Faces from the Block is an 8-year collaboration between South Bronx, Puerto Rican photographer Ricky Flores and Brazilian artists Izolag and Ananda Nahu. It was born by happenstance when the Brazilian artists found Flores’s work on Flickr, a online social media photo sharing site around 2008. They quickly became fascinated with his work and began incorporating some of the images in a series of paintings representing cultures from around the world. It was during this period of time a collaborative process was developed with the goal of creating a joint exhibition and murals here on the streets of the South Bronx. The collaboration is an explosive and loving interpretation of the residents of the South Bronx through the eyes of Izolag and Ananda. They depict friends and family from his youth, seen through the lens of time and distance based on the stories Izolag and Ananda heard in Brazil about life in the South Bronx during the fire years of the 60s that ended in the wasteland of the 80’s.
The body of photographs resonated with their own experiences of life in the streets of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro and they were inspired by the resiliency of the people of the South Bronx and their influence in art, music, dance and culture and the birth of the Hip Hop movement.The body of artwork that Izolag and Ananda created from Flores’ photography range from line drawings, fine art paintings and large murals created with stencils and filled out with warm colors of the tropics and laced throughout with textile patterns influenced by cultures from Africa and the Orient.
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