Confession time: working at heights isn’t exactly my comfort zone. There’s something about painting a towering wall that sets my heart racing—not just from the physical exertion, but from the emotional rollercoaster it entails. Yet, there’s a thrill in confronting my fears head-on, a sense of liberation in pushing past my own limitations.
So, there I was, perched high above the ground in Brazil, surrounded by the lush greenery of palms and mango trees. The contrast between the urban landscape and the natural world was palpable, and it got me thinking. I’ve always been drawn to contrasts; they add depth, complexity, and yes, a touch of chaos to my art. But amidst the chaos, there’s a quest for harmony—a desire to find balance in the midst of disorder.
That’s where my latest project comes in. With its graphic forms and nature-inspired hues, it’s a reflection of the vibrant energy of Brazil, a celebration of its contradictions and complexities. And I couldn’t have done it without Marie Mergler, my right-hand woman. Her support and camaraderie have been a lifeline, grounding me amidst the dizzying heights.
As I stand before the finished wall, a wave of satisfaction washes over me. It’s more than just a painting; it’s a testament to resilience, to pushing boundaries, to embracing the unknown. And I owe it all to the incredible people who made it possible—the folks at the Goethe-Institute, Reseda Streb, Galba, Narcelio Grud, and countless others who believed in my vision.
Brazil, with your vibrant colors and larger-than-life spirit, you’ve left an indelible mark on my soul. Until we meet again, obrigado for the memories, the challenges, and the endless inspiration.
This November I got invited by Festival Concreto and the Goethe-Institut Brazil to paint a Mural at Universidade Federal do Ceará in Fortaleza, in the north of Brazil. It was the 6th edition of Festival Concreto and during the festival from 1st till 9th of November, up to 40 artists from Brazil and abroad created walls and public art pieces throughout the city.
©2023 Julia Benz