Posted on 18 Apr, 2013

Fabio Ribeiro, better known as Binho, is one of the pioneers of graffiti in Brazil and South America. He started painting in 1984 and still paints every day. Well-traveled and highly respected, Binho also curates the biennial Graffiti Fine Art exhibition at the Brazilian National Art Gallery (MUBE).

Binho’s Beginnings

When I started painting in 1984 I was a b-boy (breakdancer) and skater; it was natural for me to express myself through graffiti. I learned drawing and painting techniques and in school when I was 12 and I started seeing classic graffiti. Without much information available at the time I met Os Gemeos and Speto who would always go out and paint the streets, creating a graffiti scene in Brazil.

Initially I drew characters but I quickly learned to write graffiti letters, wild styles, 3D, etc. I really like to have fun with art and I keep doing what I do even if it’s not what the gallery owners want me to do! I’ve painted my stylized animals in many places (e.g. coy carp, hip-hop turtles and gas-masked monsters). I send the galleries the more stylized characters, influenced by Brazil and the Far East.

Between street work and gallery work I paint every day. Today I also work as an editor, curator and cultural producer, organizing various street art events.

Check out Binho’s slideshow below…

Binho has worked for large companies like Ford, Brazil Telecom, Motorola, Red Bull and Nike.

I have always worked as an illustrator and graffiti artist. My commercial works are an achievement as a professional. I like taking graffiti culture and showing a wider audience what we can do. I would advise other graffiti writers to never stop painting on the street and also to be humble with new artists. Money is important but we all need to give back to the streets.

For nine years I made a magazine called ‘Graffiti’ in Brazil every two months. It was really great but very tiring. It gave me the chance to connect to artists across all of Brazil and internationally. I was sad to stop but it made room for other projects and for me to focus on other things.

Binho curated the first biennial Fine Art Graffiti at the MUBE museum in 2010.Over 60 artists were involved, including Brazilian artists such as Os Gemeos, Zezão, Nov and Nick Alive, and international artists such as CERN, Faith, and Mr. Dheo.

I started the project four years before it came about, intending to do something big. It took a long time for everyone to realize the importance of what we were doing and to create the biennial. The whole process of curating is very difficult but I tried to bring in artists from five continents. I involved big names alongside some new artists from inside and outside the country. In the opening month over 50,000 people visited. This year will be the second biennial!

Binho has traveled a lot with art - Japan (2011), South Africa, Argentina and throughout Brazil.

Traveling is a big part of my plans for next year. I have an 18 year old daughter; as she’s older now I can travel more leaving my production team working here in Brazil. I can paint on the streets and live through my exhibitions. I hope to be in London soon so let’s grab a beer!

Binho’s Brazil

Brazilians have a sense of freedom. Our houses often have gray walls graffiti so graffiti is a great way to transform abandoned and ugly places into true art galleries. Graffiti culture is well accepted here and there’s a lot of support from the government and social projects.

The graffiti scene in Brazil is large; there are a lot of people who paint well and who stand out. There’s also a good relationship between the graffiti scene and our broader society.

In Brazil graffiti is an art that educates young people. In many places it is used as a force against crime and vandalism. People support us now and we do projects with a big impact, supported by companies and the government.

Sao Paulo was named the most creative city in the World! As a big city there are many problems and in a lot of ugly areas graffiti has been a good alternative to improve the city. At the same time though, there is a lot of actions against graffiti bombing. Sao Paulo stands out as one of the most important cities in the graffiti World.


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