Giant mural in the making

Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s latest work covers the sides of a chocolate factory.
Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s latest work covers the sides of a chocolate factory.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s latest work covers the sides of a chocolate factory.
Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s latest work covers the sides of a chocolate factory.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ITAPEVI (Brazil) • Many painters struggle to get their work viewed, but Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra will not have that problem.

His most recent work is billed as the biggest in the world.

The prolific Kobra takes, as his canvas, the sides of the Cacau Show factory on one of the main highways into the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

Still not quite finished, his work – which shows the top half of an indigenous tribesman in a multicoloured collage as he paddles through a great brown river of chocolate – wraps around the corners of the factory.

It connects the chocolate products inside the building to the traditions of far-off Amazonian cocoa farmers.

Kobra already holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest spraypaint mural in Rio de Janeiro, but he says this one, at 5,700sq m, is even bigger.

“People can pass by on the highway, even if they’re going at 100kmh and they can still see what the message is on the wall,” he says.

“The image shows one of the cocoa workers transporting cocoa in his boat. I’ve also turned the river into a river formed entirely of chocolate.”

Art is a little different when a large building is your sketchbook.

Kobra says he started with as many as 10 designs for the mural, all of them based on scenes from the Amazon’s cocoa-rich regions.

Once he settled on a design, he needed cranes to lift 12 platforms for his painting team, whose members have joined him from 8am to 6pm over two months, with about two weeks left to go.

Never mind brushes, palettes and boxes of paints – they got through 4,000 spray cans and 1,080 litres of enamel paint.

Mr Alexandre Costa, president of Cacau Show chocolate makers, says the work should remind people of what goes into every bar they unwrap.

“I am really happy with the result of this work. It honours the cocoa workers. People who eat chocolate don’t know what’s behind this – the land where it’s harvested and so on.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2017, with the headline 'Giant mural in the making'. Print Edition | Subscribe