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.

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“The Hero in Me” Spotify Playlist

the hero in me soundtrack heroin

Want some music while you’re reading The Hero in Me? I curated a Spotify playlist inspired by my book The Hero in Me. The hour-long playlist features music by Depeche Mode, Otis Redding, The Stranglers and more. Get into the playlist below.


The Hero in Me

COVER-officialIn The Hero In Me, we dive into the mind of Schuyler, an overthinking young adult who is trying to piece his life together after the death of his mother. When he moves to Connecticut to grieve at his Aunt Lu’s, Schuyler finds comfort in an alcoholic bartender and a handsome heroin addict. Suddenly, Schuyler is faced with new highs and lows, and must decide between family, love and drugs.

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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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