Colour, style, and cultural vibrancy. Three adjectives that describe the city of Rio de Jainero, and the illustrious 560-foot wall that now holds a Guinness World Records title.
Artist Eduardo “Kobra” Kobra has tirelessly designed a canvas of immense hue and history that embraces the title: Largest spray paint mural by a team.
Titled “Etnias”, the incredible painting covers an abandoned warehouse in the Port District.
Korba’s work required an uncanny combination of ability and artistry. Using a quilted design of brightly saturated figures, the incredible “rua” known as Olympic Boulevard is now lined with five indigenous faces of tribal people from differing continents— a choice made by the artist based on the number of rings presented in the Olympic symbol.
Each portrait in the spray-painted composition exhibits the aged faces of the Huli people from New Guinea, the Mursi from Ethiopia, the Kayin from Thailand, the Supi from Europe, and the Tapajos from the Americas.
At 51 feet in height and stretching 560 feet in width, the illustrated faces watch over the 1.9 mile street that is filled with live music, bars, fireworks, and food trucks in celebration of the magnificent Olympic Games.
“I wanted to show that everyone is united, we are all connected,” Kobra told press. His work has received elevated levels of media attention for its grandeur and harmonious message.
To create the work, the artist and his team of fellow spray-painters primed the building with white paint, drew a grid-pattern to layout the design, and sprayed in brilliant colours that would ultimately make the final piece so mesmerising.
It took 180 buckets of acrylic paint, 2,800 cans of spray paint, and 7 hydraulic lifts to finish the piece.
In his own way, Kobra and his team completed the work of champions, pursuing 45 days of painting to finish in time for the games.
Despite his beautiful efforts to promote peace through art, this mural is just a section of a bigger picture.
“Etnias” is actually an addition to the artistic series he has begun called “Peace Outlooks” featuring spray-painted portraits of famous peaceful figures like Malala, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Since that first time he painted in his teen years, Korba has crafted street art in 20 different countries, doing renditions of Bob Dylan, Dalai Lama, Yoda, and John Lennon.
His work on Olympic Boulevard may go down as one of the most impressive pieces of his collection, but it is definitely not his last.