With a population of over 20 million, São Paulo is the biggest urban centre in the Americas, and one that defies the imagination. From the top of the Renaissance Hotel, a series of almost identical cities rings the horizon, all interlocking and looking as if they had been CGI’d together to form one vast metropolis for the silver screen.
The film that immediately came to mind was Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. São Paulo has a very similar ‘retro-futurist’ look: fantastic modern architecture existing cheek-by-jowl with decaying favelas and old tenement buildings. Helped by the climate and the Brazilian disposition, so much of life in São Paulo is lived on the street.
We spent a Sunday strolling the fashionable Avenida Paulista, which, like a few other São Paulo highways, is closed to traffic over the weekend, so that the inhabitants can show off their tattoos. At MASP (the São Paulo Museum of Art), each picture stands on an individual perspex plinth in the middle of the room, so you can walk around each one.
The cumulative effect was a museum of the imagination, in which the viewer’s necessarily circuitous tour might present them unexpectedly with a Modigliani, Gauguin or Monet. The drive to the coast slowly revealed the richness of the approaching Atlantic Forest which surrounds the beach resort of Paraty Read the full article here