From the famous graffiti sanctuary, Batman Alley, to a veritable open-air museum of art on subway pillars, São Paulo’s tradition of scribbles, scratches, and spray painting holds its own against street art capitals like New York and Berlin.
But visitors to Brazil’s most dynamic city who want to explore the street-art scene may find it challenging to scope out the latest and greatest works around town. To that end, Hotel Fasano São Paulo has put together a guided tour to visit the best neighborhoods for one-of-a-kind works of street art.
Meet your guide, Fabio Biofa, an illustrator and graffiti artist whose known for his own street-art typography emblazoned on walls throughout the city.
São Paulo is a well-known mecca for street art, holding it’s own against graffiti capitals such as New York and Berlin.
Influenced by the hip hop movement in the United States in the 1980s, a unique sensibility emerged in Brazil combining the country’s indigenous roots, with inspiration from the Amazon. One school of São Paulo's street art, known as pixação, had its beginnings in the 1940s and 50s, when tar was used to write messages on buildings as a powerful platform to make statements against the government. Today, artists have turned from political commentary to social expression.
One of the most enlightening detours on the excursion is a lengthy stretch of high-walled residences in Vila Madalena, which is known as Beco do Batman, a psychedelic swirl of different spray-painted murals. The nickname, translated to Batman Alley, got its nickname in the 1980s, when the graffiti sanctuary came to life after someone spray painted a depiction of the DC Comics superhero on a bare wall. You’ll also stop at the open air Museu Aberto de Arte Urbana, where 68 murals are painted between 33 pillars of metro stations in the northern reaches of the city. Here, guests walk with curator, Binho Ribeiro on the elevated one metro line tracks between Portuguesa-Tietê and Santana stations, as he provides insight into São Paulo’s street art movement, such as the illicit beginnings of the subway pillar project, which now has support from the city and state governments.
The colorful experience ends with a stop at Fabio’s own workshop to observe the artist in action. Then, it's the grand finale. Grab your own can of spray paint, and let your imagination run wild on a clean wall just waiting to be covered.
To learn more about Hotel Fasano São Paulo, or to arrange a graffiti tour, please contact the concierge upon making a reservation.