If you've forgotten amid all the hubbub of city life to "stop, appreciate, smile," an anonymous Brazilian street artist spray-painting the city with inspirational messages is here this week to remind you.
Spray-painted words like "You are a star" and "Make a wish... Go away... Make it happen" are "simple messages that we all know but we kind of forget [with all the] information we receive and process every single day and everybody in a rush," said the artist who goes by the handle Oraculo Project. He told DNAinfo that he has no name.
Oraculo has tagged sidewalks and trees in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens since flying in from Rio de Janeiro last week. He typically carries his spray cans in a backpack and wears Nike sneakers on his nocturnal outings. Those are the only glimpses of the artist that feature prominently in the Instagram videos, which always keep Oraculo's face obscured.
The handle he's spray-painted all over town alludes to the Greek oracles of Delphi. The artist and his friend were seeking a "name that you cannot deny ... something strong and respectful" when they chose it for the project they launched in 2010, Oraculo said in a Facebook message.
It certainly suits his artist's manifesto: "I believe the stencils are magic and really powerful if you believe in them," Oraculo said.
He treats them as such in his videos, pulling the boards off the concrete with the flourish of a magician drawing back a curtain.
His favorite surfaces on which to cast his spells?
"Spots on the floor with different texture or color, chopped trees," he explained, adding that he coats tree stumps with red paint to signify blood.
He also zeroes in on "poetic spots where [he] could paint without getting in trouble," said the artist, who tried and failed thus far to find himself a suitable rooftop canvas in New York.
Bleeding tree number "378" /Arvore sangrando numero "378" . . @ meatpacking district . . #oraculoproject #oraculotrees #oraculonewyork #savethetrees #meatpacking #streetart #urbanart #streetartnyc #nature #bleedingtree #choppedtree #intervention #ny #nyc #streetartphotography #newyork #streetartfiles #streetartnews #streetartglobe #artinthestreets #meatpacking #meatpackingdistrict
Oraculo considers some parts of the city off-limits: Central Park appeals to him, but his work would pollute and vandalize it, he said. (He obviously didn't feel that way about the statues he blindfolded in Brazil.)
Below, we offer a little help decoding the symbolism of Oraculo's graffiti: