On Saturday the 1sth of October Eduardo Kobra put the last hand to the 240m2 portrait of Anne Frank in Amsterdam. Final count: 487 spray cans, 43 ¼ liters of glossy paint and 63 tuna pizzas. You can find this dazzling work at the former NDSM shipyard on the northern bank of the IJ-river in Amsterdam.
The vivid work of Eduardo Kobra is easily recognized: geometrical shapes in bright colors characterize the Brasilian street artist’s style. Against this lively background, iconic figures and images are photorealistically portrayed. These unprecedented murals ask for careful preparation. Starting with a methodical grid followed by a highly skilled combination of different techniques such as brushes, spraycans and airbrush. This hard work pays off because in 2016 Kobra was official artist for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and with this ‘Olympic’ wall of 3000 square meters he holds the world record of the biggest mural.
Proud to be Brasilian, Kobra’s finishing touch is the Brasilian flag. His visit to Amsterdam definitely stirred things up for the Brasilian community in the Netherlands. A Brasilian lady visited every day while the artist and his assistants were painting: ‘It is so great to have a piece of Brasil here in Amsterdam, it feels like home”. Another fan heard that Kobra recently fathered a son and was so kind to bring him a present: a blue shirted Miffy.
Kobra’s lively style appeals to a great number of people but there’s more than meets the eye. All his works convey messages of major social and political themes centered around peace, environmental sustainability and animal rights. The striking contrast between brilliant colors, bold lines and skillful shading eloquently depict stories of hope in times of despair. With the portraits of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martine Luther King and now Anne Frank, Kobra hopes to kickstart dialogues and inspire people around the globe. With ‘Let me be Myself’, Kobra stresses the importance of mutual respect, a feature that seems to be lost sometimes in the current political climate. A heartwarming mission and seemingly blessed from above since a rainbow encircled the work on the third day!
The portrait immediately lived up to its mission statement: two rogue kids saw the painting and were immediately inspired to produce a musical piece on war, freedom and peace. A father of three children found himself telling the story of Anne Frank on a sunny afternoon. And on social media the portrait was widely shared and praised on its current relevance.
Mural production by Street Art Today
On-site production by Ilja de Leeuw & Nick van der Have
Curated by Peter Ernst Coolen
Filmed & Edited by Nicky Regelink