Bruno 9Li looks beyond reality – and turns the results of his visions into vivid pictures. Working his way up from the tiniest details and colour-drenched constructs, the Brazilian artist crafts intricate compositions of fascinating complexity
If you, slowly but surely, come to realise that art is the only thing you want to do, you should probably call yourself an artist – or so Bruno 9Li, one of São Paulo’s most prominent graffiti artists, thought a good decade or so ago. And, thanks to a great standing in the international art scene and countless of exhibitions around the globe, the likeable Brazilian never came to regret this path and decision.
No quick sketches or swiftly produced paintings, his works invariably originate from a simple starting point. It all begins with a few simple lines or inky ideas on paper – and then morphs into a web of incredibly filigree creations filled with acrylic paint and India ink. Step by step, 9Li develops his initially primitive shapes into outsized constructs that gradually grow in size and meaning. More often than not, Bruno spends months on end on his meticulous works, mixing, blending and recombining myriads of thoughts, ideas, philosophies, techniques and cultural approaches into a greater whole.
Yet what might resemble the snapshot of a single, imaginative protagonist when finished is actually an attempt to illustrate the chasm between man and nature, between the many facets of civilisation and the sheer diversity of our natural surroundings, albeit with a playful and humorous touch. In order to translate his ideas to paper, 9Li incorporates both abstract and geometric figures as well as realistic and metaphysical situations. Here, the sheer inexhaustible variety of colours and shapes inherent in every single one of his works leads to a string of very unique and diverse expressions that nevertheless remain distinctly ‘Bruno 9Li’ in look and feel.
São Paulo’s cityscape is defined and accentuated by street art and outsized wall graffitis. For inspiration, Bruno 9Li draws on this disjointed metropolitan flair as well as imaginary outings into the unspoilt nature of his own mind and vision. These moments of downtime, creative cross-pollination and quiet contemplation then enter 9Li’s images to join more obvious references from life, love, lore and literature.
For his latest Mixed Tape cover art, Bruno 9Li sets the stage for the compilation’s Stunning Rookies with an astute example of his work that captures the impressive breadth and scope of the featured musicians in a vibrant cover design.
If you would like to take a closer look at Bruno 9Li’s glowing and gorgeous works, see if you can make it to his current solo show Dragão do Mar at the Museum of Modern Art in Fortaleza (north-eastern Brazil)!
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