From Soot to Surreal
Brazilian multimedia graffiti artist Alexandre Orion is known as an innovative pioneer in the world of street art installation. His work defies convention and inspires reflection while beautifying urban landscapes. In September of 2013, Brazil was the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The international event was hosted by the Schim Gallery, and Brazilian artwork took center stage. Offstage, Alexandre Orion contributed to the event with a massive mural which he created upon the façade of a vacant savings and loan building. Orion’s remarkable gift to the city of Frankfurt is named “Medidemonstration”.
Medidemonstration is at once an impressive and beautiful work of art, but what makes the piece truly fascinating is the materials and method employed by Orion in order to bring the image to life. In a creatively innovative homage to the Guest of Honor, Alexandre brought soot from his home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil and mixed it with paint to concoct the potion that he used to paint Medidemonstration.
The image depicted in Medidemonstration is that of a shirtless man in a head wrap (that suggests that he is a guru of some kind) sitting in the lotus position with his eyes closed in meditation. In addition to the intricate detail and inherent beauty of the art installation, there is an element of wonder due to the placement of the piece. The guru floats above the city street perfectly divided in two by the corner of the building façade, providing passersby with an optical illusion that changes perceptions according to their vantage point. There is only one position that allows the viewer to see the work in it’s entirety.
Medidemonstration contains a number of ambiguous elements that lead each person who appreciates the work to their own interpretation, and therefore develop their own personalized interaction with the art.