Favela Painting: Can Art and Design Make a Difference?

Favela Painting: Can Art and Design Make a Difference?

While there are over 6,000 different languages spoken on this Earth, art’s message is universal.

Yes, it can! Art and design have been used in its multitudinous forms to convey feelings and thoughts, build bridges, and change hearts for as long as people have existed. Artists Haas & Hahn have capitalized on this principle in order to bring joy and beauty to people all over the world through their favela painting projects.



santa-marta-haas-hahn-portrait-pano
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.Pablo Picasso
Philly Painting - Favela Painting
Philly Painting - Favela Painting
Rio, Boy with kite - Favela Painting
Rio, Boy with kite - Favela Painting

Make a difference

Brazil’s favelas, or slums, are this project’s namesake and starting point. When we think of improving the lives of impoverished people, our minds jump to helping provide the basics: food, water, and shelter. But what about beauty? This may not seem like the most logical solution to the problem, but think about it: beauty brings joy.
Food, water, and shelter are a means to survival, but joy allows people to do more than just survive. It allows them to live. Haas & Hahn didn’t just walk into these communities, create their masterpieces, and leave, either. They partnered with local groups in places like Brazil, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Curaçao and Haiti, enabling them to create works of art that reflected their own unique and beautiful communities.

Draw the attention

The benefits of these works of art go beyond just creating a more cheery backdrop for the daily activities of the community members: there is real science behind the psychology of color. It’s a fairly new field, but the evidence supporting it is mounting. Warm colors like red, yellow, and orange evoke feelings of comfort, while cooler colors like blue and green can have a calming effect.


Another benefit of Haas & Hahn’s work is that these gorgeous buildings draw the attention of people from all over the world to the plight of the communities they were created by. It is easy in a world full of sadness to overlook one slum or one troubled area. But if you want to recognize the beauty of these projects, you must also recognize the very real issues of their people.


Rio Cruzeiro - Pavela Painting
Rio Cruzeiro - Pavela Painting
Favela Painting
Favela Painting
Back-to-Rio- Favela-painting
Favela Painting - Back to Rio
Philly Painting - Favela Painting
Philly Painting - Favela Painting
Curaçao - Favela Painting
Curaçao - Favela Painting