Five São Paulo Instagram Accounts to Follow

I know they say social media makes us less happy, but I have to argue that my Instagram lifts my mood. My aim is to post a photo a day of something interesting I see during my day. Sometimes I have days where I post nothing, sometimes I have the urge to post twenty photos, but I try to limit myself to one because I like the idea of picking a single image to sum up the day. This project has made me more mindful of my surroundings. Even though I do the same route most days, I find that sometimes just looking upwards leads to a new discovery.


I also love getting inspiration from other accounts on Instagram. Here’s a few of my favorite SP-centered ones:

1. Calçada SP
Calçada is full of well, calçadas, or sidewalks, featuring interesting details, odd trash or classic Portuguese tiles. The account is an interesting project with the goal of strengthening the citizen’s relationship with the physical city, as well as drawing attention to the rather neglected and haphazard state of São Paulo’s sidewalks. (I used to be frustrated that my photos were coming out crooked until I realized it was the sidewalk that was uneven.)


2. kato78
I’m not really sure how to describe K’s Instagram other than its good. He sometimes does straightforward shots, he sometimes uses unusual angles, but he always takes into consideration the geometry of the subject. They may be shots of landscapes, animals, food or buildings, but they’re always pleasing to the eye.

View this post on Instagram

🍌 yes, nós temos bananas… 🍌 #VSCOcam

A post shared by k. (@kato78) on


3. Estilosos no Metrô
It’s a fashion Instagram, but not your typical slick photos of curated outfits provided by sponsors. Instead, creator Natália Nascimento snaps photos with her phone of a variety of people on the metro who are stylish in their own way. It’s refreshing, upbeat and fun.


4. SP em Cores
Photographer Marina Baravelli disproves the myth that São Paulo is a gray city with her colorful photos that are usually rather simple. It’s interesting to look at her main page to see her rainbow of photos.


5. dearaujo
Architect Décio Araújo manipulates images of landscapes, nature and buildings to create surreal portraits of São Paulo. He told Instagram’s blog, “I try to capture the city in unusual ways so that people might become more critical of the spaces in which they live.”

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g a i o l a d e c o n c r e t o • XIV

A post shared by décio araújo (@dearaujo) on


And while he’s based in Belo Horizonte, I want to mention Rafael Mantesso and his funny dog Jimmy Choo. Since he went viral last year, he’s become tremendously popular and even collaborated with the brand Jimmy Choo on a line of accessories. He’s one of the few I go out of my way to check for updates because his images are all so simple and delightful.


If you know of any other great Brazilian Instagrammers, please let me know!

Curated Graffiti

One of my favorite things about living in São Paulo is not just being surrounded by street art, but being able to recognize different artists. They may not have famous names, but so many have instantly recognizable styles.

Recently some of these artists had their work displayed indoors for a change at the 3rd Bienal Internacional Graffiti Fine Art, which featured both Brazilian and international artists. In the past, I’ve tried to make sure people stayed out of my shots, but this time I felt like the viewers were sort of necessary to accurately depict the experience. (Philosophical question: If a piece of art is displayed but no one sees it, is it still art?)


Artist: Enivo (São Paulo)


Artist: Tinho (São Paulo)







Artist: Julio Barreto (São Paulo)



Artist: Gen Duarte (São Paulo)


Artist: Simone Sapienza Siss (São Paulo)


Artist: Cusco Rebel (Porto Alegre)


Artist: Alexandre Keto (São Paulo)



Artist: Daniel Marceli (Chiloé, Chile)

Artist: Zumi

Artist: Marina Zumi (Buenos Aires)



Artist: Mundano (São Paulo)


Artist: Atsuo Nakagawa

Artist: Atsuo Nakagawa (Osaka)



Artist: Bugre (São Paulo)




Artist: Leiga (São Paulo)



Artist: Derlon (Pernambuco)



Artist: Fhero (São Paulo)


Artists: Alexandre Keto (São Paulo) & Dalata (Belo Horizonte)


More works and closeup details on my Tumblr.

Mermaids, Migrants and Maps: The Beauty of Brazilian Xilogravura

One type of Brazilian art I was immediately enamored with is xilogravura, or woodcut. It’s a printmaking technique where a design is carved onto a block of wood, and the negative space is removed with a gouge. It’s most popular in Northeastern Brazil, where artists tend to depict a mix of daily life and folklore, with a whimsical spirit.

Caixa Cultural at Praça da Sé currently has an exhibit dedicated to Pernambucan artist Gilvan Samico. Samico’s work stands apart from other artists because of the incredible detail in his works, often employing biblical characters and mythological creatures.

Gilvan Samico

Rumores de Guerra em Tempos de Paz (Rumors of War in Times of Peace) – 2001

Gilvan Samico

A Bela e a Fera (Beauty and the Beast) – 1996

Gilvan Samico

O Rapto do Sol (The Kidnapping of the Sun) – 1960

This photo didn't turn out great, I know, but I wanted to include it anyway because it's a beautiful scene.

This photo didn’t turn out great, I know, but I wanted to include it anyway because it’s a beautiful scene. Três Mulheres e a Lua (Three Women and the Moon) – 1959

Caixa has another exhibit entitled Alma Brasileira: 100 Anos de Gravura, celebrating the tradition of woodcut and engravings by various Brazilian artists.

Pernambucano J. Borges is one of the most famous xilogravura artists.

Pernambucano J. Borges is one of the most famous xilogravura artists. O Sonho do Medroso (The Coward’s Dream)

This scene depicts the migration of nordestinos to  southeast Brazil, a common theme in xilogravura and Northeast Brazilian art.

This scene depicts the migration of nordestinos to southeast Brazil, a common theme in xilogravura and Northeast Brazilian art. Os Aretirantes (The Migrants)

Brasil 1500 - 1996, by Anna Bella Geiger (1996)

Brasil 1500 – 1996, by Anna Bella Geiger – 1996