Interview with Kobra about his Peace Project “Colors of Liberty”, New York 2018 By

Kobra is currently in New York City with his latest project “Colors of Liberty”. The Brazillian street artist is busy creating a series of murals promoting peace to the masses, through the power of street art.

With his celebrated style and his unique colours, all of them will have a common message: a cry for world peace and a protest against contemporary injustices, whether ethnic, environmental or political.

Through his art Kobra plans to address issues such as the immigration crisis, environmental problems, racism, and the importance of disarmament. Important personalities in this process, such as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa are some of the characters that will be portrayed by the artist.

We catch up with Kobra to find out more about his “Colors of Liberty” project, and his commitment to inspire people to make positive changes in the world today…

GRAFFITISTREET

We have seen you painting lots of huge murals in NYC, such as Roy Lichtenstein: Peace Through Liberty, Stop Guns, Tolerance and Black & White, all within the theme/umbrella of Peace. Would you tell us more about the ‘Colors of Liberty’ project please ..

KOBRA

“Colors of Liberty” project came up some years ago but it is a continuation of the projects that I have been doing around the world.
The idea is to use murals as a platform for issues that we are living with in the world today and talk about it in a peaceful way, without offending anyone or to promote hatred with my artworks. The intention of my artworks is to bring awareness about complex subjects, such as racism, violence, the use of firearms and violence in general and also the cause of immigrants. To reflect on all of this so we can find answers on how to make the world a better place.

GRAFFITISTREET

The ‘Colors of Liberty’ project promises to be your ‘War and Peace’…

KOBRA

The idea of the project is this, talk about Colors and Liberty, also to portray people who have influenced the world with their gestures of peace.
But about Candido Portinari’s work, War and Peace, my work is just a little baby near the grandeur of his work. I still have a lot to learn.

GRAFFITISTREET

Why did you choose New York for this amazing project?

KOBRA

New York is where street art was born and I was influenced by the artists here, in the 80’s who painted tubes, trains (Basquiat, Keith Haring, amongst others), Hip Hop culture, Martha Cooper, with her inspiring books.
I owe so much of what I have learned to New York and this was the reason why I chose this city.

GRAFFITISTREET

How many murals will you paint altogether?

KOBRA

So far I have painted 9 murals, the idea is to maybe reach 12 or 15, I don’t know, it depends on many permissions, it’s complicated… But I will do as much as I can.

GRAFFITISTREET

You like to set yourself challenges and we have seen you set two world records through your murals. Will you be setting another world record through The ‘Colors of Liberty’ project?

KOBRA

The records happened randomly, it wasn’t a record-breaking proposal, I painted one in Rio de Janeiro with more than 3 thousand square metres and I didn’t know it was the largest one until then, then came another one [world record] with 6 thousand square metres!
My record here is to overcome all the difficulties that have arisen so far … but, incredibly we found one [facade] that God willing, we will do, and it will be the largest mural of New York! Strange, these occurrences that happen in my life!

GRAFFITISTREET

One of your famous murals ‘The Kiss’ that you painted in 2012 at the High Line in NYC, was sadly removed 2 years ago. Will you be bringing ‘The Kiss’ back to New York’s skyline?

KOBRA

I had a special affection for the Kiss mural, and I would like to paint it again in an accessible place, like High Line, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere yet.
Who knows, someone reading this interview may have that place and can offer it [accessible facade] to me!

GRAFFITISTREET

The ‘Colors of Liberty’ project resonates with John Lennon and Yoko’s Peace campaign when they used the advertising method to spread the message of Peace. Do you feel it is important as a street artist in the public domain to create murals/facades that inspire people to make positive changes in the world?

KOBRA

Exactly, I believe that yes, each human-being acts in different ways, in different jobs, but if each of us do our part working for peace then that helps. Help is not only to give money, it’s to visit a patient, it’s to make a city more pleasant, it’s to take care of it for the other inhabitants so they feel good about living in that place, it is to look to the side and see the need of another. Finally, there are many good things that we can do if we really want to.
With my murals I try to pass all this on, because thousands of people have access to the images and can reflect on them, an example is bullfighting, do we still need make an animal suffer to have fun?

GRAFFITISTREET

Every 21st September is Peace Day, This year’s Peace Day celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Right to Peace”. What does “The Right to Peace” / Human Rights mean to you?

KOBRA

I am really interested in Human Rights, I’ve painted several personalities, leaders who fought for peace, and some even died for fighting for it. But there is still a lot to do against intolerance. The world needs more peacemakers.

GRAFFITISTREET

You are also helping raise awareness for homelessness, Can you tell us more about this please?

KOBRA

I had the opportunity to paint two homeless projects in São Paulo, one of them called “O Condicionado” (The Conditioned), a brilliant writer, who after 20 years was found by his family, I painted him when he was living in the streets.
I also painted a lady named Maria; she was living in the streets for 8 years with her two children, I painted a bed on the floor in 3D to show they were feeling cold and hungry while we are comfortable in our houses. I encouraged people to help her to take her out of that situation.
Here in New York there is a project called Soulphia that helps homeless women in unfavourable conditions giving them the possibility to have a better life. They receive training and then these women give English classes, mainly to Brazilians, my wife is taking classes with one of them and I will continue to support this interesting project.

We would like to thank Kobra for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak to us about his current project “Colors of liberty”. For more information about his Peace Project check out Kobra’s website here.

 

Photo credit Just_a_spectator

Translated by Joana Rosa

 

Source: graffitistreet

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