Credit: Ka-Man Tse/Times Square Arts
Brazilian twin artists OSGEMEOS make heads rain on 42nd Street
The Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS are used to exhibiting their work in sizeable spaces. Their signature, flat-nosed yellow characters have appeared on murals, concrete grain silos, an 800-year-old castle, and a plane. This month they take it one step further, illuminating New York City's Times Square billboards with rotund, bobbing heads.
The work, entitled Parallel Connection, appears as part of the Times Square Arts' Midnight Moment series. The public arts program has featured a new artist every month since 2012.
For Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, the twins behind OSGEMEOS, the opportunity provides a chance to experiment with new platforms and mediums.
"With this animation, we want to play with the people that view it. It's like some guys come inside of the TV, play and turn it off, again and again," explain the duo.
"We are amazed to see the impact of the film. When everything starts, it really makes Times Square feel different." According to OSGEMEOS, the work is a dialogue between two worlds -- the imaginary and the real.
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Director of Times Square Arts Sherry Dobbin says the ongoing exhibit, which has showcased artists like Tracey Emin, Isaac Julien, and Andy Warhol, is an opportunity to expose general audiences to high quality, contemporary art.
"Nowhere else in the world, is there this iconic cannon of electronic billboards. We're looking for a combination of emerging and established artists, a diversity of style, and we are really interested in those who want to play with public space."
Each year, the Times Square Advertising Coalition donates $1.5 million worth of screen time to the project. 3 minutes before midnight, commercials take pause and 45 screens across 5 blocks simultaneously countdown and then play the artist-of-the-month's video.
The potential audience reach is huge. Dobbin estimates that each day, 11,000-12,000 people pass through Times Square at midnight.
Born in Sao Paolo and working under the name OSGEMEOS since 1987, the duo describe their work as a fusion of 1980s hip-hop culture and Brazilian folk art.
The siblings work alongside each other on each project, and have always communicated in an artistic way.
"Since children, we were always drawing together and constructing things together. It's like magic, especially when we do the same things and have the same ideas. Normally when we work, we don't speak very much. I know what he wants to do, and he knows what I want to do," they say.
"It is more like connections. It's like two people sharing the same style and technique. We want to open the window of our world so that everyone can jump inside and play with their imaginations."
The two have worked in many mediums including graffiti, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and most recently, animation.
After New York, the OSGEMEOS twins are off to Denmark, Lithuania and Minsk to paint murals, and will be returning to New York next year with an exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York.