Trending Topics

Brazilian Artist Bel Borba Given 30-Day Free Reign to Use NYC as His Canvas – Video

It was an odd sight for an industrial street in the Ridgewood section of Queens, so of course the delivery-truck drivers, the workers from nearby manufacturing plants and other curious passers-by felt compelled to stop, look and ask questions. On the maroon-colored external wall of a furniture factory, the Brazilian artist Bel Borba was busy making a large mosaic of white tile, portraying a globe surrounded by objects that looked like a cross between sunflowers and mechanical fans.

“I think I’ll call this mural ‘Global Cooling,’ ” Mr. Borba said with an animated cackle as he stepped back to survey and decide on finishing touches for the work, which he and some assistants had begun barely three hours earlier. “But that globe needs to have a running man atop it, as if he were making the world turn, like a hamster in a cage.”

That was Friday, the first day of an unusual month-long public art residency that will take Mr. Borba all over New York City and allow him to work in whatever medium strikes his fancy. On Saturday he created a painting of a lizard and a spaceman on the asphalt on Roosevelt Island; this week he is in Red Hook, Brooklyn; Howard Beach, Queens; and other neighborhoods. Starting on Oct. 1, a short film he made with two collaborators will be shown every night for a month on 15 jumbo signs, some with multiple screens, at Times Square.

Mr. Borba, 55, is from Salvador, in the state of Bahia and the third largest city in Brazil. Its streets, walls, plazas and beaches have been his canvas since the late 1970s. He is a well-known, even beloved, figure there, regularly greeted on the street by residents who encourage him to come and work in their neighborhoods; his output there led to a documentary about him that will open in New York next month. But he said he was delighted to receive an invitation to work in New York, so far from his comfort zone.

“Rarely in my life have I had an opportunity like this,” Mr. Borba said. “I don’t know that I’m ever going to find another city with this variety not just of ethnicities, but of neighborhoods that change from one side of the street to another. On one side it may be Caribbean, and on the other Jewish, and I like that, I feed off that…

Read more: Larry Rohter, NY Times

bel borba aqui promo / for time square, and FIAF from sun/costantini on Vimeo.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top