Since 1992, Flavio Samelo has been walking the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, photographing skateboarders. These images allowed Samelo to introduce in his work, graffiti, pixação, and other urban elements which caught his attention in the background of the skateboarding sessions. Samelo, as he is more commonly known, was often invited by those skaters, who were also graffiti artists and pixadores, to make images of their work as well. These elements became the trademark of his images in the skateboarding magazines of Brazil, showing much more than just skateboarding, but a window into the life that surrounded it.
Samelo attended the University of Communication in São Paulo, and subsequently worked as an art director, photographer, writer and illustrator for both Brazilian, and international magazines. Since 1995 he has collaborated with magazines such as Revista da MTV, Rolling Stone Brasil, Adbsuters, Lodown and many others. After six years working with design, Samelo decided to return to his studies, and began his post graduate with a concentration on art history. It was during this time that Samelo discovered the Brazilian concrete artists and photographers movement from the ‘50s, and their research and studies relating to photography, shapes, and colors. The work of Geraldo de Barros, Thomas Farkas and German Lorca were among his many influences. Following his discovery of the Brazilian concrete artists movement, Samelo dedicated himself to producing work with more graphic results, in which he could simultaneously incorporate his images of urban photography.
Today, the works of Samelo have two fronts: the photographic output, an image with a circulation of one print, creating an indisputable original, and his work that mixes his concrete studies with the urban images. Using photography as a base for the paintings allows Samelo to push the limits of his images through the use of shape, line, and color to communicate a new graphic reality. This work was shown in many exhibitions in Brazil and The United States, as well as the 2009 Bienal VentoSul in Brazil.
Samelo currently produces a range of commercial and art consultancy for big multinational brands like Samsung, Facebook, Oakley, Redbull and Jeep among others. Also as content director of Vista Art, he produces and manage articles, podcasts and content for the company. But he is most well-known for being the photographer/host of the “Pela Rua” tv-show, which goes on “Canal Off”, a Brazilian cable tv channel produced by Globosat since 2010.