Eduardo Kobra, one of Brazil’s most renowned graffiti artists, was aiming for a record before the Rio Olympics even kicked off. Kobra, who’s based in São Paulo but has painted everywhere from Tokyo through Poland to Minneapolis, tried to break the Guinness World Record for the largest mural by one artist with Etnias (“Ethnicities”).
And just yesterday, Guinness World Records granted the piece a title slightly different than what Kobra was going for: Largest spray paint mural by a team. Kobra and four guest artists spent over two months working at least 12 hours a day in Rio’s rejuvenated port area, painting five multicolored faces representing the five continents on the exterior wall of a two-story warehouse.
It took 100 gallons of white paint, 1,500 liters of colored paint and at least 3,500 cans of spray paint to create the mural, which was unveiled on Aug. 30. “It’s about surpassing, this has been a milestone for me, my personal Olympic record, after all it’s a mural measuring 3,000 square meters (32,000 square feet) and the largest mural I’ve ever painted,” Kobra said. “Having traveled many cities around the world, it’s such a privilege to be able to create this piece here in Rio de Janeiro on such a unique and important occasion.”
The port area where the mural is located, adjacent to Rio’s historic downtown, was once dilapidated but got a major uplift in recent years. Now dubbed Porto Maravilha (“Marvelous Port”), the area is now home to art festivals, commercial developments including a Trump Tower (no, really) and cultural institutions such as the multimillion dollar Musem of Tomorrow.
With reporting by Agência Brasil; photos by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil