Beautiful City: a tribute to São Paulo street art

I don’t think I could have learned to navigate my way around São Paulo without the street art. Artists like Eduardo Kobra, Os Gemeos, Paulo Ito, Cranio and many others were, in many ways, my tour guides. I learned a lot from their art and creative social commentary. Walking pass their artwork gave me a deeper connection to the people that live here. Their stories are right there on the walls.

It’s a shame that these talented artists are in a fight with the city’s new mayor, João Doria and his “Operation Beautiful City” initiative. Instead of trying to erase their work, he should listen to what the artists are saying. He should open his eyes and see the beauty it adds to an otherwise gray city. He should focus on the real issues that thousands of citizens have been flooding the streets to protest about. 

To honor the street artists, I’m sharing my collection of street art photos. 

Many of these have already been erased. 

“I believe that by using public spaces and talking about these issues [in São Paulo], we can create awareness in one person, one neighborhood, one city, or one country.”

– Eduardo Kobra on using street art to raise awareness about issues in São Paulo during our interview for Brasil Wire / Huffington Post in August 2015.

Revisit our conversation:

NOTE: I have total respect for the work of these artists, and I do know many of the artists photographed here. However, since I could not ID them all, I decided not to include any names. If you want to help me ID them feel free to contact me.


#SouMinasGerais: Using The Arts to Benefit Tragedy Victims (Video)

Artists in Brazil are taking action to raise funds for recovery of the Bento Rodrigues district of Mariana in Minas Gerais, Brazil, after a dam burst at an iron ore mine. The mining tragedy took the lives of dozens of people and damaged the entire Doce River ecosystem. According to several reports, this catastrophe is the worst environmental disaster in Brazil and one of the top 5 in the world.

The #SouMinasGerais Collective, which includes a group of record labels and arts organizations, planned a benefit concert in São Paulo, led by notable Brazilian musicians Maria Gadu, Tulipa Ruiz and Mariana Aydar. Additional performers included, Ana Cañas, Emicida, Nando Reis, Marina Lima, Fafá de Belém, Paulo Miklos, and Ney Matogrosso, who all stood in solidarity with the victims. Some of São Paulo’s favorite street artists such as Paulo Ito, Ju Violeta, Magrela Mag and many others joined in for the cause, creating exclusive paintings with proceeds adding towards the fundraising.

Check out highlights from the event and follow the links below to learn more or to discover ways to show your support. 

This event was the second for the #SouMinasGerais Collective and one of many gatherings around the country. Learn more about #SouMinasGerais and their efforts, or show your support online ( Donations will go to a charity fund managed by SITAWI Finance of Good and coordinated by Greenpeace.

Additional Links:

Featured image is of singer Mariana Aydar at the#SouMinasGerais charity event. Photo by Stephen J. Grant.

In The Studio: Brazilian Street Artist Eduardo Kobra (Video)

Eduardo Kobra in front of a new mural in the Pinheiros neighborhood in São Paulo. Photo submitted by the artist.
Eduardo Kobra in front of a new mural in Pinheiros, São Paulo. Photo submitted by the artist.

I visited Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra at his private studio eager to get a glimpse into his creative space. Wearing his signature fedora and surrounded by art, we spoke candidly about his earlier works and his latest series of murals, entitled São Paulo E 10.

Read more on this story via The Huffington Post.

6 More Images of Street Art in São Paulo

There are hundreds of galleries in São Paulo, but there is something special about photographing public art. I love the view of the cityscape and how walking around is like being in one huge art gallery. Enjoy another walk with me as we explore 6 more images of street art.

All photos by Stephen J. Grant

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