Street Culture and Art

By Alyssa Hui

Little Africa Tour, 2018. Photo by: Alyssa Hui

When you walk the streets of wherever you are from, what do you see? As I have stayed in Brazil for the past few weeks, drawings, graffiti and paintings are hard to go unnoticed as they are on so many walls of streets and corners. In most places street art such as graffiti is illegal, but in Rio de Janeiro street art is something that is a part of the culture.

Street art in Brazil is one of the most popular ways to express emotion, an idea or even to spread a message. There are many different styles being depicted including abstract, realism and figurative. The artists that are in Brazil have different tastes; some enjoy larger pieces, others enjoy smaller ones. Some use color and some just use black and white.

Street art poster on wall, 2018. Photo by: Alyssa Hui

There are five main types of street art: tags, graffiti/murals, art that is pasted on walls, stencil art and tiling, as Edmundo, a local city tour guide of Rio told us. The diverse pieces of art bring communities together and promote a sense of freedom and creativity for both artists and locals who live in the area.

It was fascinating to see such diverse pieces of work; they added color and vibrancy to the streets of Rio which sometimes can seem hectic or overwhelming. The street art gives people a reason to smile, to take a second look, or to even start a conversation. As a visitor, I am glad I had the chance to see how art all over the city is used as a way to express emotion and to unite people.