More than ten years after founding Frank, we've finally dedicated a chapter to one of the largest, most compelling countries in the world: Brazil. From the majesty of Carnival to the infamous favelas, bustling São Paulo to the lush Amazon, there’s a rich history ingrained in everything Brazilian.
This chapter moves from a chaotic style of graffiti known as pixacao to beach beauties to the man who some say played better than Pelé. It also includes a jiu-jitsu lesson from Master Renzo Gracie, an essay from recording artist Criolo, the little-known history of Keith Haring's time spent working in Brazil, and much more.
As Brazil’s socioeconomic chasm widens, stable bridges are needed to keep the country from fracturing. Thirty-six-year-old Kleber Gomes, better known as Criolo, uses his music to emphasize the shared human experience. Long respected as a hard-hitting MC “of the people,” Criolo collaborated with Marcelo Cabral and producer Daniel Ganjaman on his latest album, Nó na Orelha (Knot In The Ear), a mature and nuanced release.
José Francisco Borges picked up his cell phone right away. We spoke for 30 minutes as he stood under the scorching Northeastern sun, in the middle of a field near his studio in Bezerros. Bezerros is a small town about 100 km from Recife, the capital of the state of Pernambuco, in the semi-arid agreste area of the state.
The 76-year-old artist and poet—a living legend—answered my questions about the folkloric artform known as literatura de Cordel (Cordel literature). There’s no one other than J. Borges to talk about something that is so important, and particular, to the Northeast of Brazil.
In 1961, renowned LIFE magazine and Magnum photographer Cornell Capa travelled days deep into the Amazon to document the Amahuaca, an indigenous community on the border of Brazil and Peru. What he encountered were people still isolated from the outside world, wearing the same headdresses and crafting the same pottery and tools for centuries.
Football, or soccer as some would have it, is a sport that creates extreme loyalties and partisanship. You have your club, you have your national team, and when challenged you will argue their unique greatness until you are a dissipated—and sometimes bloodied—wreck. However, fans in every part of the world agree upon one truth: Brazil is the most admired footballing nation on Earth.
If you’ve watched UFC, or any brand of mixed martial arts, you’ve seen the work of Renzo Gracie. Respected as one of the premier Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructors in the world, Gracie comes from a celebrated line of practitioners dating back to when the art first left Japan at the beginning of the 20th Century.
But Gracie’s not one to rest on past accomplishments and family history. As we found out at his NYC studio, he still trains several of the top fighters in the world, and recently had the opportunity to use his skills in the streets.
Inside America’s pop culture graveyard, there’s a fresh plot marked Stuck Up Record Store Guy. Joel Stones paid last respects when he opened his store, Tropicalia In Furs, in New York’s Lower East Side. Now he’s burying the casket one funky shovelful at a time.
Staff & Contributors
Publisher Stephen Malbon
Editor In Chief Adam Pasulka
Art Director Nicholas Acemoglu
Cover Design Gustavo Garcia (Papanapa DesignStudio)
Managing Director Robert Schaltenbrand
Executive Director, Business Operations Dan Tochterman
Executive Director, Advertising Brian Marvin
Corporate Communications Erica Luciano
Video Producer Monihan
Marketing Manager Sarah Steinbach
Special Projects Caitlin Levison Collins, Carlos de la Hoz
Contributors Jacob Abramson, Jeff Antebi, Jason Arambulo, Jack Arnold, Benjamin Boas, Boogie, Matthew Charof, Jon Coen, Eric Coleman, Lee Daley, Kristin Doeblin, Béco Dranoff, Adriano Fagundes, Mike Fresh, Rose Garcia, Alexandra Jackson, Erika Jarvis, Mari Juliano, Theo Kogan, Jeroen Koolhaas, Larissa, Tseng Kwong Chi, Juliana Leandra, George Leonidou, Gandja Monteiro, Charlie Mostow, Katherine Needles, Estevan Oriol, Jake Scharbach, Vania Scharbach, Travis W. Simon, Ellen Stagg
Interns Justin Carter, Shaquille Serieaux-Halls, Charlie Mostow
Legal Affairs Brian J. Marvin, Dan Tochterman
US/Japan Ambassador Daisuke Shiromoto
Far East Operations Directors Lyntaro Wajima