After a nine-month hustle in the streets of São Paulo, Santa Fe DJ and artist Pablo 77 (aka Pablo Ancona) will debut FUNK TERRA:Sao Paulo...in ABQ! The collection of mixed media, photos and music reflecting his time in Brazil opens at the art gallery and boutique El Chante: Casa de Cultura. The collages are paintings and drawings meshed with materials like flyers, napkins he doodled on, and other found raw materials he gathered from São Paulo’s sidewalks, bars and record stores.
He refers to the work as “sample culture”—a picture reflective of a place's atmosphere. “I guess most of these are inspired by street scenes and people,” he says. “I try to use many patterns and shapes to form a scene and character.”
My favorite, from what I’ve seen so far, is “Bandita,” a female character masked with a bandana. It’s made from magazine cutouts, acrylic and markers on cardboard. But Ancona says this show is more than just a reflection of Brazilian life. It dives down deeper into the history of B-boy culture through elements like graffiti and DJing.
Ancona grew up visiting his mom in Brazil. In the fall of 2010, he spent time in São Paulo, doing a lot of street art—including a mural on a thrift store—taking pictures and even teaching English. The active public art culture inspired him to get in on the action, he says.
“My favorite part of living in Brazil was the warmth and freedom of society there,” says Ancona. “Many things inspired the work I produced there. Mostly just being in the city and daily life and scenes in the city; the cultural life of the city, hanging out in the streets exploring.”
“My favorite part of living in Brazil was the warmth and freedom of society there.”
The 34-year-old native New Yorker says he has been doing art for as long as he can remember. Both of his parents are photographers. “At the age of 13 or 14 I got into graffiti,” he says. “It became an addiction and took over my life.” Ancona has lived in Santa Fe on-and-off for 20 years, earning a bachelor’s degree in documentary studies and a minor in art at the Santa Fe Art Institute. An avid traveler, he also studied at The Art Institute of Chicago; The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and The School of Visual Arts in New York.
About eight years ago he started focusing on photography. During the FUNK TERRA opening, Ancona will give viewers a taste of his São Paulo photos with a slide show featuring graffiti, DJs, food and found objects.
DJing for 15 years or so, with a collection of more than 2,500 records, music has always been an integral part of his life. At the opening he will play a set of his favorite Brazilian bands.
Ancona says he envisions the opening night at El Chante to be filled with “a good crowd of people, good music, unique art and a wide range of cultures.” He hopes to get exposure and make connections, and he says “a little money would be nice.” His mix tapes will be for sale along with his artwork. So catch him while you can—he plans to run off to Brazil again soon.