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Muralist Yoyo Ferro is Painting Atlanta Red—and Every Other Color
By Lauren Loudermilk | Photo: by Kristin Ferro | April 8, 2019
The artist on his roots and what inspires him
“Atlanta is the first place I really fell in love with and was proud to be a part of,” says artist and Grant Park resident Yoyo Ferro. The feeling is mutual as Ferro’s added a good dose of eye candy to Atlanta’s streets with his larger-than-life kaleidoscopic murals on facades across town, including Downtown, Midtown, Grant Park and multiple company offices.
The Brazil native started his creative career with a punk band. “It wasn’t the most common thing to do, considering the cultural dominance of Carnaval and Brazilian country music,” he says. “I guess that punk rock-kid attitude stuck with me from those times: always trying to avoid the cliches.”
A series of fortunate events brought him to Atlanta, where he became “fascinated with graffiti and large-scale street art,” he says. “From drawing on paper and folding origami to going to the streets to paint big, [street art] seemed like the obvious path for me.” Having excelled at street art, illustration and painting—you can purchase his vibrant prints, including whimsical depictions of the Atlanta cityscape, at yoyoferro.com—Ferro continues to branch out beyond the perimeter and has upcoming projects in Kennesaw, Dunwoody and Columbus.
He finds inspiration in other ambitious creatives and is currently listening to the band Fly Golden Eagle. “I saw them live about five years ago, and, besides having good songs, they seemed like they were having a good time, which is something I always try to convey with my art as well,” he says.
Ferro’s a habitué of Mi Barrio Mexican Restaurant and says of his ideal dinner guests: “I love a good chat in my mother tongue, Portuguese, so I’d say, either Os Gêmeos (@osgemeos), Vik Muniz (@vikmuniz) or the comedian Rafinha Bastos (@rafinhabastos). It’d be fun to go to Mi Barrio and order traditional chicken tacos and a pitcher of margaritas with them.”
Like a true Atlantan, he loves a Waffle House trip and even created a tribute to the eatery with his own T-shirt in the style of WaHo’s golden sign. His signature order is a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich with hash browns smothered, covered and diced— “and a coffee, obviously.” You can also find him at Historic Oakland Cemetery or checking out the street art in Krog Street tunnel, natch. @yoyoferro