It’s impossible to miss this enormous technicolor mural by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra on a casual stroll through Chelsea or on the High Line. Since the late ’80s, Kobra has been turning his fascination with urban cultural memories into modern murals in São Paulo and other major cities across South America and the U.S. He considers himself an exponent of São Paulo’s neoavantgard, and is interested in the way nostalgia and modernity intersect.
His mural, located at 25th Street and 10th Avenue, recasts the famous 1945 photograph V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt, revitalizing an image already firmly planted in New Yorkers’ collective memory. Below the two figures, you can clearly see an amalgam of images from New York City’s past: an old trolley car, men wearing fedoras and trench coats, 1940s-era automobiles, and more. Kobra has superimposed vibrant hues over images that usually remain black and white in photos, giving them new life in our contemporary imagination.