ON A STREET CALLED HEAVEN
The Story of Friendship
Text: Ann Mbuti
Photo: Felipe & Pedro, Clara Renner
"Friendship changes your life." That's the first line of a short paragraph on a thick piece of paper lying in the box that carries the silky foulard of Casella Meyer. It’s only the firm suppleness that reminds one of a classic silk scarf. The motifs look like something that belongs on a wall in a rough area of a metropolis. Its colors are bright, gaudy and expressive. Sprayed at night, under cover of darkness. The energy of the street shines through. The small paper card expresses the starting point for this intriguing contradiction. It’s friendship that is strongly connected to the street and with one of its most honest art forms, street painting.
But let's start at the beginning: in 2015 the telephone rang. Through a mutual friend, the two Chileneans Felipe and Pedro had received a phone number. They were on the road, traveling Europe and when they arrived in town, they just called from a phone booth. On the other end of the line, Babybrush, co-founder of Casella Meyer, answered. They met up and Babybrush spontaneously took them in. They shared a common passion for painting and spent day and night creating, exchanging and getting to know each other. The two weeks they spent together were the foundation for a friendship that was not diminished by the distance between Europe and Chile.
Connections that change lives.
Almost exactly one year later Babybrush went to Santiago for a few months. As at their first trip, the hosts were happy to open their homes and share their everyday life - even if only for a short moment. The three friends lived together, painted, discovered things, met new people. Life took place on the street and they immersed themselves fully. How is it possible that you feel so close to some people even though you haven't spent much time with them yet? This went deeper than the communities of purpose that some people have, which are sometimes called friendships. The intense time together had profoundly changed everyone's life.
Even over the years and over the distance, the three of them know what was happening in each other's lives. They grow and dream together, even though they see little of each other in everyday life. And always in the center is the creative exchange, this indescribable energy on the street where the impressions and inspirations flow into the paintings. Artistic work has become their life for all three of them. Pedro as graphic designer and Felipe as architect, Babybrush as artist. Painting continued to accompany him and it is an essential part of Casella Meyer.
Friendship as a necessity
It is these special connections in life, such as those of Pedro, Felipe and Babybrush, to whom the works of Friendship set a monument. It's not necessary to talk about, because it's clear anyway that you will accompany the others on the next steps. No matter where they lead. The scarves and fashion pieces carry the aesthetics of the painting in the street that brought the three together. They are a symbol of the passion and hope that unites them all.
To accompany Babybrush on the journey of Casella Meyer, Pedro and Felipe have dealt with these symbolic pieces in photographic works. The pictures from their everyday life in Santiago are inspired by a documentation from the year 2000.︎︎︎ The film by Fernando Lavanderos and Gonzalo Vergara follows a group of children who live on the streets of the Chilean capital and for whom friendship has become a vital necessity. In the hard daily life on the streets it is the cohesion that ensures their survival. The two artists were fascinated by the urgency of the kids’ connection. But despite the difficult circumstances in which the group of children lives, their interaction with each other is easy, hopeful and honest.