The Favela Painting project started in 2005 when dutch artists Haas&Hahn (Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn) had the idea of creating public artworks in favelas in Rio de Janeiro. After several successful projects, the image of a square painted in a design of radiating colours transformed Rio into "one of the world’s 10 most colourful places", according to CNN.
Over the years the Favela Painting Project has grown into a professional organisation, based in the Netherlands. It’s focus is: "mobilising people to transform their own communities into social art works of monumental size, to beautify and inspire, combat prejudice and attract positive attention, while offering opportunity and economic stimulus."
The design for the first project (below) was chosen together with local people. It took two months to realise. The painting has recently been restored completely, after it was faded by the sun and covered in bullet holes from the ongoing war between drug gangs and the police.
The below project covered a complete street in Vila Cruzeiro. Giant slabs of concrete protected the hill from mudslides during the rainy season inspired Haas&Hahn to paint it. The Japanese design was made by master tattoo artist Rob Admiraal. It took the team more than 8 months to complete the 7000 square metre design.
For the colourful buildings below, a group of 25 local youth were trained and hired. In just a little over a month they painted this complete square in the community of Santa Marta.