All their lives, Brazilian twins Octavio and Gustavo Pandolfo have shared everything and that even includes the paper on which they would paint pictures together when they were little. It's something they still do today, and it has almost become a part of their professional identity. Known as 'Osgemeos' (from Los Gemeos, meaning twins), these artists' work has been seen in the form of graffiti in the streets of Sao Paulo and in galleries and museums. They create their own fantasy world of ironical yellow characters that paradoxically transmit a certain joy and humour to talk about social, political and artistic commitment but where there is also room for music, freedom of expression and, especially, family.
"What we do is very natural and complementary: he knows what I'm going to do and I know what he is going to do," explained Gustavo at the opening of their exhibition at the CAC Malaga, their biggest in Spain to date.
The fraternal connection between these two artists not only influences the way of understanding their work but is also the main theme of the exhibition, which is called When The Leaves Turn To Yellow. It consists of around 20 works which they have created since 2006. One is called 'The Family' and dates back to 2008 while the most recent is a gigantic mural painted specifically for the CAC Malaga, closing the circle with 'Portrait of the Family'.
"Family is very important to us and is the basis of everything we do," said Gustavo, and Octavio explained that friends are also an important part of their own close and intimate circle.
Fernando Francés, the curator of the exhibition, said the theme of the work by Osgemeos "is a journey from reality to the surreal and the fantastic, a way of seeing a world which is not always happy, as their characters show".
Their work may be displayed in galleries and museums but it has never lost its social commitment and the messaging of urban art, as can be seen from the installation which is being exhibited for the first time, One World, One Voice, in which dozens of loudspeakers with the characteristic faces of the brothers' work play a Spotify list selected by the artists, who also work as DJs when they have the chance. It is a work which, seen after the pandemic, speaks to us of respect, peace, freedom of expression and utopia, which Francés compared with the precedent of John Lennon's song, Imagine.
"With our work, the imagination of the person who is looking at it is important," said Octavio. "Yellow is a strong colour, with energy and positivity; in our case it is a colour we feel at peace with and we have used it to create a parallel universe," explained his brother. They also use sequins as a sign of identity in their work, as part of "our search to understand who we are".
They try to transmit the freedom with which they understand their life and their painting. It is a message which can be summed up in a piece in which a yellow character is playing a guitar, with the title 'Life is a song you dance to in your own way'.
In other words, let's get those feet moving.