Os Gêmeos’ Mural in Montreal

The mural of Os Gêmeos in 1441 St. Laurent Blvd

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Every year, dozens of graffiti artists from around the world gather in Montreal to leave their playful marks on buildings across the city. Among the copious painters who partook in this festival were also Os Gêmeos, an illustrious duo from Brazil, known globally for their eccentric style. In 2023, they covered a nondescript wall with a three-dimensional mural that flummoxes any onlooker who happens to be around.

Since 2012, the annual Mural Festival in Montreal which takes place every June has turned Saint-Laurent Boulevard into a large-scale canvas for street artists from multiple countries, who leave a hodgepodge of vividly colorful murals in their wake. The artsy event includes live concerts, digital-art installations and perhaps most notably, the mass-painting of empty walls throughout the downtown area.


On par with previous years, the 2023 festival featured a long a list of international bigwigs, including birdO, Bordalo II and Shalak Attack, to name just a few. While all the festival’s participants deserved to be inducted into the hall of fame of urban art, it is a pair of artists from Brazil who truly stood out for their sheer quirkiness.


Born in 1974 in São Paulo, Otavio Pandolfo and Gustavo Pandolfo are identical twin brothers who have been beautifying buildings across the globe with graffiti paintings for the last four decades or so. Best known by their moniker, Os Gêmeos (Portuguese: the twins), the duo is characterized by a whimsical and otherworldly style, often resonating with Brazilian motifs as well as traditional Hip hop culture. The pair’s works tend to feature yellow-hued figures, nearly all of whom are steeped in a surreal scenery, bounded only by their imagination.


As part of Montreal’s mural festival, the two siblings were entrusted with turning the blank wall of 1441 Saint Laurent Boulevard into an eye-catching mural. Armed with spray paints and manlift cranes, Os Gêmeos created a trompe-l’œil, depicting a yellow-skinned woman whose hair is made of a beam of light ejected from an alien saucer that also serves as her sombrero.


As these works of art are usually replaced by newer ones over the span of a year or two, it remains to be seen if the frisky mural manages to defy its transient nature. Be that as it may, the sooner one visits, the better are the chances to witness this fantasy-world firsthand.