A Tale of Two Murals Kobra vs Banksy

Brazilian Street artist Eduardo Kobra with his assistant Eduardo Agnaldo have painted a new mural in Camden. It is a collage of images, some nostalgic, some contemporary. The work is located on the famous Banksy wall in Chalk Farm . The large painting has been authorized by Camden council and has been produced two years after they famously white-washed over the iconic image of a woman dressed in a frilly French Maid outfit, sweeping dirt behind a curtain. The mural was on a wall located at the back of the Roundhouse venue, across from Chalk Farm tube station and was valued at £2 million.

In a celebrity-dominated culture marked by a near-universal quest for fame, the world famous British graffiti artist Banksy is still resolutely invisible. He is cloaked in anonymity, although his identity was exposed last year. The one-word phenomenon has become one of best-known artists of this century. His brand of subversive art is politically challenging, and often darkly witty. Banksy has become an integral part of popular culture. He was nominated for an Oscar for his documentary film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ last March and even appeared in an episode of The Simpsons.

The replacement mural by Kobra is quite inoffensive by comparison. It lacks the edge needed to create a lasting, memorable contribution and seems to be of a different generation and style than Banksy.It is quite evocative of murals painted in the 1970’s -1980’s. But don’t get me wrong, it is a pleasant and accomplished work and a welcome addition to Camden.

Kobra hails from Sao Paulo and perfected his craft on the streets of this city of culture. He is an exponent of Sao Paulo’s neo-vanguard. The mural incorporates a large steam train dancers,musicians and circus performers. Kobra’s talent emerged around 1987 in the Campo Limpo’s neighbourhood and spreads throughout the city. As urban art developed in Sao Paulo, he grew in popularity, creating Kobra Studios in 1990. He combines original mural painting (inspired by some artists, especially the Mexican painters and the design of the North American Eric Grohe) with the characteristics of good design and skilled neo-realistic painting. His works characterise the first decades of the 20th century in conjunction with nostalgia and modernity. His painting are like  stage settings, some monumental creating portals for missed moments of the city. The largest of these murals, measuring 1000m2, was excicuted in 2009 on de Maio Avenue, celebrating Sao Paulo’s anniversary. Kobra develops works that mix a rich dash of shadows, light and glare. The result is a three-dimensional effect that allow the public to interact with the artwork. The idea is to establish a comparison between air and the romantic atmosphere of nostalgia, with constant stirring is characteristic of large cities. Kobra develops alongside his own production staff, with exhibits inside and outside Brazil. He took part of the “Salon National Des Beaux-Arts in 2009. The exhibition, at the Louvre Museum in Paris was well received. Kobra has pioneered the use of recycled materials and new technologies such as 3D paint on floors.This has kept the work fresh and innovative.

A new Banksy mural can be found in Fitzrovia If you want to catch a glimpse of the work, better hurry before Westminster council gets the power washers out. It’s located on the corner of Clipstone and Cleveland Streets in Fitzrovia W1. Read More about the Banksy Mural


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