Reverse Graffiti: Pollution Kills

Our friends and production team in São Paulo at Big Bonsai Productions just sent us a video they put together of street artist Alexandre Orion in action. Everybody has seen some type of reverse graffiti in sooty city tunnels, where people can actually write their names by cleaning dirt off the wall. But this is the most impressive actualization I’ve ever seen.

Covering the entire side of a tunnel with skulls communicates the message that pollution kills loud and clear! If thats what the inside of the tunnel looks like from car exhaust, imagine what the inside of our lungs look like from that same pollution. However the authorities apparently did not want the public to see this message.

From Alexandre Orion:

“At dawn on July 13th 2006, I started work on an intervention in the Max Feffer tunnel joining Av. Europa and Cidade Jardim. The intervention was through a process of subtraction, scrapping off layers of soot from vehicle exhaust built up on tunnel walls to produce images of human skulls.

Police checked us out several times during the early morning when I was working on “cleaning” the tunnel. However, as expected, they could not stop me drawing skulls in the tunnel. “Cleaning” is not a crime. What is a crime is the environmental damaged caused by unashamed pollution. And, as also expected, the State did not let the matter rest there. There was only one way to prevent me from “cleaning” my way, and that was for them to clean up too. And they did!

The intervention had reached 160 meters when São Paulo municipality started its own first cleaning operation there. However, contrary to my expectation, they did not clean the whole tunnel. What really would have prevented me from continuing would have been their removing all the soot which was the raw material used for the work. The State’s intention was to just remove the intervention. They annulled the message by creating a huge clean area and leaving the rest of the sooty tunnel as it was. So this was another crime: censorship! lol…”

Read the full story and find out what happened next at

& Enjoy the video!

This entry was posted in Alexandre Orion, Anti Graffiti, Headline, Laws, News, Public Space, Quality of Life, Sao Paulo, Street Art. Bookmark the permalink.

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