Silence of the Music

about Gustavo & Ottavio Pandolfo aka Os Gêmeos

The magic of the twins Gustavo & Ottavio opened their rooms at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York last Thursday and attended by thousands of fans. Five rooms of eye candy colored in autumn hues and sea foam washes, and periodic carnival-steampunk mechanical movement that surprises and triggers memory.

Everywhere are humorously attenuated yellow figures caught mid-mischief or mid-thought, posing with a stylish guile, completely aware of their surroundings. There are some painted collaborations with Doze Green and atop Martha Cooper photos and shout outs to Ken Swift and whole train writers like LEE and Futura. Beatboxes and bboys and spraycans are here, as are lighthouses and ocean storms and rowboats and animals and a sliver of moon for you to sit upon.



Their imagery is unique and widely recognizable, while the inspiration for it is drawn from an endless well of the artists’ imaginations. Poetic scenes contain stylized, cartoon-like characters that resemble illustrations of a children’s tale or a comic, while revealing numerous influences from hip-hop scene and Brazilian indigenous culture.

To understand their work, it is necessary to allow reason to be replaced by the imaginary — walk through the doors, allowing ourselves to realize the subtleties in the world around us and to embark on an experience that exceeds the visual: to feel first and to understand later.


Spending their childhood and adolescence in the Brazilian capital city, Os Gemeos were exposed to a variety of street influenced cultural changes. In the late 1980s hip-hop descended to Brazil, and the twins were largely affected by it, starting as break-dancers and continuing with their early graffiti work. The initial style of their street art was yet to be formed, as it lacked consistency and artistic references they employed later on. They did show an amazing versatility when it came to media by using not only aerosol, but car paint, latex, deodorant and perfume bottles, when they had no adequate material. Although the expression was still a bit shaky, the duo has proven themselves as imaginative and highly promising.

They are today one of the most eminent world mural and graffiti crews, being constantly featured through a vast number of exhibitions and mural commissions globally. One of their most illustrious collaborations is the one with Banksy, displayed as a part of his October NY takeover.




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