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Brazilian Graffiti Artist Paints World’s Largest Street Mural for the Rio Olympics

Days before the Olympics began in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra decided to set his own world record for the largest mural created by a single person. The mural, which he calls Las Etnias (The Ethnicities), reaches a total height of 50 feet and measures over 32,000 square feet. Kobra illustrated five larger-than-life faces from five continents—corresponding to the five rings of the Olympics. After 100 gallons of white paint, 400 gallons of colored paint, 3,500 cans of spray paint, and two grueling months of 12 hour days, the mural brightens up what used to be Rio's run-down port district.

“I'm motivated by challenges,” Kobra shared on the Rio 2016 official website. The cinderblock warehouse was abandoned and in rough shape, meaning that Kobra had to wash the whole building in white and recover some parts before he could begin on the design. The challenge was worth it though. “I was really happy I got to display my work here in Rio de Janeiro,” said the 40-year-old muralist from São Paulo. “This was something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

Kobra's work showcases his unique graffiti style of vibrant colors and quilted geometric shapes that he's used in other works. Nevertheless, he went to great lengths to portray the people in his mural accurately and respectfully. “These are the indigenous people of the world. The idea behind it is that we are all one. We’re living through a very confusing time with a lot of conflict.” Kobra wants his mural, located at the summer's focal point of global competition, to send a powerful message. “I [want] to show that everyone is united, we are all connected.”

Above photo credit: Rio 2016/Paulo Mumia

Photo credit: Rio 2016/Paulo Mumia

Photo credit: Rio 2016/Paulo Mumia

Eduardo Kobra: Website | Facebook | Instagram
via [designboom]

All images via Eduardo Kobra unless stated otherwise.

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