In a city known for the high quality of its street art, Batman Alley stands out as particularly awesome. Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Vila Madalena, Batman Alley is an outdoor gallery with every spare inch of space covered in street art. The work is ever changing as artists create new works and in the process cover up older pieces.
The artwork in Batman Alley is brash, bold and colourful. Sometimes you really need to step in to see the detail. Alternatively, you need to step back to see the big picture (literally!). The artwork expresses so much such as political opinions, poetry, philosophy.
I asked our guide Leo about the origin of the name. He told me it comes from the 1980’s when someone drew a cartoon of Batman on the wall. People started referring to it in everyday speech as a recognisable place and the name stuck. The area is safe during the day and a popular tourist spot.
The alley is popular for photos and parties. We saw a woman doing a photo shoot of her baby belly during our visit.
As unsanctioned artwork, there isn’t any approval process in putting your mark on Batman Alley. On the other hand, with the quality of the work on display, you better be good if you want to put your work up here. The street artists though have a code of conduct where they respect each others work. You can’t draw without asking the original owner of the work. If the work is fading etc, they may let you take over the space. So we’re talking a self-policing community of people creating work for the people.
Although the alley runs only about 250 feet long (a couple of city blocks), allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in. The street art in Sao Paulo is truly impressive and none more so than what you find in Batman Alley.
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