By Sissi Macchetto
“To transform the city with a living, popular art, and provide effective community engagement, this is my intention” Alex Vallauri
Settings: Sao Paulo and New York, 1967- 1987
Leading character: Ethiopian born, with Italian origins, Alex Vallauri moved to Brasil in the early 60’s and started his career extremely young. Foremost pioneer of Brazilian street art and a close friend of Keith Haring and Basquiat, in the late 70’s he used graffiti as the form of communication which most closely matched his own ideologies.
Plot: Finding in the pop art movement his main inspiration Vallauri revolutionized the way art was seen and made in Brazil, by subverting the conventional aesthetic codes of drawings, printmaking and painting.
In genuine pop spirit, Vallauri believed that objects and materials acted as co-authors of the work of art which became a game in which fantasy mingled with the messy reality of everyday life. His fun and colorful universe – inhabited by kitsch images of sexy women, chickens and high-heeled boots- has been inspirational for the next generations of street artists.
Vallauri’s work has been featured in four Sao Paolo Biennials and it is currently being given a retrospective at Brazil’s leading contemporary art institution, ‘MAM’ (Sao Paolo, April 16, 2013-Present). The curator of the exhibit,Brazilian Art Historian & Critic Joao Spinelli, has also recently documented Alex’s life in a full length novel, Alex Vallauri – Graffti
Some of his work was also used and reproduced by fashion labels the likes of Levi’s, Fiorucci and Rakam Tecidos.
“Rahina do frango assado”, Queen of Roast Chicken