On the occasion of Portal, Brazilian artists OSGEMEOS’ second solo exhibition with Lehmann Maupin in New York, twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo will present a new body of paintings that delve further into their fantasy/dream world by exploring themes related to mysticism and science fiction. Utilizing repeated geometric motifs and abstract patterns similar to those in Op Art, this exhibition will offer a heightened, multi-sensory experience that embraces the power of human imagination and the subconscious.
Boombox Walking, a new multi-media work created specifically for this exhibition, is presented here as part of Lehmann Maupin’s new online In Focus series. This digital series explores one unique work in depth, offering a close reading of a single artwork and a window into an artist’s larger practice. In Focus presentations are a recent addition to the Lehmann Maupin program that allow the gallery to highlight a crucial aspect of an artist’s practice. Featuring bright colors, intricate patterns, and long-limbed figures, Boombox Walking incorporates all of the hallmarks of OSGEMEOS’ signature style. The works presented online in the gallery’s In Focus series will be available for one week only.
ENTER THE WORLD OF OSGEMEOS
Music has always been a vital source of inspiration for OSGEMEOS, from the hip-hop of the 1980s to their own career as a DJ duo. Boombox Walking doubles as a fully functioning boombox capable of streaming music, or any audio, through its Bluetooth connected speakers. For In Focus: OSGEMEOS, the artists have curated a unique playlist that we invite you to listen to here.
When hip-hop first began to take hold in their neighborhood of Cambuci, music was primarily experienced in the streets, where neighborhood kids would listen to music and learn to breakdance together. The influence of this period has appeared in a number of works and is especially evident in OSGEMEOS’ boombox series, which features paintings with fully functional embedded speakers capable of playing music. Lovers of analogue for over 30 years, the artists are avid collectors of records, which provide source material and inspiration for much of their work.
A DEEP DIVE INTO BOOMBOX WALKING
Using a rich symbolic visual language marked by bright colors and intricate patterns, OSGEMEOS are often inspired by the vivid dreams that, as twins, they frequently share. Stylistically, OSGEMEOS have long been influenced by the imagery they consumed in magazines and movies about hip-hop culture, and by street artists of the 1980s who depicted typical b-boy characters, with big sneakers, hats, and space goggles, carrying boomboxes, dancing, or scratching.
In Boombox Walking, two figures pose in front of a larger-than-life size boombox. The speakers are embellished with graffiti and the figure on the left has his hand on a dial, as if he is just about to turn it up. The figure on the right strikes a pose, wearing a bright blue hat and a belt that reads ROBOTIKA (an American comic series by Alex Sheikman). Adorned with 80s inspired clothing and sneakers, these figures embody OSGEMEOS’ early influences and hint at nostalgia. Boombox Walking is a fantastical surreal depiction of hip-hop that doubles as a fully functioning boombox capable of streaming music, or any audio, through its Bluetooth connected speakers. In quintessential OSGEMEOS fashion, the artists have created a total work of art that is simultaneously painting, sculpture, and soundscape with the ability to transport the viewer to another time and place.
OSGEMEOS AROUND THE WORLD
In addition to their solo exhibition in New York, OSGEMEOS have a major forthcoming survey exhibition in São Paulo and a critically-acclaimed presentation on view in Seoul. For their first solo exhibition in Korea, OSGEMEOS: You Are My Guest (pictured above), the artists have taken over Storage by Hyundai Card, one of the most prominent contemporary art institutions in the country. Their presentation features a wide spectrum of 14 works (consisting of 244 individual objects) including paintings, sculptures, installations, and videos. The forthcoming exhibition, OSGEMEOS: Segredos (Secrets) at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, is the artists’ most ambitious exhibition ever presented in their native Brazil. With more than 60 works chosen from their rich store of imagery, the majority of which have never been shown in Brazil, this presentation expands the understanding of the relationship between art and urban life.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
OSGEMEOS began their careers during the 1980s as graffiti artists, making their mark on the streets of the São Paulo neighborhood of Cambuci. They have since become internationally known for their distinct, figurative style that features yellow characters with thin outlines, enlarged faces, and simplified features, as well as their use of vibrant colors and elaborate patterns. Initially influenced by the New York graffiti and hip-hop movements of the 1980s and the ingenuity and resourcefulness evident in their working class neighborhood, OSGEMEOS chose to focus their practice on creating public work that was accessible to all. Unlike the popular Brazilian art movements at the time―conceptual, minimalist, and concrete art―that spoke primarily to the elite, making public art allowed the artists to contribute a sense of optimism to their community.
Click here to read OSGEMEOS’ full biography.