from Art & Chaos in Brazil — an interview with São Paulo graffiti artist Zé Carratu
“The artist has to help establish chaos. I think that s/he has to be critical and work on the chaos, appropriate the chaos—and that’s what I do. I work on the garbage, the rubble of the city, this is a way elevating chaos.
“I eat the culture that was given to me. I was born with the ability to have culture, to learn things and understand society. So I swallow these things that I learn. This is ‘anthropophagy’, I eat my literature. We had anthropophagists here in Brazil, the Indians that ate people. The Portuguese were good to eat! Today I eat the culture in a certain way. It’s chaos, we mix everything together. I can’t forget that I do art in Brazil. The images that I make have everything to do with this culture and this society. They are almost all fragments.
“Since I work in the city, here inside, I am using the city as a support, a context. I think it’s pretty natural, probably the same in any part of the world, that people try to understand each other in the street. From the moment I am in the street , I am mixing with society. When I am in my workshop, I am far from society, things are totally abstract. But on the streets I must make myself clear sociologically, anthropologically because I am in the middle of everyday life.”