Nunca

[
São Paulo, Brazil
]

It was Nunca's first time...

in the United States when he arrived in Miami for the Wynwood Walls in 2009. The artist, who lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil, has been painting in that city's streets since the 1990s, and he is known for confronting modern Brazil with its native past by depicting indigenous people on countless walls. Using sketches as the base for his compositions, Nunca enjoys going big, feeling that he can improvise and give himself more freedom when he works on a large scale. His captivating mural inside the Wynwood Walls complex tells the story of a clash of cultures that also pertains to the colonization of Native American lands in the United States.

"My work centers around the changing, mixing and invasion of one kind of culture by another, and especially the interaction of old and tribal ways of living and the modern way of life. … The mural with the indigenous person throwing the shoe in the businessman's face represents the conflict between new values and ways of living with the millennial and tribal ways of living and understanding the world." Nunca's critical vision of modernization extends to the far wall that depicts ominous jeweled hands that clutch wine bottles. He continues, "Specifically to this project, because it is located in Miami where the culture of showing off what you have is usual behavior, I chose to paint luxury products and the waste of money with superficial things."

Nunca's frank and figurative work is characterized by a bright spectrum of colors and his use of hatching lines to give the forms volume and definition. Traditionally seen in old prints like etchings and woodcuts, the artist resourcefully uses this technique to cover large surfaces with skillfully spray-painted lines. After the opening of the Wynwood Walls, Nunca has returned to Miami to paint more murals, but he doesn't forget how comfortable he felt from the first year. "That is something unusual to feel but it's important for me, to be between friends, painting together, exchanging information and knowing that what I'm doing is something that's going to change an area for better."