The Pinacoteca de São Paulo museum, managed by the State of São Paulo Culture and Creative Economy Department displays, from March, 28 to August 3, 2020, OSGEMEOS: Segredos [Secrets], the first panoramic exhibition of the artistic duo made up by brothers Otávio and Augusto Pandolfo (São Paulo, 1974). With more than 60 works chosen from their rich store of imagery, which about 50 have never been shown in Brazil, the show helps to expand the understanding of the relationship between art and city life – a reflection that marks the year 2020 at Pinacoteca.
The duo have carved out a path in the art world without ever losing sight of their wish to remain accessible to the general public. That path has included participating in shows at major international institutions, such as Hamburger Bahnhof, in Berlin, 2019, with a project devised in partnership with the Berlin breakdance group Flying Steps, a great international award-winner; the Vancouver Biennale, Canada (2014); MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan, and Tate Modern, London, UK (both in 2008); and the Milano Trienale (2006), among others. In the course of their career, the brothers have also been invited to create works for important public spaces in more than 60 countries, including Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Australia, Cuba and the United States – featuring the electronic displays at Times Square, New York (2015) – among others.
Otávio and Gustavo chose the urban space as their place of experience and research from the very beginning of their career, in the mid-1980s. After taking a deep plunge in the hip-hop culture, which had arrived in Brazil just as they started to produce, and undergoing the influence of dance, music, muralism and popular culture, the brothers set out to develop a unique style, with a joyful mood, which has become an emblem of urban spaces both in Brazil and around the world.
Their works tell stories (sometimes autobiographical) whose plots involve fantasy, emotional relationships, questionings, dreams and life experiences. OSGEMEOS still have their studio in Cambuci, an old immigrant working-class neighborhood in downtown São Paulo, in which they spent their childhood and youth. From the 1990s onwards, their experimentations – not only graffiti-wise, but also involving easel painting and both static and moving sculptures – outgrew the two-dimensional limit and culminated in the creation of a unique universe operating on the interface between dream and reality.
At the Pinacoteca exhibition, the duo presents paintings, immersive installations, sound installations, sculptures, site-specific interventions, drawings and notebooks. The notebooks, dating from their teenage years and now presented to the public for the first time, precede their famous yellow characters and throw light on the roots of their emergence. The body of works takes the museum by assault and occupies all seven temporary exhibition rooms at the first floor, as well as one of the courtyards, several inner and outer spaces and, last but not least, the Octagon, which holds a specially-designed installation.
As a traditional institution devised to foster art production in Brazil, Pinacoteca reaffirms its engagement by presenting a comprehensive review of OSGEMEOS’ output, opening a year dedicated to the relationship between art and the city. “If in modern times the phenomenon of art has had the city as its place of existence, to think about art is to think about its incorporation in urban life. The urban reality, the city itself, the relationships that take hold in that particular space, are not only subjects of art, but also the very manner of its manifestation. To live in the city is to partake of a unique sociability marked by commuting, anonymity, collective production and conflict- and inequality-generating factors, but also charged with a potential for freedom and change, which are very dear to modern and contemporary art practices”, concludes Jochen Volz, general director at Pinacoteca and the show’s curator.
During the months in which the exhibition is on display, the museum will be filled with the unmistakable style and spelling of the artist duo. Pina’s store will receive a set of new products designed by them, such as mugs, t-shirts and caps. Temporarily, the traditional sign on the facade bearing the institution’s name, created by the award-winning graphic designer Carlos Perrone in the 1990s, will be replaced by a luminous one designed especially by OSGEMEOS. Likewise, the electronic signatures of the museum employees’ e-mails, which today bear the institution’s logo, will be temporarily changed to the new identity.
OSGEMEOS: Segredos [Secrets] features two catalogues in both Portuguese and English. The first catalogue includes a presentation by Pinacoteca´s general director Jochen Volz, previously unpublished essays by Julia Flamingo and Paulo Portella and pictures of the works shown in the exhibition and of other projects. The second catalogue features views of the exhibition at Pinacoteca de São Paulo.
The duo’s recent projects include solo shows at First Art Museum (Nashville, 2019), Hamburger Bahnhof (with breakdance group Flying Steps) (Berlin, 2019), Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, 2018), Pirelli HangarBicocca (Milan, 2016), Museu Casa do Pontal (Rio de Janeiro, 2015) and ICA – The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, 2012). Their works are featured in major collections around the world, such as MOT (Tokyo), Franks-Suss Collection (London), MAM-SP (São Paulo), Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo) and Museu Casa do Pontal (Rio de Janeiro).
View more information on the Pinacoteca de São Paulo’s website.