Sao Paulo Angel

29 Jul

This image is on a traffic control box at the corner of Rua Joaquim Antunes and Avenida Reboucas in the Pinheiros bairro in Sao Paulo. The combination of monochrome photo-stencilled image, language (“No-one is safe”), the patina of street life – scratching, spray paint, ‘tags’, weathering – and the strength of the three-colour composition itself make a compelling street art work. Traffic control boxes are regularly used for photo-stencilled and for painted works – see for more examples of street art – which make good use of the size and location of this street furniture. Although graffiti and street art can attract censure and indeed removal here in Sao Paulo – just as the work of Banksy can attract such attention in the UK – one senses that Brasil has a sneaking respect for this strongly developed art form. And am I the only one to detect a sardonic comment on the vogue for ‘angel’ images currently playing in alternative Western culture?

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