To bring you the best insight into this vibrant city, YOO have connected with people at the cultural heart of Rio de Janeiro.

Marcelo Ment – Famed Brazilian Street Artist

Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro’s design is all about local soul.  Working with Brazilian artists has been key to creating a spectacular display of colour throughout the hotel.  Marcelo Ment, a famed Street Artist in Rio de Janeiro has been commissioned to create a stunning mural within the lift shaft.  The glass-backed elevator will enable guests to enjoy his work as they ascend to their room, or the Rooftop Bar.

Marcelo grew up in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Vila da Penha.  Since 1998, he has worked to bring art to the streets of Brazil.  Self taught, Marcelo’s art can be seen in major publications, exhibitions, advertising and on numerous walls.  “The protagonists of my work are situations, elements of the architecture of places I have visited and a reflection of human behaviors.  Its not just art for the sake of art”.

Tell us about the partnership between Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro and yourself?
Movement was a key inspiration from the start.  I visualised the number of people who would pass the painting each day.  As it is an elevator, they are always on the move and therefore tend not to notice detail.  I enjoyed the challenge of creating something that would travel with them.  The journey starts with faces of girls at the base and then rises through a colorful display of hair.  Taking inspiration from the city, I want to arose the curiosity of the visitor.  Ensuring that each time they take away something different and to create an emotional connection with the art.

What inspirations have you taken for your art at the Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro?
Urban art is the perfect way to describe the city.  It reflects what has been happening in recent decades.  The vibrant colors, diverse thinking and humor of Rio de Janeiro are all central to the painting.  Although not always recognized, graffiti is the best artistic expression today in major cities.  Rio de Janeiro has an amazing source of references and inspirations.  Residents and Visitors have embraced urban art, which has now become an integral part of the city.  Graffiti has also enabled me to travel throughout the world, but I am grateful for the opportunities that Rio de Janeiro has given me and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Where are the best places to find graffiti in Rio de Janeiro?
The Lapa neighborhood has some great street art.  Head to Joaquim Silva Street, where you can enjoy the popular Selaron Steps.  Botafogo also has some excellent graffiti.  The street corner of Voluntários da Pátria and Sorocaba has a mural I did with Tarm.  It has become one of the most photographed and tagged on social networks.

What are your tips for Visitors coming to the ‘Land of Cariocas’?

I would definitely recommend a visit to the neighborhood of Tijuca.  There are some great shops and the art galleries offer some of the best exhibitions in the city.  In addition to painting, there is normally a good display of engravings and prints of artists from different generations.  I also like Lapa, Santa Teresa, Botafogo and Vidigal, where you get to experience authentic Rio.

What do you enjoy about Botafogo?
Botafogo is one of my favourite neighborhoods.  I love its diversity.  There are great theatres, restaurants, bars and cinema, catering for all tastes.

Best place for a beer in Rio?
Bar Collar in Botafogo.
Best snack and where to find it?
Feijoada pastel at Bar do Mineiro in Santa Teresa
Your favourite beach?
Arpoador, or Ipanema Beaches
Best place to exercise?
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is great for running or walks.  It is also adjacent to the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Best cultural tips?
The Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) has great theatre.
Best Clubbing?
There is a trend to take over squares and public places in the city, to create cutting edge nights.  Breakz, Baile of Ademar, Orin Rec and Big Up are great events, with excellent music and the best DJ’s in Rio.
If a friend came to Rio, what's is the must do thing?
Flying Circus in the Lapa neighborhood is an amazing place.  Great live music and somewhere I take all my friends when visiting.