Published on September 2nd, 2015 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Brazilian Artist Eduardo Kobra paints five-story mural of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis

Photos and video interview by Shane Duncan

The Hype Magazine contributor Shane Duncan caught an on location interview with Joan Vorderbruggen of the Hennepin Theater Trust, facilitated this epic undertaking in the heart of Minneapolis. According to Vorderbruggen, Kobra has six other countries awaiting his arrival to create similar works for major cities however, made United States, specifically Minneapolis a priority due to his personal affinity for Bob Dylan.

MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Kobra, an internationally acclaimed Brazilian muralist, will paint a five-story mural of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis at the 15 Building located at Fifth Street and Hennepin Avenue. He began work August 26, 2015.

The mural will be painted on the west façade of the 15 Building, currently owned by R2 Companies and AIMS Real Estate, a business unit of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The 15 Building is an historic Art Deco office tower constructed in the 1920s. More recently, it has become home to many creative loft-office users including Channel Z, Hunt Atkins, Bloom Health and Assemble.

The mural is a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust and adds to its growing portfolio of distinct projects that add art to unexpected – and often unadorned – spaces in the downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.

Kobra’s murals of famous or historical figures are renowned and distinctive for their kaleidoscopic use of bright colors and bold lines. Kobra will be assisted by a team of five artists including three Brazilians and two Minnesota-based muralists / visual artists.

Eduardo Kobra’s new mural will add an invigorating and colorful international artwork to the downtown Cultural District and Hennepin Avenue,” commented Tom Hoch, President and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust. “At the same time, it celebrates Bob Dylan who is not only one of Minnesota’s most admired native sons, but also a former owner of the Trust’s Orpheum Theatre.”

Kobra is part of the new urban, artistic vanguard in São Paulo, Brazil, and has made his mark on a global scale. He began as a young street artist in a low-income Paulista neighborhood called Clear Field and started tagging with an older graffiti crew called “Hip Hop.”

Kobra’s massively scaled portraits are a labor of love created with methodical grid planning. He typically works on buildings and walls using a mix of brushes, airbrushing and spray cans. He incorporates repeating squares and triangles in variegated backgrounds and intricate shading and swirling effects to achieve a sense of photorealism while maintaining playful color themes.

His murals can be found throughout the world: from Brazil, Russia, Poland, Switzerland and Italy, to Los Angeles, New York and soon Minneapolis. Other notable figures he has captured in his work include Abraham Lincoln, the Presidents carved in Mount Rushmore, a ballerina poised as if for flight, inventor Alfred Nobel, activist Malala Yousafzai and pianist Arthur Rubenstein.

Another popular Kobra mural is viewable from the High Line park in New York City and is based on the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph, “V-J Day in Times Square,” which captures a sailor kissing a woman in white.

Kobra seeks to transform the urban landscape through art that captures elements of a city and blends memory and modernity. He often incorporates new technologies into his work and did the first 3D painting on the pavement of the Patriarca Plaza in central São Paulo, which looks different depending on the angle of the viewer.

A community event will be held to celebrate completion of the mural. For information about the mural and other activities, visit HennepinTheatreTrust.org.

Visit eduardokobra.com to learn more about Kobra and his art.

The Hype Magazine caught up with Joan Vorderbruggen of the Hennepin Theater Trust. Listen in…

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About the Author

Journalist, Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and Media Consultant. Ph.D. and retired military. Member of ForbesBLK, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and the United States Press Agency. Partner at THM Media Group. Connect with Jerry across social media @jerrydoby_

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