Today Banksy put up on his Instagram the message, “Today’s art has been cancelled due to policy activity.” A commenter on Banksy’s Instagram wrote, “Friend at 79th precinct said they nabbed banksy and 2 helpers in the act this morning around 6:00 a.m. They have them on video at another location too.” As reported by the NY Post and other outlets over the last week, the NYPD has been “on the hunt” for Banksy. [Update: Banksy has NOT been arrested, as confirmed by NYPD in a phone call with Gothamist’s Jen Carlson]
This all just reminded us of the fact that in Brazil, street art is LEGAL. In fact, the legalization of graffiti has spurred a real renaissance for street art in cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo where there is a strong distinction made between tagging, known as pichação, and grafite, a street art style distinctive to Brazil.
Kingsbridge in the Bronx is known for its staircases, some with up to 160 steps. These “step streets” are also home to some wonderful street art. This photo is from the Untapped Cities Photo Pool by Instgrammer Kassaundra. It reminds us a little of the staircase paintings in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro by the team from Favela Painting and Philly Painting.
The floats of the Rio Carnaval are one of the main spectacles that take over the city, in tandem with sparkling costumes, live music and samba dancing. The Rio festival is one of several carnavals that Gia Wolff, a Brooklyn architect and designer, will be researching via a Wheelwright Prize offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her winning proposal Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats intends to investigate the tradition of carnaval parade floats and the performances of local communities in cities like Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Goa (India), Viarreggio (Italy), Nice (France) and Santa Cruze de Tenerife (Spain).
Although the name can be confusing, Santa Teresa is not a Brazilian divinity or a religious figure. Santa, as it is known locally, is a historical neighborhood located on top of a hill and offering some splendid views of the city of Rio de Janeiro, a true escape from the beach. The nicest way to reach it is via Lapa and the famous Selarón stairway, 215 steps decorated with regularly-changing mosaics, created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. For over a century, you could use the “bonde elétrico” (tramway) from the Centro, with a ride crossing the Lapa Arches, but the service was suspended in August 2011 for safety reasons after a fatal accident. (more…)
By now, you might be used to seeing abandoned theme parks set in barren, post-apocalyptic landscapes in China. But this one’s different. Not only is it set in Rio de Janeiro, it’s also right smack in the middle of Barra da Tijuca, one of city’s most valuable real estate zones. And, it’s not far from the future 2016 Olympic games. The Barra zone will accommodate 20 Olympic competitions and the Olympic Village, roughly half the athletes will compete here.