Lisbon-based artist, Miguel Januário, has made a name for himself in the Lusophone world through his graffiti interventions in modern urban cities. This project is titled ±MAISMENOS±, which translates to ‘more or less’ in English, is a series of textual pieces spray-painted onto urban walls, each of which makes humorously witty statements that carry somber undertones. For the viewer who can see beneath Januário’s humor, there is a profound cynicism towards modern life in the cities.
Januário’s work proves that the even smallest change in a common phrase can provoke thought. Often, the artist focuses on the capitalist conquest of society, and what society loses as a result of this. The main loss emphasized in ±MAISMENOS± is human rights and recognition for the lower classes; however, Januário also decries the impurity of the government as a capitalist tool, writing “Vende-se Portugal,” or, “Portugal For Sale.”
What truly comes out of the project is a sense of polar opposites: the black of the paint and the white of the walls, the seen and the unseen, the privileged and the unprivileged. Januário’s work has been seen in Portugal, Brazil, and Angola, and has directly led to political change, including the dismissal of the district commander for the National Republican Guard of Portugal.