I was able to visit both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro over the last couple weeks. Really amazing places, and both very different from each other. It's interesting to come fro the Chicago where public space is regulated quite harshly, to a place like Rio where public and city space are designated for public painting at any time of day or night. There is no buff. Locals, including law enforcement, hardly even noticed me while painting. Needless to say there is an incredible amount of graffiti by writers from all over the world. A lot of it very old. I was also surprised to find out that it is not common for writers to go over each other here. It is a communal approach for writers and artists to continue to find new places to paint. This was also very shocking to me considering the saturation of artists here. Despite the amount of people, writers, and already existing public art, I still found it incredibly easy to locate places to paint without hassle from anyone. Everyone I connected with was very humble and down to paint. The economy in Brazil is crumbling pretty hard and that makes it harder for locals to be able to afford things like spray paint. With an extreme gap in the class system of high and low, street crime is very common. While equally grimey and gorgeous, the people exude an extremely rich energy when it comes to art, music, dance and all creative outlets. I was in awe seeing the amount of Pixo everywhere. I don't think I've ever seen so much graffiti at once in such a condensed proximity while still being visible in every neighborhood. To say it was "crushed" would be a vast understatement.
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