Mauro ‘Muretz’ Golin grew up with an education from the metropolis of Brazil’s Sao Paulo. His illustrative style is indebted to the prominent graffiti scene of the city, one of the world’s most populous centres, where writers constantly need an edge to stand out. From there, he went to London’s Central Saint Martins, a culture clash like no other.
Although he spent most of his life living in the countryside near the city, his psychology was very much shaped by his earliest years in Sao Paulo, seeing the vast facades completely covered in chaotic tags and pieces. School wasn’t necessarily somewhere that the young Muretz went to learn as much as just another place he could practice his art.
This eventually got him kicked out and, incidentally, it gave him the impetus to begin working as an artist, a victim of circumstance that flipped it to his own advantage. After various stints in art colleges and travelling around, trying to find what worked for him, Muretz homed in on the option that granted him most time and space to sharpen his craft. His figures have, over time, embraced the illustrative graffiti figures one might expect to see, whilst beginning to imbue them with his own twists and interpretations.
Eventually sticking it out and making his way through a Masters at London’s CSM, Muretz headed back to Brazil, to Sao Paulo, where his work felt most at home. It’s his playful characters, integrating with the vast numbers of the city’s inhabitants, that have gained him a global following as one of the foremost exponents of Brazilian street art over the last few years.
There’s almost a childlike beauty to his work, a naivety in how the characters look and perform in the world around him. Combining something recognisably graffiti orientated with a bold illustrative and surrealistic style, Muretz has managed to tell humorous and insightful tales in a metaphorical fashion, largely through the manipulation of a body and its parts.
Symbolic energy flows through his pieces as they interact with each other, the environment and the people of Sao Paulo. He has also gained a reputation as a prolific artist. Walking through the city means you’re likely to see some of his work - to experience firsthand the multiple messages throughout his pieces, whose complexity of thought could easily be overlooked by the simplicity of design.
Inspired by pagan religions, mythology and cosmic visuals, Muretz art always seems to take place in the unknown, in a unique space where he is a pioneer, exploring the world through his art, allowing his creativity to make sense of the world around him. That’s probably why he likes to paint locally so much. Admittedly, he enjoys looking at his own art. This makes sense. If you’re proud of your work, of what it represents, then being faced with your creations on the daily provides a great opportunity for conversation between artist and his own work.
Muretz uses his art to communicate. With the world, the unknown, the people and himself. It’s conversations held with a visual language rather than words, stories told in an aesthetically comic way, whose meanings can often be profound and, considering their placement, uplifting and even transcendent. Sao Paulo - his home - is a crazy place. But his paintings are pockets of serenity, small places to dream, in amongst it all.
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