São Paulo, between “pixação” and “street art”

São Paulo, between “pixação” and “street art”

In the light of the great wave of the wave of graffiti that has scoured the megacities around the world, São Paulo has not escaped the phenomenon, far from it. But here the graffiti has taken own turns, regardless of the original model of the North American cousin.

Two schools yet born in the street face, the famous pixação (the tag) and murals.One protester or activist remained rather vehemently claims membership in the world of “strada” while the other exhibited at the Tate Gallery or Shafrazi , divorcing gradually with its origins.

But it is clear that in both cases, their artistic event raises admiration and respect for the risks to pixadores (taggers) to the tops of buildings and the dream world or some baroque frescoes.

Gallery Choque Cultural is the first in 90 years to have opened the door to these artists. Gallery who made ​​the link with museums like the MASP or Mube that since 2010 devotes a “Graffiti Art Biennial.”

As the Grand Palais in Paris was also done in 2009, welcoming all major Brazilian artists in this discipline. The “street art” is invited in the world’s largest art institutions and gradually gaining acclaim after more than 30 years of hiding and disdain …

The “pixação”

Here is a phenomenon that comes straight from Brazil and tied to a particular city: São Paulo. The movement Pixação , is distinguished by a highly stylized typography and greatly simplified when compared to the rest of the graffiti world. These tags (pixos ) are broken down in a vertical style, and straight like the old runic alphabets.

Another peculiarity of the movement Pixação is the marking on the facades of buildings particularly high, which requires some ingenuity, and a significant flexibility!

The origins of Pixação date back 60 years, this script was then used mainly against the dictatorship. Later, it was the ’80s punks who take the thing, then with the rise of graffiti in the world, there is a new generation of pixadores .

Love it or hate Pixações , however we can not deny, especially not in Brazil, it has become a major urban art movement.
pixadores not claim the aesthetic illegal, performance, taking risk and violence prevail over the plastic dimension.

The letters of the alphabet used by pixadores have a straight, vertical style, reminiscent of the ancient Germanic peoples runes. The shape of the letters is based on those of the Latin alphabet used in Brazil but is detached by a stylistic work on the shape of the letter. As with most tags, the layman is not able to read the pixo .Conversely, some children from the streets of São Paulo do not read Portuguese, but know how to decipher the pixos .

The reason for the development of the alphabet into the circumstances in whichpixação is exercised. On the one hand acrobatics which engage their authors require certain geometries, the other using the paint roller is facilitated by an angular path, a sharp style.

The pixação is certainly practiced in all media that we know in Europe and North America, but it has also invaded the facades of buildings of Sao Paulo. Go to the middle of the facades is especially dangerous and requires the management of urban climbing, without any safety equipment. A specialty teams pixadores is building human scale, which allows you to write several meters without equipment when the wall offers no possibility of climbing.


As before is the graffiti stations New York City trains, the pixadores face danger with such extreme performance. Some of them continue to pay tribute to victims of fatal falls, but police brutality that accompanies their daily lives.

The mural

These artists of the mural (or “street art”) are between the street and the world of galleries, now listed on the art market such as Os Gemeos , Nunca and Onesto .


The story of twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo (1974), the famous Gemeos beginning at the time of the Graffiti raged in São Paulo in the mid 80s.

They make their first “burns” at the age of 12 years at the bottom of their building on the outskirts of the metropolis. They already grow their own style shot of childhood, combining magical world. A decisive encounter is with the artist and graffiti artist Barry MGEE (Twist) Sao Francisco will open the doors of the North American galleries. Their urban style dreamlike asserts over the exposures they linked together between the U.S. and Europe.


Nunca , whose real name is Francisco Rodrigues da Silva (1986), was born in the suburbs of São Paulo in 1983. It begins at the age of 12 years, painting in the streets of her hometown, drawing particular “tag” Brazilian, the pixação . It draws on indigenous figures and references to Aboriginal Brazilian tradition with the urban world. He paints on any media such as here on aircraft cabins. He was appointed to design the jersey of the football team of Brazil.


Alex hornest (1972) is a painter and sculptor, born in São Paulo, a city source of inspiration for this protean in combining dream and baroque artist. Frescoes by sketches capture the relationship between the metropolis and its inhabitants. His sculptures are made ​​of wood, iron, porcelain and various recovery . It combines its murals and graffiti painting, which allow him to give more depth and contrast to its whimsical characters.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s