War on walls: Mayor’s controversial plan to ‘beautify’ Sao Paulo

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST 9 Photos
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A ‘pichador’, a graffiti artist who tags buildings and landmarks with angular, runic fonts, holds a paper with personal signatures, called ‘pichacao’ during the "Dia do Point" (Meeting Point Day) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 20, 2017. The angular, runic font has conquered swaths of Sao Paulo’s landscape as unseen street artists scale buildings and landmarks with paint rollers and spray cans in hand, drawing the ire of many who embrace other forms of graffiti. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A ‘pichador’, a graffiti artist who tags buildings and landmarks with angular, runic fonts, holds a paper with personal signatures, called ‘pichacao’ during the "Dia do Point" (Meeting Point Day) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 20, 2017. The angular, runic font has conquered swaths of Sao Paulo’s landscape as unseen street artists scale buildings and landmarks with paint rollers and spray cans in hand, drawing the ire of many who embrace other forms of graffiti. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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A municipal worker removes the writing ‘doria’ in reference to Sao Paulo's mayor Joao Doria, tagged by a Brazilian artist, known as Iaco, on Avenida 23 de Maio. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A municipal worker removes the writing ‘doria’ in reference to Sao Paulo's mayor Joao Doria, tagged by a Brazilian artist, known as Iaco, on Avenida 23 de Maio. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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The fate of those murals, commissioned by the prior mayor, has sparked a debate over the world-famous graffiti scene in South America’s biggest city and its place in the cleaner landscape imagined by Doria’s “Pretty City” program.

The fate of those murals, commissioned by the prior mayor, has sparked a debate over the world-famous graffiti scene in South America’s biggest city and its place in the cleaner landscape imagined by Doria’s “Pretty City” program.

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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A ‘pichador’, a graffiti artist who tags buildings and landmarks with angular, runic fonts, poses for a photograph in front of a mural of a Brazilian artist ‘Humanos’, on a street in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 11, 2017. The two faces on the mural are in reference to a "pichador" (L) and a graffiti artist. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A ‘pichador’, a graffiti artist who tags buildings and landmarks with angular, runic fonts, poses for a photograph in front of a mural of a Brazilian artist ‘Humanos’, on a street in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 11, 2017. The two faces on the mural are in reference to a "pichador" (L) and a graffiti artist. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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A Brazilian artist, known as Iaco, sits inside the police car after he was detained for painting on a wall on Avenida 23 de Maio. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A Brazilian artist, known as Iaco, sits inside the police car after he was detained for painting on a wall on Avenida 23 de Maio. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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The mayor has called the move to repaint the busy avenue and insists that his fight is not with the city’s colorful street art but with a style of aggressive tagging known as ‘pichação.’ (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

The mayor has called the move to repaint the busy avenue and insists that his fight is not with the city’s colorful street art but with a style of aggressive tagging known as ‘pichação.’ (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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Most pichadores write little more than their street name or the name of their crew, and spare social commentary in rare instances. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

Most pichadores write little more than their street name or the name of their crew, and spare social commentary in rare instances. (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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A homeless man (L) sleeps as ‘pichadores’, graffiti artists who tag buildings and landmarks . (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A homeless man (L) sleeps as ‘pichadores’, graffiti artists who tag buildings and landmarks . (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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A man looks out of a door of his shop tagged by ‘pichadores’, graffiti . (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

A man looks out of a door of his shop tagged by ‘pichadores’, graffiti . (Nacho Doce / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2017 12:26 PM IST
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