Mural on Selecao’s World Cup Jet
In 2014, the dynamic duo Os Gemeos covered the Brazilian national soccer team’s jet for the world in their enthusiastically colorful, signature designs that blend folk art with street art.
Covering nearly every inch of the jet’s exterior surface, they spray-painted the airplane with colorful characters with brown and yellow faces meant to represent the people of Brazil. The artists left out the wings for security reasons.
The figures had quirky, unusual clothes and had calm, cool facial expressions. The jet, Boeing 737, transported the Brazilian national team from city to city during the World Cup 2014 that was held in Brazil. The idea for the project originated from the duo, though it was not originally linked to the World Cup.
Having already spray-painted passenger trains, a castle, buildings, as well as a series of other large objects, the brothers thought it was time to decorate a plane. Brazilian carrier GOL jumped at the opportunity to work with the duo, and the project took shape from there. The artists worked from a hangar in Belo Horizonte and took a week to complete the project, consuming around 1,200 cans of spray paint.
Besides the enormous challenge, for we painted in a totally unconventional medium, the concept of this work is to give unrestricted access to our art. We depicted the Brazilian population with all its varied and colorful ethnicity, bringing this work to the skies and airports in Brazil for the period of two years.
The jet made its first flight with the new look between Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, transporting passengers. The carrier stated that when the plane is not transporting football players, it will be making trips as per the daily demand, and once the World Cup is over, the jet would be incorporated into the fleet.
The artists said that the motivation of the painting is for the public to identify with one of the faces painted on the jet’s exterior. They explained:
Everyone has thought about walking on clouds. And this is only possible with an airplane and faces painted on it. The work pleased the staff at Gol’s hanger, but the interior and painting engineer did not hide that the project sounded strange at first.
The GOL hangar engineers were confused about the entire process:
I thought it was really cool. They are very good. But at first, I didn’t understand anything. They started doodling with spray, making faces and at the time, we didn’t know what was going to happen.
About the artists
Os Gemeos is a duo consisting of identical twin street artists Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo. They began their career in the late 1980s in Sao Paulo and since then have taken their work to galleries and streets across the world.
Their style has been described as “escapist fantasies” due to its dreamy, illustrative, and patterned style. Critics have compared this style to the works of M.C Escher and Hieronymus Bosch.
Their work usually features yellow-skinned figures, taken from the yellow tinge the duo have in their dreams, but is otherwise diverse and ranges from tags to detailed murals.
Subjects of their works range from family portraits to commentary on Sao Paulo’s social and political scene as well as Brazilian folklore. Their graffiti is hugely influenced by both traditional hip hop and Brazilian culture.