Brazil – home to street art

Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba are the top three cities for quantity and quality of street art. The relationship between society and art outdoors differs from one in Europe. Not only does the government encourage street artists (under the law murals are not illegal as long as the owner of the building authorises a painting), but also different organisations collaborate with street artists. For example, GOL Airlines commissioned the famous Pandolfo brothers (“The Twins” as they are called) to decorate an airplane, which carries the country’s soccer team.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

There is a difference between graffiti and street art: graffiti is the way to communicate between graffiti artists and street artists communicate to society. Graffiti looks usually like text: phrases, words and letters; whereas street art is a painting done on the wall instead of canvas.

Street Art is a part of Brazilian culture and a significant part of the urban art movement across the globe. The variety of sizes and styles is fascinating. You can find anything from figurative to abstract art and find paintings in unusual places like banks. You don’t have to search hard for murals; you discover them everywhere.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both have amazing wall paintings. However the scale of the works is bigger in Rio: some paintings are created on 2-3 storey buildings. Whereas in Sao Paulo there are more murals, but they are smaller: usually on the side of one-storey buildings. One neighbourhood in Sao Paulo – Vila Madalena is particularly famous for street art. Travessa Alonso, Rua Goncalo Afonso and Rua Medeiros de Albuquerque streets considered to be an open air gallery.

The pallet is vibrant: artists use very bright striking combinations of colours, which are not typical for European artists. You can also see a mixture of black and white and bright colours in the same painting. Some paintings are extremely detailed and realistic. Street art is the decoration of outdoor space in Brazil and a pleasure to look at.

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