Haas&Hahn create striking artworks in unexpected places.
Incredible rainbow houses in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Praça Cantão, the square at the entrance of the community of Santa Marta, has been the scene of a spectacular art intervention where it has been turned into a vibrant artwork of monumental scale.
34 houses on the giant hillside favela (slum), located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, have been painted in a design of colourful rays, radiating into the city. Part of the ‘Favela Painting’ project by Haas&Hahn, a project that aims to transform communities into landmarks and inspirational monuments as a part of Rio’s image, next to the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf mountain.
Haas&Hahn is the working title of artistic duo Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, who started working together in 2005 when they filmed a documentary about hip hop in the favelas of Rio and São Paolo for MTV. Inspired by this visit, they embarked on a journey to bring outrageous works of art to unexpected places, starting with painting enormous murals in the slums of Brazil together with the local youth.
The artists individual backgrounds span audio-visual design, illustration and art direction amidst a host of other creative skills. No amount of words suffice to explain their talent nor the incredible work they are doing for some of the world’s poorest communities.
“This work of art can make a colorful difference in the lives of local individuals, the community and the city of Rio. It has the potential of working as a catalyst in the processes of social renewal and change” – Dre Urhahn, Haas&Hahn
Realisation of the artwork is largely driven by the inhabitants of Santa Marta. 25 local youth have been trained as painters, which not only provides them with their own income but also spurs taking responsibility for turning their own neighborhood into a colorful monument. This grassroots method of working has proven to be successful in earlier projects, and gives the local community empowerment, pride and color. The local team is complemented by three painters from another favela, Vila Cruzeiro, where two of the previous projects by Haas&Hahn took place.
The Favela Painting project was paused during the catastrophic rains that hit Rio de Janeiro so hard, killed hundreds and left thousands homeless. The team of painters was sent to the affected areas to help clear the rubble. The vulnerability of these communities and the situation the inhabitants sometimes live in, make it clear that they need all attention they can get. They see the art project not only as a way to beatify, but mostly to attract attention to them and their neighbourhood in a positive way.
About 7,000 square meters of hillside slum has now been converted into an new monument for the community and the final result is a huge colourful artwork that spans over 34 houses. The end goal of this particular project is to paint the entire favela but to do this they require further grants and donations, please click here to make a donation.
Guess this goes to show that art really does make the world a better place.