There is more than one way to look at a storm drain – in fact, this artwork suggests there may be many. While they’re most famous for making sewer drains, manhole covers and other urban street objects into funny faces, the graffiti artist duo known as 6emeia has made an entire cast of characters and objects out of these oft-overlooked (and frequently underfoot) but entirely essential city features.
In some cases, the artists move from two dimensions to three by incorporating a solid object sticking out of the ground – such as this sidewalk post turned into a 3D cigarette alongside a coughing 2D face below.
Still, most of their works stick to the flat surfaces of the urban ground around our feet – colorful and cute characters that make the dull gray landscape a bit more interesting.
Still, while these are fascinating, the artists’ most engaging works tend to be the ones that incorporate more of the surrounding scene or make use of broken pieces of street or sidewalk infrastructure to capture the imagination in new ways.
Here’s some more info about 6emeia, a.k.a. artists Anderson “São” Augusto (1982-2019) and Leonardo Delafuente, who met in high school in 1996 (via their now-defunct website):
“The 6emeia project was created and developed by the artists Anderson Augusto, also known as SO, and Leonardo Delafuente, also known as Delafuente. The duo live in the Barra Funda neighborhood of So Paulo where they began the project with the purpose of changing and transforming daily life. The duo’s objective is to modify the means within which we all live, proposing a new way to view things by reflecting upon themes generated through creative and unusual works. Such modifications are made by painting storm drains, light posts, manhole covers and any other object which makes up the urban scenario.”
Wanna keep up with 6emeia’s latest works? Follow them on Instagram @6emeia.