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Born in 1980 in the municipality of Niterói in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Gabriel Grecco studied advertising and design at the Universidade Estácio de Sá in the city of Rio and is active in the areas of illustration, painting, music and poetry. Having spent eight years in advertising agencies, he has offered his cartoons and illustrations to the screen as well as several national and regional magazines and newspapers. Since leaving the world of publicity some four years ago, Gabriel has dedicated himself to art alone. His first major moment of international recognition came with IFAC 2014 (International Fine Arts Competition) in Miami, Florida where he was included in the list of ten most creative painters and awarded a prize. He participates in art salons throughout Brazil.
Gabriel’s vibrant, often comic and graffiti-like, paintings dwell upon both social issues and personal lives. He says that he derives inspiration from everything around him: “I get inspired by us humans. By human ignorance. By social media, religious movements and wars. I try to express human needs through my art, sometimes with humor and sometimes not. I think the artist has a great responsibility to inform the world about what is happening. Sometimes we inform without knowing what we are doing, but we know it’s important to present current events and trends to one and all.”
Here is how Gabriel explains the role that his country has played in his creativity: “Brazil certainly influences me and my art – but not in a regional manner. My work is the vision of the world as seen by a Brazilian who lives in Rio de Janeiro. I also enjoy depicting the impact of technologies and the consumer industry on the citizens of this developing nation. Brazilian society is a blend of many different classes and races. We have “favelas” [slums within urban areas] on one side and wealth on the other side. Yet, we all live in paradigms and the media and consumption affect the rich and the poor in the same way. People get silly with fads and brands and often try to show that we humans are trivial.”
He further comments, “Brazil is a country that has a privileged view of itself in the world because we have an interesting location on the map – we feel we’re close to the US, Europe and Africa. And the Brazilian people are really unique – when you get here the fact is clear. We are not better or worse, but simply different and have an uncommon perspective that should be shared with the world and that’s what I try to show with my art. The Brazilian people have big hearts and care too much for other people, no matter where they come from. I think we deserve much more than we have and I hope that this will happen one day.”
As of now, Gabriel has primarily created five collections of paintings: Framed Bodies (2012), Fluid Bodies (2013), Grecco Livre (2014), HuRman Interference (2015) and Head (2015-2016). The latest of these, the “Head” series, contains funny portraits in which the human head is swapped with some other object – usually inanimate – in proximity. Gabriel elaborates: “Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. Warhol was right. Today with new technologies and social networks we have much more than 15 minutes of fame. We have become slaves to our ego. We not only want fame but consumers on our various profiles. We have created marketing plans to promote ourselves every single day with our virtual autopublicidade [“self advertising”]. We are beautiful and happy. Ravenous for comments. We live in a time where we have to be more than popular, we have to be what the other dreams of being. We have turned ourselves into products that are perfect and ready to be consumed. That others can enjoy!”
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