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Sao Paulo Street Art Comes to Berlin with Urban Spree

July 27, 2016
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

Summer is generally a slow season for the world of art, but the Berliner Urban Spree Gallery continues to defy it. With its Artist Residency program inaugurated by Twoone recently, the venue continues to put on exhibitions. This time, a dash of Brazilian scene is coming into focus. Sao Paolo street art scene is famous worldwide for its prolific figures and incredible urban sceneries, and it’s the artistic birthplace of the two creatives showing their work in Berlin this time. They are Onio and Sosek, presenting their presentations “Rawcuts” and “Internal“, respectively. The two artists will showcase their own visions separately, while the spirit of Sao Paulo will be connecting their ideas.

Sosek - From the Internal Series
Sosek – From the Internal Series

Onio and Artistic Bits and Pieces of Sao Paulo

Known as Onio, Adriano Cinelli approaches his art by abstracting the visual elements through the use of vivid color and various suggestive fragments. Berlin exhibition RAWCUTS brings a novelty in the artist’s body of work, moving towards experimentation in the field of aesthetics and form, while turning away from origins of comics, illustration and figurative painting. The Brazilian megalopolis tapped into the Onio’s subconscious, inspiring his thoughts to flow in a different direction, embedding bits and pieces of chaos and visual pollution into his mind.

Still, the progress is evident in the use of the technique of collage and the juxtaposed elements which form new, atypical compositions for Onio. Playing with the variety of materials, from silver tape and various types of adhesives, over thick layers of acrylic paint to pieces of vinyl and magazine and book citations, the artist delves deeper into the contemplative levels of his own practice, thus creating a completely new language. Entering a new phase in oeuvre so boldly can often be challenging for an artist, while Onio tackles it with determination and vigor, convinced of the new path he pushes his art towards.

Onio - Rawcuts works
Onio – Rawcuts works

Sosek and The City of Chaos

Sosek on the other hand always remained firmly connected to the life at Paulistana street and its surroundings. In this respect, his art handles the more social aspects of the urban life, including and visually mentioning the very margins of the Brazilian society and the vast population of the homeless people. The art of Sosek is not only limited to painting, as he explores the city at night, photographing the scenes of the harsh reality. Black ink appears a pertinent choice in his artistic manner, in which the artist materializes the unforgettable faces and imagery onto the canvas. Chromatically reduced, Sosek’s pictorial sphere is black and white, rooted in calligraphy, but far from it in the rendering. The impact of graffiti is dominant, especially the deliberately blotchy finish, dripping with black, just like life drips away through the cruel concrete. Naming his series “Internal“, Sosek unveils the more contemplative nature of his work, the troubling scenery he carries out, always in a sort of conflict with his balance-striving self. Chaos and despair remain without essential embellishment, although the clean line and design-like approach can be read in these works.

Sosek - From the Internal Series
Sosek – From the Internal Series

Exhibition from the Sao Paulo Street Art Scene

Different in their visual approaches, but compatible in the manner of thinking, Onio and Sosek promise a different atmosphere with a distinctly Sao-Paulian attitude. The oppositions we read in the vivid artistry of the its streets and the undeniable difficulties of street life create a thought-provoking relationship between the two exhibitions announced at the Urban Spree. Berlin’s public will be treated with the premiere of Onio’s new body of work and with the release of Sosek’s new zine, based on photographs and drawings of the Sao Paulo’s homeless.

RAWCUTS by Onio is opening July 29. at Ecke Urban Spree, while Internal by Sosek opens the same day at the Urban Spree main venue.

Sosek - From the Internal Series
Sosek – From the Internal Series
Sosek - From the Internal Series
Sosek – From the Internal Series

Feature images: Sosek – From the Internal Series, photographs and works; Onio – collage and portrait; All images courtesy of the Urban Spree Galerie