Friday, February 26, 2010


This is a sketch I started in São Paulo on my last day there, I re-drew it here for another friend, I cleaned it and 'colored' it in Photoshop.

Brazil: Disneyland For The Soul
Our trip to Brazil was intense and at the same time it was pretty mellow; I'm back home more relaxed and laid back than ever, so far I haven't yelled at the kids and I haven't kicked the neighbor's cat (but I will eventually). I went to the bank this afternoon to contest some hidden fees in my account and I didn't blow my top, that's what a visit to Brazil can do for you.

Usually when people come back from a great vacation in a foreign land, I've heard them say things like: "I was treated like a special guest" or like a "king" even. For me, personally, the beauty about Brazil is that my wife and I were not treated like royalty, we were treated like old friends. That in itself is the most poignant and beautiful thing about Brazilians, friendship is a very, very big thing. Not that in other countries friends are not important, it's just that in Brazil it's really intensified to the max.

You can really feel the passion Brazilians have for life, for art and for friendship but all of that passion can only be matched by their gentle and kind demeanor. Everyone we encountered was affable and eager to help. It's easy to understand why, when Americans or Europeans go there, a lot of them want to stay or move there. I was right, the weather there is warm and the people are warmer.

Our main hosts, Ricardo Antunes, Luiz Rosso and Montalvo Machado who joined us on our second day, were artists I've known through Ilustrar Magazine, in fact, Ricardo was the only person I had met in person before the trip—when himself and Hiro Kawahara visited my studio here in New York last summer— so in essence, we really didn't know anyone there. That fact didn't seem to matter at all because after but a couple of hours of having met, we felt like we knew these folks for a lifetime and they knew us. We were just two long time friends they haven't seen in years, what a simple and wonderful notion.

I can't speak for my Brazilian friends but as far as I'm concerned, I brought home with me some of the fondest memories ever.

I wanted to visit both São Paulo and Rio but there was so much to see and do in SP, we really needed (at least) another two weeks. We will be back and next time the stay will be longer for sure. Rio requires more than just a day or two.

Many thanks to our magnanimous hosts and all of our friends, included but not limited to: Ricardo Antunes, Luiz Rosso and his lovely wife Ana, Montalvo Machado and Mónica, Hiro Kawahara, Katia Kinue Massuda, Marcelo Braga, Weberson Santiago, Fernanda Guedes, Sabrina Eras, Amanda Grazini, Amilcar Pinna, Zé Otavio, Kako D'Angelo, Carla Ikeda, Eduardo Schaal and Manoella, Gustavo Rinaldi, Rosana Urbes, Spaca, Eduardo Belga, Mosca, Augusto Minighitti, Ana Zugaib, Gil Tokyo, Fweno, Mawa, Marcus "The 3-D guy" Penna and everyone else whose names escape my mind at the moment.

I've already posted most of these pictures on Facebook, sorry if you've seen them already but for those who don't have a FB account. here are some of the key moments of our visit.

I'll see you next year!



Hey Alberto, I don't believe, you in side of me here in SP Brazil and i, one inveterate fan, i can't change half a dozen words with the master of womans voluptuous.

I meet Montalvo and Hiro and i understand what you say, even though born here.

Abraço man.

Joe Capobianco said...

You hit the nail on the head. I felt very similarly on my trip there. All the best, and manny happy returns.

Weberson Santiago said...

Hello, man. How are you. More bear? More caipirinha? Take care!

Marcelo Braga said...

I'm very glad that you enjoyed your time here. For me it's always a pleasure to meet old friends!

Only the best for you, Alberto!


Montalvo Machado said...

Hey Alberto!

You enjoyed brazilian warmth because you are warm at your heart as well.

It was so nice having you and Soraya here, and I was more than honored to be among your hosts during your stay.

One thing is for sure, this was the best Carnival ever, for all of us.

It was just a couples of weeks ago, and I could read between the lines the feeling we all relate to as "saudades".

There's no such word in any other language, it's not just missing someone or someplace, it's the willing to revive the good moments shared with the ones you care about and enjoy their presence.

As we told you, we will "matar saudades", or kill saudades, when you're back, hopefully soon.

Thanks for the kind words in your post, that I just retweeted to my friends.

Bye and the best for the Ruiz-Diaz family!


Marcus "Japs" Penna said...

Hey, Alberto!

Nice to hear that you enjoyed your stay here, it was a pity that I was not able to listen more of your stories (I'm still a little shocked about the statue smashing... :D).

Nice to meet you, man.

Marcus "The 3D guy from Hiro´s birthday" Penna

OssoZ said...

Hi, Alberto!

Come back soon! Maybe next time you and Soraya can come with us to the Bistecão or to a Sketchcrawl :)

Thanks for the kind words on your site!

All the best for you and Soraya!

Dramiro said...

Las fotos son preciosas, creo que ya te lo dije en el "feisbuc" pero ahora mirandolas más detenidadmente.... Tu andabas un poco doblao¡¡¡ jejejeje. Salvo en la que te afeitan en las demas sale usted ladeao pa la derecha. Confiesa dejaste Brasil sin Cerveza. Jejejejeje

Un abrazo pollo

Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

Nice drawings & nice pics!

Amanda Grazini said...

Hey Alberto!!!

It was really nice to meet you!And to see your wonderful works in person!
Hope you can come back soon!

Take care!

Amanda Grazini

Weno said...

great pleasure meeting you at hiro's party! i hope to talk more sometime. são paulo or new york :)

Alarcão said...

Hi there Alberto,

This is Alarcão speaking on behalf of all of Rio de Janeiro illustrators.

You should consider including our city in your next trip to Brazil. We'll be more than happy to take you around for more rounds of caipirinha.

Take care,

Schaal said...

Alberto. Thanks for sharing your kind words about your Brazilian Experience Project!
Come back soon or we have to promote an invasion to NYC to keep talking about cucarachas, rats and other cute creatures.
Best wishes to you and your family!

Francisco Galárraga said...

Wow, brazillian street art is amazing! Thanks for sharing the experience man!

Process Junkie said...

Leandro Oliveira: Heh, heh, thanks for the comment, I think it's best if you wrote it in portuguese. That google translator doesn't have a sense of humor.

Joe Capobianco: I think we all should visit Brazil at one point in our lives, it's a wonderful learning experience.

Weberson Santiago: Great to meet you, man!
No more bear for me,maybe some beer :P

Marcelo Braga: Likewise, my friend! Thanks for the presents.

Montalvo: In english we have a curious phrase, which can not be translated without some confusion but I believe is very appropriate in this case: "You are a man after my own heart"

My wife says you are my 'twin brother from another mother' She might not be too far from the truth, there are tons of similarities in the way we approach life, I'm glad to have found more than a few 'twins brothers' in Brazil.

Cheers, Monta!

Marcus "Japs" Penna: I had a blast that night, a leasure to have met you.

OssoZ: We'll do both. :)

Dramiro: Ah! muy observador, Esto tiene una explicación, cada vez que yo miraba hacia un lado, misteriosamente mi vaso vacio se volvía a llenar de cerveza.


Thorsten Hasenkamm: Thanks, buddy!

Amanda Grazini: Nice meeting you as well. Give my best to Amilcar, I'll see you next year!

Weno: let me know if you decide to come it'd be great to see you and Mawa again. Take care!

Alarcão: Oh! I have already scheduled my trip for next year and Rio is indeed included in my travel plans. I plan to spend one full week in Rio. I'd be honored to visit with you and your friends.

I'll take you up on that caipirinha round offer :)

Schaal: Hah, hah! We do have plenty of stories about "cute creatures" here.
Thanks for stopping by and please say hello to your lovely wife. See you in Carnaval.

Francisco Galárraga : This is more illustration than street art for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mauro D´Elia Matheus said...

Hi man ! glad you like it her.
i'm from São paulo : )

Process Junkie said...

I like it so much I'm going to buy a house there.

Had said...

I'm your fan, I love your girls! I think yu indeed out down in words the feeling we Brazilians have when we wlcome foreign friends. The most valuable product from Brazil is HAPPINESS...

Please visit

Process Junkie said...

Well said!

I will check your blog for sure, thanks for sharing and thank you for the comment!