A different perspective of São Paulo, illustrations, and a look back at film, before the talkies

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I don’t think I’ve had a chance to write much about art in São Paulo yet, so now just happens to be the perfect opportunity. With a sunny (and well deserved) holiday this past Wednesday, we headed over to the Pinacoteca, a beautiful building in the heart of São Paulo that plays host to the city’s contemporary art museum. It’s currently showcasing the work of many artists, but the most spectacular of all has to be that of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. He’s well known for his large-scale installations that warp your perspective of everything around you, so this time around, for his first solo show in São Paulo, Your Body of Works, he set up a giant rotating circular mirror on a ceiling, a mirrored diamond that surrounds an indoor catwalk, an oversized mirror-and-lightbulb discoball/light fixture, and colourful kaleidoscopes looking out onto the city. There are also two other locations for this show (SESC Pompeia and SESC Belenzinho) with many more installations, but we didn’t get out to those yet, since they’re not just across the street from the Pinacoteca, but clear across the city.

And lucky for us, there also happened to be a Saul Steinberg exhibit on at the same time, so we got to see all of his amazing illustrations. (Sorry for the lack of pictures for this one. I was told very loudly from across the room that I shouldn’t be taking any, even without flash.)

After our trip to the Pinacoteca we headed over to the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, where there was a free exhibit all about Charlie Chaplin. From the beginning of his career to the end, it was fascinating to see how the world-famous silent movie actor became a true filmmaker, all through pictures taken throughout his life and films he created throughout his career. (Once again, no pictures allowed, or I would have taken many more.)

Not many people realize that São Paulo, best known for being the business centre of Brazil, is also a mecca for art lovers, so if you get the chance to visit, the city’s museums and art institutes are not to be missed!

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Filed under Art, Brazil, Film, Sao Paulo

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