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Vitche & Jana

Biography

Jana Joana (1978, Sao Paulo) is a brazilian artist that started painting in 1998. She is married to Vitché (Vicente Rodrigues, 1969, Sao Paulo), an artist that grew up bombing the streets of Sao Paulo in the 80’s. Internationally present, Vitché works as a painter, a sculptor and a photographer, playing with different materials such as wood, mud and iron. Famous and recognized in the world of Street Art, he was interviewed in the film Bomb it (2006, Trailer: http://bombit-themovie.com/trailer.php) and his Art was photographed in many of the Street Art books such as GRAFFITI BRASIL (Edited Tristan Manco/Caleb Neelon/Lost Art – Published by Thames & Hudson, UK, 2006). His work has been shown in international galleries such as JONATHAN LEVINE GALLERY in New York (Vitché Equilibrium, Solo exhibition, May-June 2007) and he is also among the 10 artists selected for the Né dans la Rue…Graffiti show (07/07/09 – 10/01/10) at the FONDATION CARTIER in Paris.  Jana and Vitché work as individual artists as well as together.

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Report

The meeting was at the Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo where the couple accepted to have a short discussion with us about their art in the outdoor café of the museum, facing the park. They could not have been more easygoing or nice, willing to spend time explaining their evolution as artists. It was very interesting to meet them together since their imaginaries are strongly linked. Since Vitché speaks little English, Jana was translating for us the questions and answers as well as answering herself.

Jana’s paintings or “murales” are in Black and white because, to her: “when you read a book, the text is in black and white, you don’t need colours to imagine since, in your head it’s all very colourful”. She tries to impose a “woman style” in Brazil, making it very clear that she, the artist, is a woman. She also always represents light, nude, poetic, flowing women.

Jana is very concerned about the new generation of children in Brazil that are watching television all day and not going to school. Her art is an attempt to change their reality and their imaginary by painting in the streets.

Vitché grew up in Sao Paulo in an area of factories, “dirty and ugly”, as he described it. He started painting on the walls of the city in order to help change its view and take away this impression of being “locked up with no air”.

Concerned about the planet, he has always found his inspiration in nature, trying to include it in the urban surroundings: “People lost the connection with nature, it is important to make them realize the importance of nature.”

The artist goes to the forest to get some energy and is now thinking about the possibility of realizing a land art project in the Amazonia.

His art is also connected to his travels (Peru, Pasques Island) as well as to stories of other times and myths around Polynesia, the Aztecs, the Brazilian Indians, or the playful symbolism of the circus. All those themes are carefully mixed to compose complex stylistic characters in black, red and white tones.

The musical dimension is also very present in his work through instruments, probably because he never draws, paints or sculpts without listening music.

The couple feels it is natural to paint together, and when they do, they tend to mix their styles: “the works become one” by completing the work of one another. Their art is influenced by new age, indian and relaxing music as well as the sounds of nature, but also the sound of silence.

They have no exclusivity contract with galleries because they prefer to remain free, but they are always looking for gallerists that understand their works and with whom they can have a long-term relationship. In fact, they find that the artist/gallery relationship is as a wedding, well managed and understood.

“Quality is our goal.”

They are selling their works abroad, in Europe, Latin America and the United States where they are recognized for their iconographic style and colours, but the street is and will remain for them the best source of feedback.

by Stephanie Serra

Photos

Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents; Graffiti Brazil, 2006; http://www.fotolog.com/janajoana

Vitche’s website

Jana’s website

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