYC, Paris, London and other cities. We started to bring foreign guys to show in Brazil. We brought people like Shag, Shepard Fairey, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Camille Rose Garcia among many others. In August we showed Gerald Laing, 72 years old Englishman, a living master of 60’s Pop Art. He knew us when we were in UK showing 10 Brazilian artists. He loved the gallery’s proposal and accepted to show here. The guys that vandalized our gallery destroyed some Laing’s works among other artists. We are an experimental space and we work with true love for art and artists. We have an original space that is totally different of the “white cubes”. Our gallery is a small house, three floors, small rooms and almost every artist can paint the walls to change the environment around their hung pieces. Almost every show is like an installation, where the artist puts their art works. We are proud of we are doing. There is nothing like this here in Brazil. It is so hard to work in a third world country! We have no government help, because we don’t like it. In Brazil we need to pay the biggest taxes in the world to do an small art business like ours. Everything that we do is because we sell the art that we exhibit and have some profit. A fair profit. We were attacked by a group of guys that have a unfair ideal. They are using violent attacks as weapons of protest! This is unacceptable, because this will brings more violence, for sure.
The question involved at the attacks is not so hard… is about a weird nostalgia of the underground times… We don’t care about nostalgia, we are thinking of the future. We are thinking about a time when more people can show and more people can collect art.
We were hardly hit by this attack, it was violent and not fun. We had financial and moral losses , our artists too. Everyone with a brain here in Brazil got really sad with this action.
Thanks for your attention. Any question, please send to