OSGEMEOS is a collaborative project of the Brazilian identical twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo. Known primarily for their graffiti, OSGEMEOS also produce paintings, murals, sculpture, and installation and video art. Their creations blend a wide range of influences, from traditional Brazilian folklore to hip hop and youth culture.Read More
Otavio and Gustavo grew up in the working-class neighbourhood of Cambuci in São Paulo. The name OSGEMEOS derives from the Portuguese Os Gêmeos for 'The Twins'. The brothers recall how, as young children, drawing was the most effective way to communicate with each other and with their family, as well as being an instrument of play.
In the 1980s, they became fascinated with the burgeoning hip hop scene in Brazil. They first became involved with breakdancing before turning to graffiti in 1987.
OSGEMEOS began pursuing graffiti and painting as a way of sharing their imaginative world with the public. Their dream-like creations range from family portraits to social and political commentaries. In order to invite the audience into their shared inner world, OSGEMEOS engage with a varied range of media: from painting and sculpture to installation and video art, with drawing remaining at the centre of each process.
Using bright colours and elaborate patterns, OSGEMEOS are best known for their long-limbed, yellow-skinned figures with thin outlines, enlarged heads, and simplified features. Through the use of the colour yellow, the character is a reference to a universal figure that defies race and culture. It is also a figure that represents the diverse population of Brazil. The yellow-skinned character, along with their other playful and often surreal motifs, can be found on all sorts of objects and in many locations and public settings.
In 2008, OSGEMEOS were invited to create a large-scale work on the façade of the Tate Modern in London. OSGEMEOS exhibited on the façade alongside four other international street artists as part of the museum's 2008 exhibition Street Art, which is considered to be London's first major museum display of the genre.
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, OSGEMEOS transformed the national football team's official Boeing 737 into a work of art by painting over the entire plane using 1,200 aerosol cans. The project, which took one week to complete, featured a group of characters who represented the ethnic and cultural diversity of Brazil. The artwork remained on the airplane for two years after the world cup, so that travellers could enjoy flying with a work of art.
For the Vancouver Biennale in 2014, the artists created Giants, a 360-degree, 21-metre-tall mural and their first ever in Canada. Their largest public mural to date, Giants was completed using spray paint on six gigantic silos that were part of a concrete plant on Vancouver's Granville Island. Each silo was painted to resemble a character. Together they were turned into six huge characters standing side by side, overlooking the area and the visitors.
Apart from large public commissions, OSGEMEOS have also exhibited in the indoors spaces of museums and galleries across the world. Their immersive installation Lyrical (2018) at Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh combined murals and sculptures as well as folk objects from the brothers' private collection, inviting the audience into a mystical world of dreams, music, and motion.
The major exhibition Secrets (2021), held at São Paulo's Pinacoteca, consisted of more than 1000 objects, over 50 of which had never been publicly presented in Brazil. The exhibition showcased motifs and ideas dating from the early period of their artistic development, such as notebooks from their teenage years, to the iconic, large pieces of their established career.
OSGEMEOS have exhibited extensively around the world. Their works are part of numerous public collections, including The Franks-Suss Collection, London; Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; Museu de Arte Brasileira, São Paulo; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
Solo exhibitions of OSGEMEOS' work have been organised by Museu Casa do Pontal, Rio de Janeiro (2015); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2012); Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon (2010); and Museum Het Domein, Sittard, Netherlands (2007).
Select group exhibitions include Everything you are I am not: Latin American contemporary art from the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City (2016); Apreensões e Objetos do Desejo: obras doadas pela Receita Federal ao MNBA, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro (2015); Gigantes por su propria naturaleza, Institut Valéncia d'Art Modern, Valencia (2011); and Art in the Streets, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011).
Major public commissions include HangarBicocca, Milan (2016); Parallel Connection, Times Square Arts: Midnight Moment, New York (2015); Wynwood Walls, Miami (2009); Houston Street and Bowery Mural, New York (2009); and Creative Time Project, Coney Island (2005).
Ocula | 2022
With OSGEMEOS’s magical imagery, the definition remains slippery and layered even when it appears within simple outlines.Read More Related Press Os Gemeos 'Parallel Connection' in Times Square 10 August 2015, Hypebeast
Brazilian duo Os Gemeos recently hit the Big Apple, making their way to Times Square to kick off their latest endeavor. Dubbed Parallel Connection, the massive installation — part of The Times Square Advertising Coalition’s Midnight Moment project — sees the renowned graffiti artists taking over a bevy of the commercial...Read More