Image: Nacho Doce/Reuters
Brazil, being the huge country that it is, will force teams to travel a considerable amount of miles to get to their matches and back to headquarters. For example, the USMNT will travel more than 10,000 miles from their basecamp to the three matches during the group stage. The host country, on the other hand, will log about 4,200 miles coming and going. These miles, however, will be traveled in style.
Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo are two Brazilian artists also known as Os Gemeos who have turned the body of the team plane into an amazing mural. The Boeing 737 which will jet the Brazilian National Team around depicts, in words of the artists, “the Brazilian population with all its varied and colorful ethnicity.” The twins used 1,200 cans of spray paint and left the wings of the plane untouched due to safety concerns from the airline, Gol.
As graffiti artists, Os Gemeos are no strangers to monumental work: they have occupied vast spaces of the visual landscape in cities like Boston, with “The Giant of Boston” (which was taken down in 2013), or in Lisbon, where, along with Italian street artist Blu!, they created a couple of characters with their customary yellow skin that seem to pop out of the four-story building. (One of them, a young man with a shirt on its head, has a tiny charming tag on the forehead that reads: “I Heart Vandalismo”).
The New York Times quite accurately called their art “sort of Dr. Seuss on acid.” In their forties, they first started as break-dancers in the emerging hip-hop scene in Brazil. From there, it was a small leap –bad pun intended– to graffiti art. The influence of American hip-hop culture was crucial and rapidly processed by the twins –their work appeared in 12 oz Prophet magazine and they were associated with San Francisco graffiti artist Barry McGee. Now, their work has transitioned from the cop-eluding illegality to commissions by the Tate Modern in 2008 (they painted one of their characters next to the entrance, which was removed after the exhibition was over). Now, they have turned the Brazilian National Team into a flying masterpiece.
As for the other teams’, this is by far the most flamboyant plane so far. In the flair part of the tournament, Brazil is winning by a landslide.