Os Gêmeos (literally The Twins) are an artist duo from São Paulo who pioneered the now ubiquitous street art of the city. They have created art worldwide, including painting the Brazilian soccer team’s plane. Their playful style is instantly recognizable and a São Paulo staple.
I’ve mostly gotten a glimpse of their works on the underpass of highways as I’ve been going by car, but I recently had my first opportunity to really stop and appreciate their work. Their exhibit A Ópera da Lua (The Opera of the Moon) opened in the small gallery Galpão Fortes Vilaça in Barra Funda.
First, let’s talk about getting in. The gallery advised on its website to arrive no later than 2 PM on Saturdays to guarantee entry because apparently the number of attendees has been record-breaking. I opted for a Friday, naively concerned about when I would leave and face the rush hour crowds on the metro. (Being Barra Funda, the red line promptly becomes a tin of sardines at 5 o’clock.) I ended up waiting in line for three hours to enter, so by the time I headed home the rush was winding down. Lucky me?
Fortunately, the wait was worth it.
Walking into the first room, it was apparent that the entire space was the work of art, not just individual works hanging on the walls. With so much color and so many subjects to look at, it was visually overwhelming, but at the same time rather inviting and fun. I took a minute to stand in the center and not take photos, not zero in on anything, but just look. I was inside a surrealist dream. Whether it was a block of color or a human head, each piece seemed purposeful and often connected with other pieces in the gallery. There was a recurring theme of doors, which the artists described as instrumental in opening to new worlds or dimensions.
The video below gives a sort of tour of the exhibition, including the “moon room” at 1: 26, which I could not film myself. Also, seeing people interact with the works is just really integral to the whole exhibit.