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Hazul

Magazine Art + Culture | 02 May 2016

THE CITY AS HIS CANVAS

Drawings, messages, signatures inscribed on walls, graffiti represents an ancient practice of intervening in the public space. Using a medium that hasn’t been designed for this purpose, graffiti artists scrawl or paint illicitly, becoming part of the city by adding a landscape to it made of a visual language, of varying artistic merit, which in turn becomes part of the community. Modern graffiti is an urban cultural phenomenon, which first developed as an urban art form as early as the 1950s, before being taken on by hip hop culture in New York in the 1970s: spray-painted letters, messages and tags – artist signatures –, appearing on the walls of New York’s subways spread to the city streets, and buildings, albeit unwillingly, gained new façades, filled with graphic illustrations that quickly evolved to aesthetic artistic expressions. The same storyline applies to Hazul: having started out spraying tags and letters on the city walls in the late 1990s, as part of the hip hop movement Oporto was obliged to welcome, Hazul started to question this option, allowing his work to evolve into spraying human figures and sinuous and captivating images.

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Text: Paula Monteiro
Photos: Orlando Fonseca

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