Os Gêmeos, Portuguese for “the twins”, are among the best-known Brazilian street artists. The identical twin brothers Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo were born in São Paulo in 1974. They grew up in Cambuci, one of the oldest districts of the city. Playfully, they learned to communicate with each other and their surroundings through their drawings and decided to work together as an artist duo.
When hip-hop culture from the USA conquered Brazil in the 1980s, the Pandolfo brothers first practised break dancing under this influence before their first graffiti followed. Since they could not afford spray cans, the twins worked with brushes, wallpaper rollers and facade paints, unlike American street artists. The hip-hop movement served as a source of inspiration for their own artistic expression in public space. In the process, the city became their studio and street walls became canvases.
Os Gêmeos were strongly influenced by an encounter with Barry McGee, who shared his techniques and experiences with them.
What is the dream theme in Os Gêmeos?
The Pandolfo brothers prefer to work experimentally. They use a wide variety of colors, forms, materials and media. In addition to paintings, their portfolio also includes sculptures and pieces of music. They started to explore different techniques of painting, drawing and sculpting in the early stages of their career.
In the process, they create their own unique world that reveals references to the human subconscious. The theme of dreams runs through all their works. The paintings themselves can be understood as portals to Os Gêmeos’ dream world. Colourfully dressed figures with large, oval faces in yellowish tones appear in them. The twins are also guided by their dreams in their choice of colors. They do not mix the colors. They just paint straight on, without making sketches beforehand and without a fixed plan. The protagonists often appear in the works randomly arranged in a surrealistic architecture.
In their artworks, the artists appeal to the viewer’s imagination: this is the only way to access the pictures.
Os Gêmeos in the “Icons of Urban Art” exhibition in Munich
Come and see the guitar face of the Pandolfo brothers in our current MUCA exhibition in Munich.
Tickets are available directly here.
The two artists are also known for their installation and interactive exhibitions. For example, they place musical instruments in the middle of an exhibition space and invite visitors to play them. Some of their sculptures are also open and freely accessible to the public.
Their artworks have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. In 2003, Os Gêmeos had their first solo exhibition in San Francisco at the Luggage Store Gallery. Here they immortalised themselves with a large-scale mural on the building. In 2008, a total of six murals by the brothers adorned the Tate Modern in London for three months.
Os Gêmeos takes art to the sky
The art of the Pandolfo brothers knows no bounds and even reached the sky: in 2014, they designed the private plane of the Brazilian national team with which they participated in the World Cup.
For Os Gêmeos, art always has a function and a goal. It should touch people emotionally and stimulate the human imagination. It should encourage (self-)reflection and encourage people to look inside themselves and discover things they don’t necessarily want to see, but should see.
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