From the back alleys of São Paulo to the streets of Kelowna, Bruno Smokey has been armed with art for many years.
No longer tagging Pichação, Bruno’s talent has strongly progressed due in part because of his strong relationship with his partner Shalak Attack.
“Together we work as the Clandestinos, but we work on our own visions and then bring them together as one,” says Shalak, who hails from Montreal.
The couple is currently turning a wall in the dark nook between the new Hotel Zed and Sapphire lounge into an inspirational mural.
“This vision is a series of pieces I’ve been working on throughout the years,” says Attack. “So I am representing a woman and an animal. The women that I do are very colourful portraits as the animals are.”
She says her main message is about staying connected with nature and not above nature - to have plants, animals and humans on the same level of respect.
While Bruno says his art is more abstract, he uses his imagination to dream up vibrant characters that can be humourous or haunting.
“There is always a message for sure. I paint birds a lot because I identify with them, their colours, their texture. It is fun to paint,” he said.
The two shared their art all over North America and were asked to paint Hotel Zed to liven up the area around the downtown.
“Kelowna is a beautiful area, there is lots of mountains and beautiful creatures that live in the mountains, I wanted this bird I’m painting to live in the mountains too,” Bruno said of his portion of the mural.
However, when the two arrived in the city, they noticed the prevalent homeless issue along Leon avenue that borders the hotel.
“This is a problem that every society has, I like to be in those spots because I bring something for them and probably a lot of people they were artists (used to be artists) and so this might bring some inspiration to them.”
Shalak and Bruno both hope their mural on the back of the hotel will brighten up the area and bring a different type of culture to the city.
“People here are very down-to-earth, they are open and nice and it is special for us to bring this here, and share in the spirit of the city,” says Shalak.
Check out the Clandestinos as they finish their mural over the next few days located behind Hotel Zed in downtown Kelowna.