Santareno of birth, belenense by choice, Sebá Tapajós carries in the name not only an artistic lineage of weight, but also the pride of Amazonian origins. Son of the renowned violinist Sebastião Tapajós, Sebá has always lived amongst the arts. It was through the colors that he decided to express himself, and translate them in shades that his color-blind vision could assimilate. From the north of the country, Sebá flew to the world with stops in Brazil. The first was in Rio de Janeiro, where he came into contact with the graffiti; the natural gateway to the world of graffiti – art that he embraced because of his adoptive brother’s, Alexander, encouragement.
With ink running through his veins, he perfected his style leaving marks on the walls of Salvador, São Paulo, Guarujá, Porto Alegre, Buenos Aires, Lisbon and Madrid. After traveling the world, he returned to Brazil and chose Belém as home. In the capital of Pará, he went on to leave his marks on urban landscapes with Reduto Walls. But he found himself in the river communities with StreetRiver. The first floating gallery in the world, it celebrates the culture of the peoples of the forest, the mestizos, descendants of Indians and Maroons, the true guardians of the Amazonian wisdom.
The graffiti was born to give voice to the excluded artists of the world’s great cities. In Pará, Sebá Tapajós took this aspect of urban art out of towns and into the Amazon rainforest as a way to draw attention to the river communities. StreetRiver is the name of the project. The first floating gallery in the world, designed by Sebá Tapajós in 2015.
With shapes inspired by the movements of the river and colors of the forest, Sebá took his art to the homes of the Igarapé Combu communities. Even though it is situated 20 minutes by boat from Belém, the place remains forgotten by the government and lacks basic infrastructure such as clean water, sanitation, medical facilities, schools, and the supply of precarious energy. “We fight for the rights and culture of the peoples of the forest to be preserved,” said Sebá.
The StreetRiver is now composed of 12 works of Sebá and other Brazilian guest artists. The art reflects the river communities’ everyday life and their colors and nuances, as in an ode to the simple life and the rich culture of Amazonian people.