The Colorful Street Art of São Paulo, Brazil

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil is a crazy city, one of the largest cities in the world, in fact, and my husband’s hometown. During our annual trip to Brazil to visit family, we spend a few days in São Paulo, and I always enjoy the city’s culture and art scene. The growing popularity of street art in cities around the world has followed the transformation of what used to be considered “graffiti” into a type of art that’s both respected and enjoyed. São Paulo, Brazil, is one of the world’s best cities for street art thanks in part to an active counterculture and talented street artists like Os Gêmeos.

Upon first arriving in São Paulo, Brazil’s (and South America’s) largest city, the amount of painting on the walls is overwhelming. Graffiti is all over garage doors, house facades, and business fronts, and most of it is honestly an eyesore. But you’ll soon also be struck by the beautiful street art in São Paulo. It’s common to spot paintings like this one on street corners while waiting at a red light:

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil

The detail is stunning, isn’t it?

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Os Gêmeos

When in São Paulo, you can’t miss the work of Os Gêmeos, Brazil’s best known street artists. They’re twins from São Paulo who have added art works to cities around the world. Their work is easily recognizable as it usually includes distinctive yellow faces, a rainbow of bright colors and surreal images. They are invited to paint places legally and, for example, received a commission to paint a mural on the wall of the Modern Art Museum of São Paulo in Parque Ibirapuera.

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazill: Os Gemeos in Parque Ibirapuera

The Vila Madalena Neighborhood

Probably the best part of the city to see street art is the funky neighborhood of Vila Madalena, where you can come upon a little bar like this:

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Vila Madalena

or an image with a message, like this one: “There are things that only silence tells us.”

Street Art in Sao Paulo:

Beco do Batman

After many trips to São Paulo, last week I finally made it to Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley), a small winding street completely covered in paintings. The sheer number of paintings make it one of the best places to see street art in São Paulo.

Street Art in Sao Paulo: Beco do Batman

Street Art in Sao Paulo: Batman's Alley

The art covers the houses that line the alleyway.

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Batman's Alley

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil

We were fortunate to see artists in the process of making a new mural:

Street Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Batman's Alley

If you go:

Be aware that Beco do Batman is an area that can easily flood. São Paulo gets a lot of afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, and Beco do Batman is a very low point in the city, so even when it’s raining in another part of the city, Beco do Batman can fill with water quickly. Some men that we met that day told us that the day before, the street had flooded very quickly and the water came up to their waists.

This is also a place to watch your valuables and avoid at night.

Beco do Batman is located in Vila Madalena, a neighborhood full of hip bars and restaurants. Just up the street is Banana Verde, a nice vegetarian restaurant.

Vegetarian restaurant in Sao Paulo

Where have you seen impressive street art?

19 Comments

  • kami says:

    now I really regret I didn’t have enough time to explore Sao Paulo properly! I’d have loved the street art scene a lot! At least I have a good reason to go back! Such a cool place!!
    kami recently posted..Pictures of ArgentinaMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      With your love of street art, I’m surprised that you didn’t see more of the street art in Sao Paulo, but it is such a big city and can be hard to navigate. As you said, it’s a reason to go back if you come to Brazil again, but perhaps you’ve seen the art of Os Gemeos in Europe? If you google them, you may recognize some of the murals they’ve painted in Europe.

  • roaminjuliet says:

    Amazing street arts you have captured here! I always enjoy your posts! I saw some cool street arts in Colombia (Cartagena, Bogota, and Santa Marta). I have posted them on my instagram @roaminjuliet

    • Jenna says:

      I’ll check out your Instagram account. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been to Colombia but am curious about the art there, too.

  • Lydian says:

    Wow, I really missed something the times I was in Sao Paolo. If only I would have known there was so much and where to find it. I would love to see more of Os Gemeos and all the other street art there too of course! Thanks so much for sharing this and enjoy the rest of your stay in Brasil!

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks, Lydian! It’s a shame that you didn’t see some of this art during your visit here, but it can be hard to know where to go. For those interested, Beco do Batman is located in Vila Madalena neighborhood…everyone should know how to direct you there. It’s between Rua Gonçalo Afonso and Rua Medeiros and near the Clinicas metro station.

  • Adrienne says:

    I would love to see this in person, we have a couple of books on the street art in Brazil…its stunning. Thanks for sharing and for the beautiful pictures! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you, Adrienne! I’m curious about your books on street art in Brazil. It really is a big thing here, and the images I’ve shown are just a tiny fraction of what exists in Sao Paulo.

  • Cindy says:

    Loved your post! We just spent this afternoon enjoying the street murals in San Francisco’s Market District. So many stunning ones, but best of all was Bliss Court, much like Beco de Batman, I think!

  • Such gorgeous colorful photos! And how nice to have a husband from Brazil so you visit there each year :-). We visited Rio many years ago when no tourists were going. It was great, got to splash out at the beautiful Copacabana Palace for a song. Now the hotel is a Belmond property, so pretty pricey.
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Winter guide to Canada’s capital – Ottawa – by FlightHubMy Profile

    • Jenna says:

      Nice that you visited Rio at a time when there weren’t many tourists! It’s such a beautiful city.

  • SOSP says:

    You should make a graffiti tour with us !

  • Absolutely stunning. Some very talented artist. We love explore the street art of places. We are heading to Brazil this year so I have saved your post for the future. It is so interesting looking at different styles and meaning behind each art piece. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jenna says:

      Brazil’s street artists are incredible and some have worked in major cities around the world. Definitely be on the lookout for the work of Os Gemeos when you go to Brazil this year–I think you’ll enjoy it!

  • Debra payne says:

    Visiting now! So excited to go see this street art! Did my own tour in Paris… Brazil…. Here I come!

  • great photos ! Brazil is such an interseting country for Street Art .
    Here’s a new artist i discover few month ago.
    I just post an interview on my website .

    https://streetart360.net/2017/03/09/interview-with-brazilian-street-artist-valdi-valdi/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *