Door to a Surrealist Dream

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.

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The blue house and the small head inside can be seen in the photo above as well.

The small head inside the tiny house is the head of the person in the previous image with the pink house on his head. The previous image also has a blue house in its vortex which is also seen here, labeled 1944.

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This sort of vortex made of doors and objects comprised the entire back wall. This is supposed to represent the moment right before you start to dream.

This sort of vortex made of doors and objects comprised the entire back wall. This is supposed to represent the moment right before you start to dream.

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Even the ground had art.

Even the ground had art.

This was what I called the moon room. With dreamy music playing, I felt like I was in another state of consciousness.

This was in what I called the moon room. With lulling music playing, I felt like I was in a dream world.

This giant statue made of fiberglass housed in his stomach a rotating carrousel of clay figures. Video at the end of the post.

This giant fiberglass statue housed in his torso a rotating carrousel of clay figures. (Video at the end of the post.)

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"Why does fear hurt?"

“Why does your fear hurt?”

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Entering their house.

Entering their house.

Like elsewhere in the exhibit, the house had many references to northeastern Brazil. The clay jug for instance is very typical nordestino.

Like elsewhere in the exhibit, the house had many references to northeastern Brazil. The clay jug here for instance is very typical nordestino, used to keep water cool in the dry sertão.

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The jug on her head matches the man's suit in the very first photo.

The sequined gourd on her head matches the man’s suit in the very first photo.

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One of many idols posted along the walls.

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Ending as it started — with color, light and a door.

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.

 

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