After 8 straight days of painting from the time I landed in Sao Paulo, Danilo and I rested on the 9th day. Later during the night, Danilo, Medo and I took the 6 hour “red eye” overnight bus to Rio de Janeiro. At the bus station we were met by Medo’s friend and awesome Rio artists, Kaja Man. We went to the favela where Kaja Man used to live. La favela is the poorest of the poor in Brazil and therefor the most perigoso (dangerous). This impoverished hilltop neighborhood where cement made cubicles, one to three stories high, small homes with window and door bars and metal flat rooftops are densely compacted together and stacked on top of one another. I noticed a small boy looking out of the 2nd floor window and noticed it was his face that someone painted below on the wall. I asked Danilo to tell him to come down so I could take a photo of his face and base my portrait off of him. We didn’t have too much time to paint before night fell upon us. August in Brazil is their winter, although sunny and hot during the day, it was dark by 5:30-6 p.m.
It was fun painting with the residents from the neighborhood hanging out with us and watching from beginning to end. I noticed in this favela that it was saturated with beautiful graffiti and street murals, thanks to Kaja Man who is the organizer of MOF: Meeting of Favela. MOF is an annual event that takes place every November where artists from all over the world go to bomb the walls. The Brazilian people are full of great energy, warm and friendly and they really appreciate the artists, and love having art on the public spaces. I enjoyed trying to communicate with the children and they got a big kick out of me.
Thank you to both my travel buddies, Danilo and Medo and Kaja Man for giving me an amazing experience and a lifetime memory. This was only day one in Rio and the 10th day of my ‘going global’ journey through the thrill of Brazil.