Ozi Pop Up Show

Galeria A7MA will host, from October 29th, the exhibition of the visual artist OZI, who celebrates his 30 years of urban art in “Ozi Pop Up Show”, his first solo exhibition in São Paulo, his city.

The artist brings to the gallery 17 works, featuring his “remixes” of the pop icon Mickey Mouse, a character that the artist is a longtime fan. In addition to this series of works, he will present his series of custom spray cans, the “OZICANS” produced in celebration of his 30 years of art and graffiti, which he has been exchanging with his artist friends. “OZICANS” make a small cut of their production with old and current works and fun reinterpretations of some consumption icons.

The artist has been on the streets since 1985, printing his ideas on the walls and walls of the city of São Paulo with his humorous and sometimes ironic stencils, questioning capitalism, the consumer society and religion in a fun and uncompromising way, always with a tone of criticism of human ills.

The professional trajectory of the visual artist Ozi is intertwined with the history of Street Art in Brazil, which emerged in the 1980s, during the period of military dictatorship, in São Paulo, with the artists Alex Vallauri and Maurício Villaça. The latter, opening the doors of his house and transforming it into the Art-Brut gallery. Alternative space of the underground scene that welcomed artists, poets and all sorts of visitors attracted by that new way of generating artistic thought. It was from the meeting of these two artists with the then publicist Ozéas Duarte that a series of interventions and public actions began that would make history in the constitution of the DNA of Brazilian graffiti. In 1985, Ozi recorded his first art using the technique of stenciling in the street and the transgression of the act of graffiti gained political and social connotations, associated with the ironic discourse that the artist imprints on his work to this day. And it was not by chance that he became a reference in interventions of this style in communities on the outskirts, where other pioneering artists also acted and helped to strengthen the Street Art scene in São Paulo.

Celebrating his 30 years of work on the streets has been great fun for the artist, who has proposed to his friends who accompany him on the quebradas to exchange spray cans (from the Ozicans series) painted with new characters as well as old ones, such as the astronaut, which he created in his first interventions on the streets. This climate of partnership and friendship was the starting point for the holding of the Ozi – Pop-up Show exhibition, hosted by the A7MA gallery and which brings a brief overview of his production, especially in his works with parodies about the character Mickey Mouse and all its representation about Capitalism, consumer society and also false advertising.

In this sense, Ozi abuses his good humor and soon puts a Mickey hat on the heads of the image of
The Thinker (by Rodin), Mona Lisa (by Leonardo da Vinci) and Jesus Christ. Without giving peace to Walt Disney's most famous mouse, Ozi created the series in stencil and acrylic on canvas Mixmickeys, in which he replaces the character's head with other cartoon and movie icons. The feeling of estrangement is immediate when seeing Frajola, Tweety, Woodpecker, Pink Panther, Homer Simpson, among others, with their bodies changed. Each work is presented with a flat color in the background, further accentuating its central figure. The exception of this series goes to the bigger screen, formed by the gang of Manda-chuva and Guarda Belo, who won Mickey's head and remain with their original bodies.

In polyester resin comes a 1.40m Mickey with its entire surface worked in a camouflaged pattern with skulls, which makes a strong allusion to death and war environments. This work is juxtaposed on a wall with dozens of flowing contours from the head of the same character, with on its left and right sides two distinct representations of what would be the “Smile” that does not smile. Once again, the artist proposes a reflection on the crossing of languages and signs relating to the adult and child universes, which are often used in a banal way.

Even when addressing morbid topics, Ozi does not give up refined irony to punctuate his criticisms. Given his three decades of work, surprisingly, Ozi – Pop-up Show is the artist's first solo exhibition in São Paulo, even though he has already been to other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Geneva. Tireless, the artist has participated in an endless number of group exhibitions, interventions in institutional spaces and performing works outdoors wherever he goes.

Marco Antonio Teobaldo curator

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