chaotic colors from brazil
Born in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, when Carlos Dias (aka "ASA") was fifteen he moved to the latin country’s biggest city, São Paulo, where he became one of the 1990s artists (like Herbert Baglione and Vitché) to put the metropolis on the map in the art world for graffiti and skateboard art. Still a member of two bands, Polar rock and Caxabaxa, he began by making concert posters for São Paulo’s underground music scene, and then handmade stickers (or adesivos). His childish imagery gained popularity in Brazil, and soon France and the UK, but it was jail time in 2002 that served as an impetus for his artistic growth. This “deep and needed rebirth” brought on an expressive, dark series of paintings, but his work has since regained its childish flair in bright colored drawings, large paintings and installations.
ASA’s art has always been a form of personal expression. Self-taught, rejected from art classes, ASA funneled his rage into painting and coloring whatever he could find, and he will still work with whatever he can get his hands on— acrylic paint, markers, crayons, or spray-paint. Often the subjects are detailed, single iconographic monsters or large collage-like scenes of thickly doodled characters.
Skating, swimming and biking have also always been a part of ASA’s life in Brazil, but one of his biggest influences (besides caffeine—the artist has said, “espresso is the best partner when it comes to producing in large scale”) is music. In Juxtapoz Magazine he named his top 5 albums as Johnny Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, anything by the Descendents, Teixeihinha and Mary Terezinha’s Desafio das Perguntas e Respostas, Jorge Ben’s O Bidú Ou Silêncio No Brooklyn, and Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys.
Still a big name in Sáo Paulo’s galleries, he now lives by the beach in Florianópolis with his wife, who makes Veraneyo bikinis. Check out his flickr account for more pictures of his work.