Artist Name: Zezão
Real Name: José Augusto Amaro Handa
Technique: Graffiti, murals
About: Zezão is a street artist born and based in São Paulo, Brazil. He began to approach the graffiti scene in the 90’s doing “Pixação” a style originated in Brazil characterized by large, cryptic lettering in the walls.
Like many of his graffiti counterparts who have entered the world of fine art, Zezão was not formally trained. His style was feed by early experiences with poverty and struggle, and the strong community of graffiti artists in São Paulo.
The defining characteristic of Zezão’s work is a “logotype” or symbol, a blue form that he named a “flop,” which he began painting in the underground sewers of São Paulo. He posted a photograph of his subterranean work on Flickr, and ended-up attracting a good deal of media interest.
Now Zezão has completed several street pieces and indoor commissions. His signature is distinctly alive: bright turquoise, dynamic and lively, sprawling over its surfaces like an amoeba or ocean waves. He was also featured in the movie “Bomb it”, a documentary about contemporary graffiti worldwide.
His gallery shows often contain large-scale assemblages composed of materials that evoke his experience of São Paulo’s streets: scraps of wood furniture and building materials, bits of street signs and advertisements, and various found objects.
Zezão also uses wooden headboards as canvases, nearly every piece emblazoned with his signature blue form. He considers his fine art practice an extension of his craft, but wants to retain the spirit of his urban work keeping the roots of the street alive.
Where you can see it: São Paulo, Brighton, Florence, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Prague, and more.