“It is known as Batman’s Alley and on Google Maps it looks like any of the hundreds of narrow inner streets that twist and turn within Sao Paulo’s blocks. What makes it different and cannot be seen from above is that every single wall in its 100m extension is covered top-to-bottom with graffiti of all shapes and colours. The graffiti here are not the average large-letter tags, although there is a lot of that. Batman’s Alley or Beco do Batman, in Portuguese, resembles more an open-air street art gallery, where abstract, surreal, psychedelic and geometric paintings colourfully co-exist.
You only need to drive for a few blocks in Brazil’s biggest city to encounter its thriving graffiti culture. It is the most visible expression of a new, creative, buzzing Sao Paulo that has emerged in the last 10 years. A vast and diverse network of musicians, playwrights, film-makers, painters, cartoonists, actors, singers, DJs, writers, poets, dancers, architects and fashion designers have not only been busy producing work but are also helping to lend 21st Century Sao Paulo a cosmopolitan, artistic edge which is unprecedented.
“Foreigners use the word ‘energy’ a lot to describe Sao Paulo,” says Baixo Ribeiro, who along with his wife Mariana Martins, has fostered and promoted urban and street artists since 2003 through their gallery Choque Cultural. “They say they feel a vibe which is different to other places. It has a lot to do with the zeitgeist: Brazil and other countries which were always secondary but that are now emerging strongly.” – BBC (more here)