Street Art in São Paulo
Mention ‘Street Art’ in Northern Europe or the United States and most people’s minds are drawn to random graffiti ‘tags’ on empty buildings or in unbelievably inaccessible locations alongside roads and railways.
In South America, however, Street Art has been associated with political comment and peaceful opposition, taken up by the artistic community in São Paulo in the early 1980s and now providing a bold and brightly coloured visual attraction in the bohemian neighbourhood of Vila Madalena, in São Paulo.
This street art is surprisingly ordered, with talented artists painting individual panels or gable walls of buildings, creating a tableau of distinctively different styles. Walk down the Beco do Batman, a narrow alley which used to be a shortcut between two streets, and you will be mesmerised by the artwork, some of which is by quite prominent artists. Elsewhere, otherwise dull street furniture such as metal garage doors are transformed into abstract paintings, and you will be presented with photo opportunities at every corner.
As well as the street art itself, there are numerous galleries in Vila Madalena where you can browse through the creative output of local artists or buy examples of their work, and there are many good bars and cafes where you can stop for lunch and refreshments. We recommend that you take a guide and spend at least half a day in Vila Madalena, perhaps ending up with a trip to the Coffee Lab.