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22/02/2017 - 07:00hs

Brazilian art on Dubai walls

Muralist Eduardo Kobra is a finalist in the Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award, a contest for three-dimensional paintings on concrete structures. The Brazilian artist has done graffiti in the emirate before.

São Paulo – The Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra will arrive in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday (22) to compete in the Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award, a contest for graffiti art featuring 3D elements on concrete structures. Known for his colorful designs on walls across Brazil and other countries, the artist made it into the 25-strong shortlist of finalists – 10 local and 15 foreign.

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The Bedouin, in Dubai

This isn’t the first time that the muralist – as Kobra would rather be called – is making art in the emirate. Two years ago, he was painted the wall of a Dubai building. The mural was meant to only last a month. “’The Bedouin’ (the mural’s title) is still there,” he said in an interview with ANBA.

He explains that his 30 meter-tall, 12 meter-wide graffiti illustrates a character that remains central to the foundation of Dubai, in spite of all of the city’s modernity. The city’s roots also provided the inspiration for a 3D floor painting he did on a major city square, entitled “The Desert Flower” – the moniker for which Dubai is known.

A year later, Kobra returned to the emirate to paint “The Legend of the Arabian Horse,” this time on a staircase in a city square. “This one was meant to be permanent all along. It was interesting to have a new place in which to make my art public,” he says.

The doors to Dubai remain open for Kobra, who was picked out of over 120 artists from around the world for the final stage of the Dubai Canvas. For the finals, he will create a 3D wall-and-floor painting under the theme of happiness. “It will be a child representing a sheikh in the desert, dreaming of building that great place,” he explains. “The artwork’s title is “’A Boy’s Dream’.”

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The Legend of the Arabian Horse, in a Dubai square

Kobra will start painting on Wednesday (22) and he should take five days to finish. “Those looking to keep track can check out my Instagram (www.instagram.com/kobrastreetart), I will be updating every day,” he says.

He is slated to return to Brazil on March 4, but might extend his stay in Dubai in order to paint another mural. In this case, Kobra will need to call on a Brazilian assistant to work with him.

The Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award is organized by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Dubai Government Media Office (GDMO) and by the local holding company Meraas. The contest will award USD 650,000 worth of prizes, including a USD 300,000 prize to the winner – but Kobra makes a point of saying this is not the main reason for him to participate.

“I’m not in it for the prize. I’m going in order to show my art, and I would go even if there were no prize at all. I just want to show my art around,” the muralist explains.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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