São Paulo, Brazil
Check more works at the artist’s page.
[Zupi] Rodrigo, where does your nickname – Obranco – come from?
It is a nickname I had in my childhood. Lately I’ve decided to add my name to it; “Rodrigo Branco”.
[Zupi] How did you become interested in painting?
I became interested in design and painting when I was about six, influenced by my uncle, who had left Bahia to live in São Paulo. He used to do works with oil and acrylic ink, besides caricatures and sculptures. That relationship was very natural in my life. At first it was all just for fun, but as time passed it became more and more influential on my life and choices. On the one hand it put me in contact with my own world, while on the other it allowed me to communicate with other people. I’ve been shy for as long as I can remember, so design, painting and graffiti helped me a lot with that.
[Zupi] Are you graduated? Do you consider this to be an important issue?
I’m graduated in visual arts. I think formal education has a lot to do with goals.
[Zupi] Your creations are made through the mixture of different techniques, like silkscreen and watercolor. Is there a favorite one? Have you been experimenting new forms of drawing?
What moves my interest is curiosity and chance. I like to work on woodblocks, but when I use this technique I usually add many others along the process.
[Zupi] What are your influences?
My influences are mostly inherited. When I got involved with my uncle’s work, I realized it linked with portraits and caricatures. Perhaps it unconsciously served me as a guide to build my work, as I naturally developed and sought that kind of style, trying to express values and feelings with it.
[Zupi] Your art can be seen both on streets and canvases. Do these different media specifically affect your creative process?
Yes, the urban chaos.
[Zupi] The human figure has a lead role in your work. The faces look a lot alike, though. Who are these people or what do they represent?
They’re self-portraits mixed with parts of other people that inhabit my subconscious.
[Zupi] Your characters are often made with somber tones and strong traces, which sometimes lend them a dark and gloomy aspect. Is that your intention?
I wouldn’t say it’s dark. Photography is a main influence on my works, in the sense of privileging the light on a few certain parts to emphasize form and feeling.
[Zupi] The little boat-shaped hat is a constant element throughout your work. Is there a hidden meaning behind it?
Yes, the little boat is related to my neighborhood and my essence. I live in Grajaú, where there is the Billings dam. The boat refers to my childhood, when I used to play by the margins of the dam along with my father and brothers.
[Zupi] What would you say to those who are just starting out?
The same thing I say to myself: work, work, work, work, dedication, love and sincerity.