São Paulo is not only the world’s fourth largest city, but also an exciting hub for contemporary art, with a bevy of museums, galleries and growing street art scene attracting artists and collectors the world over. MASP or the Museu de Arte de São Paulo is the pinnacle of the contemporary art world in both São Paulo and South America, focusing on post-World War II and contemporary art with its vast collection that rivals MoMA and the Centre Pompidou. The seminal Galleria Raquel Arnaud first bolstered contemporary artists in São Paulo in the late 1960s, and continues to be one of the most respected galleries in the city. Considered a visionary, Arnaud regularly shows cutting edge artists such as Sílvia Mecozzi, Alberto Martins, and Waltercio Caldas, who she recently brought to Art Basel 2014. Street artists have flocked to São Paulo for years, turning the city into an outdoor museum, with added murals commissioned by FIFA to add to the fun. If feeling adventurous fans can head to the Vila Madalena neighborhood to enjoy a high concentration of open-air art. One of the original venues to showcase street art inside the gallery is Choque Cultural. Founded in 2004, the gallery is an immersive experience, with art covering almost every surface inside and out, featuring exhibitions by Brazilian street artists, as well as international street artists from the US and Europe. The upcoming São Paulo Biennial, the second oldest art biennial in the world, presents its 31st rendition from September 6 to December 7, bringing 70 projects, 100 participants and 250 artworks to Ibirapuera Park.
Visitors are welcome to the capital city of Brasília by its unofficial sculpture, Os Candangos, a 25 foot tall bronze by Giorgi in front of the Palacio do Planalto depicting two figures holding poles that pay tribute to the men who built the city. The central focus of Brasília’s art scene is at The Museum of Brazilian Arts Brasília, which houses 700 works of contemporary Brazilian art from 1970 to present day. The space age Museu Nacional, also designed by Brazil’s beloved Oscar Niemeyer, looks like a futuristic dome and houses rotating contemporary art exhibitions.
In time for the FIFA celebrations, ice cream company Kibon has transformed the rooftops of Morro do Alomeo, which is not a regular art center in Brazil, into a sprawling art gallery that can only be seen from a bird’s-eye view. The “Raise the Roof” campaign features 22 pieces by ten local artists and the community that visitors can view by cable car. The focus of the entire world may be on Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but there is a thriving and exciting contemporary art scene waiting to be discovered throughout the country’s diverse regions.