The good weather is going away, school started more than one month ago, and we feel that you already need vacation… We thus want to bring some sunshine introducing to you the Grupo OPNI and Muleca XIII who both participated to our last-minute paintjam, Samb’Art, in July, at Calçada da Gloria. We were thrilled about this event and we want to show you how committed and talented they are.

To make the pleasure last, we’ll start today with a presentation of the OPNI Group, and the second part of the article will be published in few days, introducing Muleca’s work and experience with us.

GRUPO OPNI

This group was born in 1997. Getting their inspiration from Afro-descendant and Brazilian culture, 20 young people from the neighbourhood of São Mateus, São Paulo decided to create this collective. Their aim was to give a voice to the people of the favela, portraying them in their reality and highlighting their identity, overcoming stereotypes. Through their pieces, they give a voice to those who feel excluded and they promote education, self-knowledge and entrepreneurship.

Nowadays, this group is very important in Brazilian culture and also participated to international events. It now became a spokesperson for urban culture in Brazil and it’s used to create integration between young people.

They have some partnerships with NGOs, such as São Mateus em Movimento, a project they created. They organize a lot of events and projects. Among them, graffiti initiation workshops, during which people can learn a bit more about street art and its techniques. They also originated the program Favela Galeria, a real Urban outdoor Art Gallery in which a lot of walls of the favela are covered by great pieces of art. It brings to the inhabitants a contact with this art, making this place looking like them and bringing some colours to their everyday life.

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Rafa, the cultural producer of the OPNI Group, kindly accepted to write some lines about his experience in Portugal with us. We are very thankful to him for his commitment with the collective and the good relations we kept with him and the OPNI group since our first encounter.

“The Group OPNI was selected to participate to the “Semana de Arte Publica” (Public Art Week), in Loures, in 2018. For this reason, as the cultural producer of the group since 2007, and with the help of the collective, I thought it could be an excellent opportunity to spread our work and ideas during our first trip to Europe and Portugal.

At the end of our intense week in Loures that we shared with a lot of artists from different countries, we had the pleasure to meet the collective Yes You Can Spray. It was a chance encounter, a magic meeting with a very special group of street art passionate people, just like us.

We started a very informal relation, always with an intense exchange of ideas and experiments, each one in it world, it country, it universe, but always with very productive and funny conversations. Yes, it’s possible to combine work to entertainment!  

And that’s how we spent our days in Lisbon. As we already had a contact with the Urban Art Gallery that had gave us a panel to paint in Calçada da Gloria, the help of Yes You Can Spray was again punctual and very important.

The collective introduced us to a Brazilian female artist, Muleca 13, who collaborated with her huge wisdom and artistic sagacity, turning the working and artistic environment even more relevant.

Furthermore, Yes You Can Spray organized a Paint Jam (Samb’Art) in which they invited few artists with whom we had the chance to work and that turned our art even more important and relevant. This day was definitely unforgettable for the OPNI Group, who felt in its bones and eyes how important street art is for the pacific, colourful and harmonic occupation of urban spaces in the world’s capitals. We felt extremely valued, honoured, and adopted by the Portuguese community of street art. We never thought this would be possible, even more in such a spontaneous and happy way.

The OPNI Group is and will always be thankful to the collective Yes You Can Spray and is opened and available to organize this type of exchange in Brazilian lands. With all our love and respect!”

Rafa, thank you for sharing with us your experience and we keep in mind your nice invitation to Brazil 😉

We loved to work with grupo OPNI and hope to do it again. This amazing collective is very committed and talented, and we hope you’ll like their work. Go check their website, you’ll get the link by clicking on the picture below. See you in few days for the presentation of Muleca XIII 🙂

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