São Paulo, an introduction

When they talk of São Paulo imagine a huge metropole, with more than ten million inhabitants, skyscrapers spread out through the whole city, traffic all the time, different neighborhoods with some of them having a great gap where you will see the most expensive restaurants on the one hand, people sleeping on pavements on the other. You will be surprised to see so many graffitis, on undergrounds, on walls of skyscrapers, some of them look like beautiful paintings, others are just tagging...

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Museu de Som e Imagem: Vivian Maier, Roberto Frankenberg, André Gardenberg

Another museum in Jardins District, one of São Paolo’s most beautiful neighbourhoods is the Sound and Image Museum. I stumbled upon a few great exhibitions here. 'Lambe-Lambes’: the street photographers who witnessed São Paolo’s streets. In the early 20th century, a group of photographers who took photographs of São Paolo’s streets immortalized the city’s cobblestones, bearing testimony to the daily life here. This artistic activity which peaked in the 40’s and 50’s declined and became...

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An exhibition in Museu de Casa Brasileira, São Paulo: Massacre in Carandiru prison

This mansion, which was built in 1940’s and housed the ex-mayors of São Paulo and their wives is now a museum open to public that holds architecture and design exhibitions. Its restaurant and garden are the main reasons you may be inclined to spend extra hours here after seeing an exhibition. When I visited the museum I also had the chance to get familiar with an episode of the history of Brazil I did not previously know about: ‘Carandiru Prison,’ sobrevivencieas (survival). In 1992 an...

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Paulista: MASP, Conjunto Nacional, Livraria Cultura

São Paulo is a gigantic city and although I have been there several times, I have difficulty locating its center, this is because the city is like a monolith of skyscrapers with multiple centers that cannot be kept from sprawling. I may say that Avenida Paulista is one of those centers; along a narrow and long street, headquarters of big companies are lined up. The financial center of all Brazil, even of all Latin America is São Paulo and São Paulo’s trade and finance center is Paulista.......

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City Walls: São Paulo

One of the features of São Paulo that would interest you the most is that its streets are all covered in graffiti; Underpasses, roads, streets, even buildings. There is one more thing on top of the graffiti in this city: scribbles on buildings that look like coded cryptic writings. They are called ‘pichação.’ They are not colourful paintings like graffiti and many people do not think they add an aesthetic value to the city, nor they are adored by the city’s inhabitants. Actually they are not...

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Ibirapuera Park & Cinemateca Brasileira

Good news: there is a huge space to breath in the middle of this giant metropole called São Paulo, it is the Ibirapuera Park. Often compared to Central Park of New York City in its size it is a metropolitan park opened at the beginning of twentieth century to celebrate the four hundred years of the foundation of Sao Paulo. Trees of hundred years, banks made of different shapes, an auditorium, a modern art museum, roller skaters, music, graffiti walls, lake, you may spend the entire day here...

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Centro: walking in the old town of Sao Paulo

Yes, São Paulo has an old town! It is where the city was founded five hundred years ago. Neo classical and baroque buildings, art centers, theatres, patisseries, walls with graffitis, it has this air that you may not notice at other parts of the city, let’s say it has a character. At nigh time it may look a little empty and you may need to take care of your belongings but during the day it is quite lively. We start our walk at the Municipal Theatre. A beautiful Opera House with all the...

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The bohemian neighbourhood of Vila Madalena

Here is the most entertaining, colourful, bohemian, arty and hippest and coolest neighbourhood of São Paulo. Come to watch a soccer game in one of the bars, or take pictures in Batman’s Alley as every tourist does, but come to Vila Madalena to enjoy some time for yourself. Long before the area was made of farms and one of the daughters of the farmer called Madalena gave name to today’s hip neighborhood. At the 70s students started to live here due its location by the University. Later came...

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The Cultural Centre of the Brazilian Bank, Basquiat exhibition

The CCBB is the cultural centre of the Bank of Brazil, one of four centres in four cities: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and the capital Brasilia. The one in Sao Paulo is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built at the beginning of twentieth century it is located right at the centre of the old town, at the corner of two streets, Rua Álvares Penteado and Rua da Quitanda. It was the building of the bank for almost seventy years, was then converted to a public cultural center....

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Higienópolis

In every new city one travels to, after taking a tour and getting acquainted with the surroundings, one envisages one’s life there, and says to oneself, if I lived here, I would love to be based in this or that neighbourhood. This is one of the comparisons we make, like comparing that city’s main street to the main street of our home town-an internal conversation both inevitable and amusing, as if one would be moving over there tomorrow. In São Paulo where I have been several times for...

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Giacometti exhibition in São Paulo's Pinacoteca

Pinacoteca is in São Paulo’s Luz area in the old town, next to República; it stands just across the train station with its red coloured bricks. It’s relatively a ‘historical’ building in this new country, as its history goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. Just next to it there’s a nice big garden. The museum possesses a big collection of the Brazilian art, like this one in the picture, of Almeida Júnior, the painting of a guitar player and a woman next to the window. I saw...

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33rd Sao Paulo Biennial

One of the main international contemporary art events in the world the São Paulo Biennial’s 33rd edition is taking place in Biennial Pavillon inside the Iberapuera Park from 7th of September to 9th of December. The pavilion itself, signed by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer, is iconic; a huge building in rectangular shape from the outside has curved corridors which gives a different dimension to the exhibition. The Iberapuera park has other buildings designed by Niemeyer such as the...

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Paulista Avenue: Japan House, Casa das Rosas, SESC, Itaú Cultural

A couple of public culture and art spaces on Paulista Avenue. We start by the Japan Houses located on Paulista 52, an art space to promote the Japanese culture (the second biggest Japanese community outside Japan lives in São Paulo). The exterior front is covered with a wooden platform, the building just behind it is covered with a graffiti of Niemeyer’s face. During our visit the exhibition of ‘Aromas and Tastes’ includes Japanese plastic artist Maki Ueda’s work where she hangs little glass...

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