Rodrigo Level and Gabriel Kieling, some of the finest artists Sao Paulo has to offer, stayed busy this month opening the exciting Equilíbrio at Maxwell Colette Gallery, painting important murals in Logan Square and South Shore, and ushering in a wave of Brazilian art that Chicagoans have rightfully embraced with open arms.

They shared some insight on the perfect balance of body and spirit and what it means to shed labels to just comfortably create.

The Equilibrio exhibition runs through September 14, and it is not to be missed. Repeat: not to be missed, because the boys from Brazil are poised to bring you to a state of forever…

According to Level: “Art…is everything around you. We live art daily. Everything comes from artistic creation.”

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Tell our readers what you’re up to while in Chicago.
We spent our time exploring the city, we gave a workshop on the painting of murals, we have really identified with this city.

Tell us about Equilíbrio and your collaboration with one another.
The Below text is the best explanation of Equilibrio:

Emotions are trampled in the large metropolis as time passes quietly. The urban chãos around us causes us to seek meaning, the body craves beyond all that is material.
In the midst of this inhospitable state, adaptation is arbitrary. We struggle between simply living and surviving, we use art and fashion to confront the adversity of urban life, we seek the perfect balance between the body and spirit.

The artistic process then transforms into a sacred ritual where every stroke becomes a part of the struggle to find inner and outer Peace. The art trancesnds its individual components and becomes a part of the spirit: feeling, breathing, watching, and playing, marking the path towards perfect balance.
Equilíbrio dictates the language that our work uses to reveal our maturity and stability. Harmony, symmetry and feelings establish a dynamic balance within our work. It creates strong bonds between the organic motion and geometric forms and figures.

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What are your goals for this show? What do you want people to feel like when they’re looking at what you’ve created and then how do you want them to leave?
Our works always reveals our hearts and souls to the world
There is a large emotional cost that goes with each piece, it reveals who we are, and allows the viewer to learn alot about us through our work. We hope that the viewer feels the emotions that we had while creating it, but comes away having seen something interesting and new.

So, how did you hook up with the fine folks at Maxwell Colette?
Level’s work has accompanied one of Roman Titus’ pieces for years. This established our contact. After some time the chance came to exhibit at Maxwell Colette, and we took it. From our intial Skype calls everything went well.

How has your experience differed painting in Brazil vs. painting in the states?
Very interesting, as the city environment and local culture allowed us to share and learn about great old school artists. An issue that we had was the fact that we didn’t have more time to work with these artists, but this was to be expected working such a brief time in a global city.
A major difference is that Graffiti is illegal in Chicago and you can’t buy spray paint. It’s crazy.

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What do you hope to accomplish in the neighborhoods you’re painting? What connection, if any, do you feel to the communities of Logan Square and South Shore?
Our mural work is not different, there is alot of emotion involved and we feel that we have influenced the places in which we’ve done work. We had a very positive experience in Chicago and were well recieved, especially in the Latino community which treated us like Brothers. Painting in Logan Square was important to us as it is a cultually important part of Chicago Hip Hop. It was an honor for us to leave our mark there, it is something that we will never forget. South Shore has a very interesting relationship with the city. Because we painted in front of a train, the entire community came out to watch us work and complimented us on it. It was also a pleasure bringing our art to that community.

How important is it to be able to move between street and gallery work? Does it matter anymore if an artist is known as one or the other? Do the definitions and labels mean anything to you?
Recieving recognition for the fruits of our labor, as our work is the fruit of our emotional experience. We don’t particularly like titles, we paint where we feel the most comfortable, and utilize techniques that are convenient to us. The influence of the streets is very stong in our lives and as a consequence it comes out in all of our work.

How did you guys meet?
We met seven years ago. We would check out each others’ work online, and when Level visited Sao Paulo, we painted a train together in Downtown Sao Paulo, and a friendship was made that day.

What is the inspiration behind your Chicago murals in Logan Square and South Shore?
The two murals were inspired by the time in which we live, we search for balance between our work and create unity with the mural.

What’s next for you?
Gabriel Kieling: The idea is to continue my personal journey through my art. I won’t stop creating and painting as I would like my own exhibition.

Maxwell Colette Gallery 908 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

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