Sunday, May 19, 2013

São Paulo graffiti

Here, in Mexico City, ads are everywhere. Our attention is valued so highly that there are adverts even on dogshit bins in the parks. I take offense at any uninvited attempt to get into my brain, and it surprises me that nobody protests the amount of lies and general bullshit that we are exposed to.

(To be fair, sometimes adverts convey important messages. As soon as Mexico signed the the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, we were treated to a series of billboards advertising high speed internet: "wanted a song, downloaded the whole discography", "wanted one episode, downloaded the whole series" etc. In other words, not to worry, keep stealing.)  

In São Paulo outdoor adverising is prohibited. All of it, thank God. Instead, there are graffiti. Today I was backing up the memory card of my camera. Here are some of the photos that were on it. 

A space invader in Pinheiros:

Rua Cardeal Arcoverde:

Vila Madalena:

Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, I think: 

Somewhere close to the center:

In Pinheiros, next to Instituto Tomie Otake:

As everywhere, much of the graffiti is just text. In São Paulo, all the text graffiti are in a rune-like typeface. This is not the best example, but the scale is dramatic:

Graffiti is not just on walls:

Here is a huge one right on Avenida Paulista:

This one is even bigger. It is in Cracolândia, which is a place where you don't go unless you are either (a) insane (b) badly need hard drugs (c) are going to a classical music concert. (Most of the musicians and music fans arrive to Sala São Paulo by car, but from time to time you see some poor cellist hauling her instrument on foot past the prostitutes and addicts lying on the pavement unconscious.)

Finally, I should say that São Paulo is not entirely ad-free:

''Loira gostosa tarada e safada". Not quite "enjoy Coca-Cola", is it? 

More of this stuff here.

The photos on this page are available in better resolution here.

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