For the Brazilian artist Mario Bands, Street art is the artistic expression that spreads through him. Very young, he took the initiative to write his name in the four corners of the city of Rio de Janeiro, with a collective practicing pixaçao, a form of graffiti almost exclusively Brazilian with its own orthographic style and its illegal and peregrating performance on the heights of the city.

Today, the universe of Mario has changed. He reinvents the image of the city. Still enrolled in urban space, he disseminates his intense and colorful geometric works on objects without interest of the city. Rectangles and cubes appear to be simplified buildings. This new given identity disrupts the passers-by. New forms are taking over the street and offering the public an open-air art gallery. These scattered « urban monoliths », in reference to one of his series, create a map where the personal story of Mario Bands becomes known. Indeed, each intervention realized and thought is connected to Mario. He knows the neighborhood: his habits, his difficulties and his possibilities. He invests the street as a demand for what makes the city: its popular culture. Mario’s abstract work gives new meaning to the daily adventures of the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro. In contact with this ephemeral work, each one lives an intimate experience, good or bad there is not the question. Some works of Mario form a tunnel effect where the spatial and temporal nesting compose endless stories. The image is each time included in the other as a metaphor of Brazilian society. The city is the sum of all the individuals who compose it regardless of its origin, social status, sexual orientation or religion.

Wandering through the city with its multicolored spray, Mario emerges to allow everyone to reclaim the objects of the public space. The colors and shapes of Mario express the intensity lived and felt in the districts of Rio de Janeiro. He claims this art, from all to all, as André Malraux, a French writer, said, « Art is the shortest path from man to man. » Mario’s works flow into the life of the city in an anonymous and silent way, for Mario Bands is what is important to bring forth the vital depth of art.

Without abandoning his urban practice, Mario Bands wants to contaminate another public by his paintings. Keeping his graphic signature and his energy, he discovers another journey, more intimate and personal. The inspiration is different but in his workshop located in an old factory in the Penha district, it depicts eternal constructions where the vibe of Rio de Janeiro vibrates.

Séverine Grosjean