Artist Spotlight: Os Gêmeos


Os Gêmeos: Otavio Pandolfo and Gustavo Pandolfo

Os Gêmeos: Otavio Pandolfo and Gustavo Pandolfo

We are pleased to dedicate this next artist spotlight to the artistic duo Os Gêmeos, in celebration of the culmination of their artist residency and gallery-spanning exhibition “Lyrical” at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is on view until August 4, 2019.

Otavio Pandolfo and Gustavo Pandolfo (b. 1974) are known as "Os Gêmeos", meaning “the twins” in Portuguese. The are celebrated internationally for their large-scale mural paintings with yellow lanky figures who wear colorful patterns and layers. They are among a handfull of the great street artists like Basquiat, Haring and Banksy and more recently Kaws that have successfully internationalized their visual language whilst gaining the respect of the high end gallery scene. Their first major endorsement was by Jeffrey Deitch who showed them in NY in 2005. They went on to be represented by the largest gallery in Brasil, Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel and by Lehman Maupin and had their first US institutional show at the ICA Boston in 2012. 

The two works owned by the Tiroche DeLeon collection are extremely significant within their creation.

"Sem Titulo" from 2008-2010 appeared in a number of their acclaimed exhibitions, changing form and becoming more complex over time... at Deitch Projects (summer 2008); then across 4 locations in Brasil in a travelling exhibition called Vertigem between 2008-2010; and after being completed and acquired by the collection, at "Everything you are I am not" Latam highlights from the Tiroche DeLeon Collection at Mana during Art Basel Miami in 2015 and then in New Jersey in 2016.    

The second work, "Within the Ranbow" was completed in 2010. Elements of this work participated in the earlier exhibitions at Deitch Projects and the touring Vertigem show, but the completed work also showed in the Prague Quadriennial in 2011 and as the cornerstone piece of the ICA Boston retrospective, as well the the TDC Mana exhibitions. 

Os Gêmeos, Sem Titulo, 2008-2010

Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, their upbringings inspired their artistic language. Their practice sparked from their love for hip-hop culture and break-dancing, the streets became their stage and the city-walls were the playground of a canvas.  Os Gêmeos started to paint the streets in 1987 gaining recognition and a reputation in their neighborhood.

Taking influences from Brazilian folklore, hip hop, and their personal history, their subject matter is the streets where they try to find the positivity within the disparity. Os Gêmeos’s most memorable meeting was in 1993 with legendary artist Barry McGee, well-known painter and graffiti artist from San Francisco. This was a pivotal turning point for the identical twin brothers, soon their art would be on the platform for the world to see. Their international acclaim was on a rise painting all the way from Cuba to Germany.  

Dentro Do Arco-iris, É Assim (Within the Rainbow), 2010

Os Gêmeos, Dentro Do Arco-iris, É Assim (Within the Rainbow), 2010

Their public murals scale walls with yellow characters, the bodies have large heads and long limbs. The colors are imaginative and dream-like with colorfully patterned clothes. The characters reflect Os Gêmeos reality mixed with fantasy.

They also create paintings, sculptures, drawings multi-media installations. Their exhibition “Lyrical” at the Mattress Factory is a fully immersive installation. Each wall is covered in paint. Their monumental character pops out of the ground glowing like a light-bulb ranging in heights and width. One wall is covered in bricks with a mural painted on it, giving a feeling of the streets. The parallel wall with three-dimensional wooden sculptures.

Installation view at Mana Glass Gallery, New Jersey, May 2016.

Installation view at Mana Glass Gallery, New Jersey, May 2016.

They use the public as their content and the walls of the city as the canvas. Os Gêmeos mirror the reality of the streets with exquisitely detailed paintings telling stories through their colorful figures.

Installation view of "Lyrical" at the Mattress Factory