Eduardo Kobra (Brazilian, born 1976), considered by many as the greatest street artist in the world, has undertaken his latest project in Buffalo, at 1188 Hertel Avenue. Not only is this incredible news, to get such a renowned artist’s work on the side of a building, it’s also good news because the building in question could really use a splash of art. The building is owned and operated by People Inc., adjacent to Ristorante Lombardo.
Once you’ve seen a larger than life photorealistic work of art by Kobra, you will never forget the singular experience. His work is based on a kaleidoscope theme, which has become his signature calling card (view his projects).
This latest mural project is thanks, once again, to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative. Per usual, for Kobra, this particular piece will pertain to the city in which he is painting. The artist is fond of tying his murals into the local landscape, not just visually but also in a historic context. That is why he has chosen to paint the likeness of Mark Twain, who once lived in Buffalo. The painting will deal specifically with Twain’s relationship with John Lewis. On top of the realistic image, he will paint with a mix of brushes, airbrush, and aerosol cans, taking the mural from a stage of realism, to a brilliant state of fantastic popping punches of colorful movement.
Twain lived in Buffalo at 472 Delaware Avenue from 1869 to 1871 when he was an editor at the Buffalo Express.
“Eduardo Kobra is one of the most well-known muralists in the world, and I am thrilled his work will be on Hertel Avenue for many years to come,” said Councilmember Joel Feroleto. “This large, colorful, and historically relevant piece will certainly add to the area’s wonderful existing murals.”
“We are thrilled to be bringing such a world-renowned artist to Buffalo for this massive mural,” said Albright-Knox Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott. “Councilmember Feroleto has been instrumental in getting the artist here, and we are incredibly thankful for his passion and understanding of the many benefits of public art.”
Kobra’s murals are prolific in his home country, as well as NYC where he just completed a residency… along with eighteen murals!
Now Buffalo will be the latest recipient of one of the master muralists of our time.
The Hertel work of public art will join a litany of other murals, fondly known as Hertel Walls.
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center. The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.