Haans and Hahn> Painting the World





Haas-and-Hahn-Rio-de-Janeiro-favela-painting-5Haas&Hahn is the working title of artistic duo Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn. Two friends, who have been working together since 2005, when they filmed a documentary about hip hop in the favelas of São Paolo for MTV.

Taking inspiration from that unusual trip, they have since taken the traditional notion of art work, out of context, and into inner cities. Witnessing first hand communities with serious social breakdown, the pair, decided to embark on a project to focus the community and improve the visibility of disadvantaged neighbourhoods through creating enormous works of art in unexpected and amazing places.

Starting with the slums of Brasil, the pair worked with local youths to paint enormous murals on the sides of shanty towns, which was a focus for the kids and has given the areas a well needed face-lift. Promoting unity and equality, the initial small scale social project has snowballed to critical acclaim.

Gaining prominence for the Favela Painting Initiative in 2007, the pair received such positive feedback that they are now working with impoverished communities across America.

The most recent area to be transformed is a run-down area in central Philadelphia, this film shows the boys and community at work..

Being so inspirational, Koolhass and Urhahn were asked to design a shoe in collaboration with HUB footwear. The limited edition “Philly Shoe” and short film has just been released, and the proceeds will go directly to the Haas&Hahn project: Return to Rio, with the goal of motivating the residents of Rio de Janeiro to paint an entire mountain.

The limited edition trainer is available now for 124 euros, and you can see more about the partnership on www.hubfootwear.com.

By Sara Darling