Brazilian Legends OSGEMEOS Captivate New York With “Silence of the Music”
Artwork: OSGEMEOS: Silence of the Music Installation view, Lehmann Maupin, 536 22nd Street, New York September 8 – October 22, 2016 Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong Photo: Max Yawney
Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo (b. 1974 in São Paulo, Brazil) broke into the art scene in the late 1980s as graffiti writers under the name OSGEMEOS. Inspired by the New York scene, which was moving from the trains back onto the streets, the brothers brought a fresh take to the art form that moved the needle. In the midst of a world plagued by violence, drugs, and economic disparity, OSGEMEOS introduced created works of public art, filled with optimism and pride of self.
They forsook the academic and industry trends of the time, favoring work by self-taught artists like Arthur Bispo do Rosário, who created all of his work from a Rio de Janeiro mental institution during the 1930s. In 1993, San-Francisco based artist Barry McGee came through, inspiring the twins to develop a rigorous studio practice and take their work beyond the streets of their hometown.
This season, OSGEMEOS arrived in New York with Silence of the Music, currently on view at Lehmann Maupin now through October 22, 2016. The exhibition recasts multiple rooms in the gallery into an a total work of art, creating an immersive installation that combines drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements.
The effect is transformative, whisking us away from all sense of time and place. We are no longer in a gallery or even New York as the artists transport us into the universe that is OSGEMEOS—and what a world it is. Here, they pay tribute to the power of music in our lives, with particular attention to the artists who inspired and influenced their hearts and minds.
No less than Diana Vreeland has presupposed that what we experience in our formative years defines our aesthetic throughout our lives. As children of the 1970s and 1980s, they came of age was Hip Hop laid down the foundation for D.I.Y. culture on streets worldwide. Hip Hop taught us that art comes from passion, love, originality, and respect. You can’t buy skills, you can’t fake talent and you can’t front. Better to stay home and master the art than come off like a punk. Hip Hop is about dedication to craft to serve the whole, to be an innovator: fresh, fly, and bold. This is where OSGEMEOS picks up the thread.
Their dedication to the art is complete, lending their own distinct style and approach to the medium. The Silence of Music is what happens when the song becomes part of your blood, where it lives in the marrow and feeds your soul. The Silence of Music is the rhythm by which you live, the flow of your body and you mind, the beat of the heart that the DJ knows: One, Two, One, Two.
Using music as their guide, OSGEMEOS dips into a pool of pure imagination that exists below the surface of things. The room “Kiss” takes us into a surreal landscape, uniting the duality of the world as yin and yang teach. Here we see the fullness of life, where day and night simultaneous exist. It is a breathtaking escape from the daily grind.
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.