by Baixo Ribeiro, owner of Choque Cultural Gallery
José Augusto Capela ( aka Zezão, lê-se Zeh zah o, but the right accent can be learned with Mr Levine.) his work has born directly from the streets of São Paulo, and from its darkest side: by the authentic paulistan pixação (the unfamous paulistan gang throw up, not exactly a kind of art, more like true vandalism, see about).
His signature was “vicio pif dst” (“vicio” is something like vice, “pif” are initials of “railroad infractors and painters”, and “dst” are an short for destroy) and he used to climb up buildings and forbidden or wasted places to throw up his “grife” (this crew-tags)
In this ambient Zezão ends up developing an original calligraphy, bending his characters in a very unique way.
His “pixo” calligraphy started to evolve into an abstract art. The present days round figures remind us of letters, but from an unknown surreal alphabet.
Zezão distinguishs his style even more when he starts to do throw ups only in lugubrious, extremely wasted places, just like the São Paulo underground pluvial water system. This system was turning the old rivers of the city into true sewers.
His work takes a social-politic dimension, because the artist deals with the bums and addicts that inhabit this world and denounces the existence of such misery, by pictures he takes to document his inaccessible-for-the-common-people work.
But Zezão also wanted to paint using sprays and express the psychedelic images that inhabited his imagination. He didn’t had money to buy as much colors as he wanted, so he started to ask for rests of spray cans with his friends.
With just a little few paint in each can, but with lots and lots of different colors, Zezão creates a personal technique, his multi-colored “fumacinhas” (little smokes).
Results in a color explosion, with more decorative and elaborated characteristics, which he paints in allowed places, more carefully, and side by side with his psychedelic friends
The both worlds of Zezão live in a schizophrenic harmony. And all this different work appears also in his fine art work, with photos, paintings and calligraphy, site-specific work, performances and installations.