Erica & Matt Chua: Sao Paulo Street Art Smackdown

LOCAVORista may have fallen in love with Buenos Aires and thought it had the best street art, but she was mistaken…Sao Paulo holds that crown.  Yes, Buenos Aires offers a wide array of high-quality street art, but it pales in comparasion to Villa Madalena’s paint covered walls.  In fact, it’s harder to find places without street art in this posh Sao Paulo neighborhood than trying to locate art.  Let’s take a quick walk through the neighborhood to check out just some of the paintings.

The minds of the many artists in the neighborhoods have spilled out onto the walls exactly as this mural depicts: directly from brains to spray paint.

One of the larger works, the whimsical scene stretches almost an entire block, even working in the landscaping.

While most street artists the world over tend towards the colorful, the highly detailed black-and-white work stand out not only for it’s lack of color, but also the painted (in color) sidewalk in front of the work.

One of several streets that are completely covered in art.  Offering everything from fantasy to political, each street is a colorful world of it’s own.

Even the local construction companies got in on the act.  The fencing around the building was painted with funny construction scenes of what may go wrong on the worksite.  I’m sure it’s much less funny to those paying the construction bills…

These are just a few scenes that you’ll see in Villa Madalena, a neighborhood which is so much more than street art.  It has fabulous cafes, beautiful stores and scores of bars that combine to make it the best neighborhood in sensational Sao Paulo.  In all the world we’ve visited, Villa Madalena is one of my favorite neighborhoods I’ve seen…anywhere.  It is a must for lovers of urban scenes, comfortable cafes, and high-end nightlife.


-Bring your walking shoes. The neighborhood is sprawling and requires a bit of walking to fully take it in.

-Stay in the Villa Madalena. The street art will amaze at first visit, but days could be spent examining the art, exploring the stores, and enjoying the cafes.  There is so much to do and love here that staying in the neighborhood is one of the best ways to enjoy Villa Madalena.

-Enjoy. There are few places like this in the entire world where intellectuals, artists and commerce have fused so perfectly.  Give yourself time to take it all in.


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