Flipping great!

By Jo Phillips

The Brazilian flip flop designer havaianas have collaborated with São Paulo based painter-rascal Ricardo Negro. This is the first edition of the company’s “Portraits of Brazil” collection, but a style of collaboration they have done in the past.

The project aims to depict the reality of life in Brazil, showcasing the energy and optimism of the country. Ricardo is a young, forward thinking street artist, looking back at the traditions of art history to illustrate the zeitgeist of the Latin American nation – happiness, colour and joy.

We were lucky enough to meet up with Ricardo and chat with him (through an interpreter) about his work and this project.

RICARDO NEGRO INTERVIEW Part 1 from .Cent Magazine on Vimeo.

The main focus of his art is the massive Favela of Complexo de Grajaú where he grew up, which locals much prefer to refer to now as ‘communities’. His work addresses the conditions of Brazil, choosing a pallet of purity and clarity, and collaborating this with sentiments of Cubism and Pop-art. The colourful designs bring vibrancy to the communities of Brazil, advertising what the country is capable of.

RICARDO NEGRO INTERVIEW Part 2 from .Cent Magazine on Vimeo.

An inspiring and young artist that has taken the very essence of his homeland and bought it to life in a vibrant and charming way, his work has a naïve, seemingly simplistic initial view, but scratch the surface and see the layers of art history hidden in his colourful canvases. It is a great project that allows for either a wonderfully creative pair of flip flops or a no doubt collectible entry level piece of Brazilian art. So if high street flip flops don’t cut it for you, and you prefer a little bit more art on your feet, these retail for £22 in havianas store and online.

Films made with thanks and collaboration of Mark Taliana