I love street art. But I really love Brazilian street art. And I think you will too after you see the photos I took during my trip to Rio de Janeiro last year.
Street art is a well respected, and celebrated art form in Rio de Janeiro. It only became legal in 2012, but street artists have been flocking to this colorful city for years. Rio de Janeiro has become a Mecca of sorts for street artists, who are constantly pushing the boundaries of their creativity. The streets of Rio showcase unique and accessible art, ranging considerably in style, imagery, message, mood, size, color, symbolism, and location.
Here are 3 of my favourite street art-covered walls in Rio de Janeiro:
1. Christ and the Dove of Peace
I discovered this masterpiece while riding the Trem Corcovado downhill from the Christ The Redeemer site. This image is hidden away in the forest, but it’s seen my thousands of tourists each week. It’s a rather joyful, and modern take on the imagery which is traditionally used to portray Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In the top right corner of the image, “Eu vos farei pescadores,” appears to refer to Mathew 4:19 of The New Testament. In this verse, Jesus says, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.”
2. Child Feeding Fish
The following photo was taken at the outdoor gym at Arpoador Beach, which is located in between Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach. The creepy child-like person feeding the fish definitely caught my eye from a distance.
It’s also common to see street art on the walls of private property. Apparently, street artists are often hired to beautify large private walls, and attract visitors. It’s also common for artists to reach out to the owners. According to Brazilian law, street art is legal as long as the street artist has obtained permission from the wall’s owner.
3. King of the Sea
This is one of my all-time favorite walls. I took this photo while walking through the Forte Copacabana, a small fort close to Arpoador Beach. In this painting, we see an old, Poseidon-like king who is not very pleased. With hypnotic eyes, his face almost pops out of the wall. I love it.
You will find spectacular street art throughout Rio de Janeiro, but the most revered artwork is found along the walls of the Jardim Botanico, Rio’s large botanical garden. This is where the crème de la crème of street artists have been known to leave their mark. Regrettably, I wasn’t able to visit the Jardim Botanico area, but I will certainly return one day to explore its great walls.
Check out the Maria Tiramisu in Brazil Pinterest Board for more photos from my trip to Brazil.
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