This post was originally published in Agência Mural blog, with research and writing by Aline Kátia Melo, Eduardo Micheletto, Humberto do Lago Müller, Jéssica Souza, João Paulo Brito, Karina Oliveira, Lucas Landin, Lucas Veloso, Martina Ceci, Priscila Gomes, Priscila Pacheco, Sidney Pereira, Tamires Tavares, Tamiris Gomes and Thaís Santana; and editing and organization from Tamires Gomes. It is republished on Global Voices as part of a content-sharing agreement.
Graffiti culture pulsates through Brazilians cities. In São Paulo, it's no different: street artists bring color and life to its grey landscape. But while murals from central neighborhoods like Vila Madalena are featured in international travel books, those from low-income suburbs remain unknown, even for the city's residents — who amount to some 20 million people.
With this in mind, reporters from Agência Mural compiled the best of street art in their respective neighborhoods — in Brazil they're called quebradas — all located in lower-income neighborhoods.
Mairiporã, greater São Paulo
A big gathering of graffiti artists takes place every year in Mairiporã, in the north of São Paulo, organized by artist Carlinhos Rootsm. The following two pictures were made in the last two meetings in 2015, when the the city main staircase was revitalized.
Grajaú, southern São Paulo
The following mural is in Cantinho do Céu Linear Park in Grajaú, and portrays the reality of the Brazilian suburbs. It was made by artist Enivo, who started his career in graffiti in the neighborhood. The boy portrayed is Caio Caternum, another local artist. The sentence, “Spirits up… Because we are made of dreams of whatever size we want,” is from Mano Money, a rapper also from Grajaú.
Lago Azul, southern São Paulo
In Lago Azul we see the yellow houses of artist Mauro Neri. He's also part of the group of graffiti artists who grew up in Grajaú.
Tucuruvi, northern São Paulo
A graffitied house on a corner of Paranabi Street. Unknown artist.
Anhanguera District, northern São Paulo
This true outdoor art gallery was made on the walls of public secondary school Jardim Britania, located in Anhanguera District during the sixth edition of the art festival “Art at home.”
Tremembé, northern São Paulo
The Um Treas Street, in the Tremembé neighborhood, is full of graffiti.
Vila Nova Cachoeirinha, northern São Paulo
Graffiti painted next to a cultural center in the north of the city. The artist is known as Monster Ectoplasma.
Jardim Ataliba Leonel, northern São Paulo
The walls of the public school Pedro Morais Victor, on Boaventura Coleti street, also features graffiti from local artists Brown, Marcia, Kbelo and others.
Jardim Brasil, northern São Paulo
Artist Katia Suzue, who lives in Jardim Brasil, was raised by her maternal grandparents, who themselves are children of Japanese immigrants. Her work is known for its Oriental themes. More information about this artist is available in Portuguese here.
Carandiru, northern São Paulo
Located in the Carandiru neighborhood, this urban artwork was made by Sipros at Juventude park.
Jaçanã, northern São Paulo
This graffiti by Caluz, the artistic name of Carolina Luz, is located on Jaçanã Avenue. Her work often includes feminine themes, her aesthetic identity being inspired by women of the suburbs and their daily life.
The following two graffiti works are signed by artist Kasca (Jurandir Ramos) and are also in the Jaçanã neighborhood. He is mostly known for his drawings of cows, spread throughout a neighboring district known as Jova Rural.
Morro Doce, western São Paulo
Graffiti from the festival “Art at Home.” The one on the left is authored by artist Malaca (O.C.A.) , in Morro Doce, in the western area of São Paulo.
Guarulhos, greater São Paulo
The Manacapuru alley, located in Jardim Cumbica in a Guarulhos city neighborhood within greater São Paulo, was filled with graffiti during the Atac Gathering, a meeting of local artists.
Below is another mural in Guarulhos city, this time on the walls of a school in Bartolomeu de Carlos Avenue, located in Jardim Flor da Montanha neighborhood. Behind it are drawings made by children.
Itaquaquecetuba, greater São Paulo
This piece is by JAE Alves, located on Maringá street in the district of Rancho Grande, in the city of Itaquaquecetuba — just outside of São Paulo.
Mogi das Cruzes, greater São Paulo
On a wall in Antonio Bovolenta Townhouse, in Mogi das Cruzes, just outside São Paulo, there is a message to the graffiti community: “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better,” a quote attributed to American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.
Poá, greater São Paulo
Below is an owl painted by a city resident, Jonh Naja. The graffiti can be seen in Aurélio Fuga square, in Calmon Viana neighborhood in Poá, greater São Paulo.
Guaianases, eastern São Paulo
The following are from an artist called Todyone. The number of residents passing by the footbridge of the train station in Guaianases has increased, thanks to its new colors. There are also works from Galvani Galo.
And in the subway station Guaianeases, Todyone has drawn a wagon around the windows of the subway.