The Cardinal Gallery is thrilled to be providing the canvas for world famous Brazilian muralist and street artist Arlin Graff…in the form of our brick wall.
"I believe art can save people—in many ways.”
Arlin Graff is Brazilian, based in United States. He is 36 years old and was born in the city of Tatuí, in the countryside of São Paulo, Brazil. As a child, he loved to play with wood blocks, putting things together and then dismantling them again in a small woodshed where his father passed his time making birdcages and other small objects with wood.
As a teenager, specifically at the end of 1999, Arlin began with graffiti, painting trains in his neighbourhood. In 2007, he graduated with a degree in industrial design. A year later, when he moved to São Paulo, he combined this passion for art with design, while he worked as an art director in various advertising agencies.
Quickly, Arlin began to piece together a type of deconstructionism, inspired by his childhood in the little woodshed. He created a very distinct style, giving life to his abstract creations that seem to be emerging from a digital work.
Beyond just painting in the streets, the artist moved toward fine arts and began to study new possibilities. Each time in a more elaborate form, animals are Arlin’s principal theme, creating a species of synthetic nature fragmented by the influence of the modern technological world.
Today, in addition to canvasses, his elaborate paintings are executed in large scale around the world, bringing a little more of colour to city walls.
Over the past two decades, Graff has developed his signature style, which often depicts animals in motion, using bright colors and fragmented shapes influenced by his childhood. Today, his murals can be found in some of the world’s art meccas, from São Paulo, Brazil, to New York and Los Angeles. But some of Graff’s favourite cities to share his art with are places like his hometown—smaller, humble communities that might not have access to world-famous artists and art cultures.
“I was curious about street art from a young age. My dad owned a wood-shop in the small town of Tatuí, in countryside of São Paulo, and we didn’t have very many toys growing up, so I would often play with things from his shop, electronics and wood blocks, putting things together and then dismantling them again.
My style is a type of deconstructionism, which draws from the influence of my childhood in the woodshop, assembling and dissembling blocks, and as well as my experience in the digital side of art and advertising, using tools like photoshop.
I have worked in many cities where murals are going up, and I hope that when kids see that happening, it might make them want to have a career in the arts someday. It might help them realize they don’t have to do the same thing their parents do or what they’ve been exposed to. They can create something different.
My family never had much growing up. My family still doesn’t have the ability to travel the world like I have. They haven’t had access to these same opportunities that my art has afforded me.
My life changed in an amazing way when I became an artist. I’ve gotten to see so many global cultures and try foods and meet people. I would love to share these experiences with my family and with others.
One of the hardest parts of being a traveling artist is that I don’t get to see my family in Brazil very much. But I do have my own family now in the U.S. I have a wife and a baby, and we are so thankful for all of the opportunities that art has given us."