Brazilian artist Alexandre Orion and other participants at the graffiti workshop at Museum of Islamic Art Park yesterday.
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Brazilian artist Alexandre Orion brings a popular form of collaborative art from the busy streets of Sao Paulo to the multicultural city of Doha at a graffiti workshop to mark the launch of Create & Inspire art competition.
Using spray cans, over 100 people poured their artistic ideas on a wall set up at Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park yesterday.
“There are no plans. The idea is just to let people try the material and do whatever they want,” Orion told this daily. After the activity, he will have to figure out how to make something out of the painting, incorporating his idea retaining parts of the people’s painting.
With over two decades of creating public art, Orion has drawn people’s attention to some pressing issues confronting the world.
In 2006, he spent 13 nights, creating Ossário, an intervention in one of São Paulo’s road tunnels, resulting to thousands of hand-designed skulls out of grime from vehicle exhausts reminding people of the dangers of pollution.
“I started doing graffiti in 1992 in Sao Paulo. What I do now is more of street art. Before I try to plan what I’m going to do, whether there’s a meaning on it, but today the meaning is ‘let’s do something together,’” he explains about the significance of participatory art, which for him is more of a celebration. “I expect people to be happy. It’s a day in the park with a lot of spray cans. We’re people from all over the world, painting together so I think it’s a celebration.”
On the development of street art around the world, he said: “It’s interesting that the world now has a lot of well-known street artists and they made it by themselves going to the streets. And now governments, institutions and museums are asking us to do work inside or outside, which is important to consider because the streets have no curatorship but now institutions are recognising what we have started as art.”
Compared to other types of visual art, street art has been seen as an effective way to put a message across a large number of people and encourages public debate. “Street art is always political because you take a public space and put a message on it, but it’s a nice type of art because we don’t need museums or institutions to validate what we do,” he said.