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Mazu Prozak

Brazil

São Paulo is an epicentre for graffiti artists, so we thought we’d do a feature on Mazu Prozak, one of the most prolific and influential Paulistan graffiti artists of his generation.

Prozak emerged in the 90s with the boom of graffiti in the bohemian neighourhood of Vila Madalena in São Paulo. An environment where he discovered Pixação, a traditional and idiosyncratic tag scene originating from the city of drizzle.

Since 1998 he has been involved in graffiti and street art projects. “I always liked art and being on the street. So when I was at art school around 1997, I started doing graffiti with two skateboarder friends of mine,” he says. Upon graduating from the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, Prozak couldn’t imagine rubbing shoulders with mainstream artists  “I just couldn’t stand the traditional art world, its elitism and frills, so frivolous and distant from regular people and society. So painting on the street was just a natural choice for me. I wanted to do free public art with no rigid rules where money and the art market have no involvement,” he mentions.

Prozak adopted the nickname of the famed numbing pill over a decade ago as a remedy for the social issues of today, notably those affecting his beloved São Paulo, a recurring theme in the young artist’s oeuvre. “It started out as kind of a joke, as though painting the streets was my own Prozak.” says the artist.

His work has taken him all over the globe including London, California, Tokyo and Antwerp. Last year he undertook the biggest leap of his artistic career when he set off to Gdansk in Poland to paint a ‘ginormous’ 36-metre high mural as part of the Monumental Art Festival, which you can discover in the following video:

 

Excuse the lack of English subtitles on the following video, but we’d like to believe Prozak’s work speaks for itself:

 

Images of Prozak’s work on the streets of São Paulo:

Videos: from youtube.com/prozakfds
Source: Brazil Street Art, Take A Chill Pill with Prozak by Maha Majzoub
Images: Courtesy of Mazu Prozac, from Mazu Prosac's Flickr Stream