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Thursday - February 7, 2013 01:50:59 AM
Brazilian graffiti artist Toz paint Rio for 2016 Olympics
Brazilian graffiti artist, Toz, is painting a giant mural in Rio de Janeiro's port region, as the area gears up for the 2016 Olympics.

Full Story:

A giant and colorful mural is bringing a bit of life to Rio de Janeiro's poor port region. The area is being renewed for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The vibrant artwork is courtesy of Brazilian graffiti artist Toz who, together with his friends, is filling the 98-foot tall mural with bright colors and random caricatures.

The artwork is already the biggest of its kind in the city, and was commissioned by Lojas Americanas and B2W, two of the biggest brands in Brazil, which own the building where the mural is being painted.

[Toz, Brazilian Graffiti Artist]:
"My vision was to design something where there was enough space for my artist friends to showcase their work and also for me expose my work. That's why I had this idea of these triangles, as if they were small windows into different worlds and ideas."

To fill the space, Toz and eight other artists have used 1500 cans of spray paint so far.

Rio still has some way to go to catch up to other world cities, such as London and Berlin, when it comes to street art, but Toz believes the talent and the spaces are there.

[Toz, Brazilian Graffiti Artist]:
"Graffiti was born in those areas—the more distant and neglected areas—and today here we are, painting the side of a building, so I think not just here, but in any place which is destroyed and neglected is a perfect place for graffiti artists."

For the people who work and live in the area, the colorful mural is a pleasant addition to the bleak surroundings.

[Carlos Magno, Construction Worker]:
"It used to be an ugly building, but now it can even become a tourist attraction, I think it's cool."

Rio de Janeiro's port region will be one of the focal points of the 2016 Olympic Games.

City servants are investing millions of real (pronounced re-Al) in new transport links, road works and new housing, to accommodate the thousands of visitors expected during the summer of 2016.

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