While living in Madrid, I was extremely spoiled when it came to the arts. I lived a two-minute walk from La Casa Encendida, five minutes walking from my all time favorite museum, El Museo Reina Sofia, and a 15 minute metro ride from El Prado. Not to mention all of the theatre in nearby Opera and La Latina –or all of the live music shows everyday all over the city. Yep, Madrid is amazing, and I could go on and on about the things I miss from my favorite city in the world—perhaps I will someday, but not right now.
That brings me to Sao Paulo. While at a first glance, Sao Paulo appears to be a city that is dangerous, gray, and full of traffic and pollution, it does have a fairly large arts scene, and I know that I’ve just barely scraped the surface. With some extra time on my hands this holiday weekend, I decided it was time to change that trend, and become more familiar with Brazilian art! I figured I’d start out by visiting one of the most well-renowned museums in all of Brazil, The Pinacoteca. It’s right in the center of the city, next to the Luz train station (Estaçao Luz).
Probably what first drew me to the museum was its similarity in architecture to the Reina Sofia in Madrid, which is a remodeled hospital. While The Pinacoteca is much smaller, it has that same cold, open, industrial feel, and is perfect to house modern art. Its modern art exhibitions reminded me a lot of the pieces and expositions in La Casa Encendida as well. Even though this Sao Paulo museum is home to many modern art pieces, it also includes a large collection of Brazilian works from the 19th century.
Embarrassingly enough, I still don’t know much about Brazilian art or artists, other than the names of a few such as Portinari and Tarsila do Amaral. After hours of art history classes in Madrid, I could spout out the works of Spanish artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Velazquez, and Goya like it was nobody’s business, but when it comes to Brazil, I have much to learn about its beautiful art and heritage. It’s definitely on my “to-do” list to know more about Brazilian art and culture so that I can truly appreciate Sao Paulo’s wonderful museums.
Needless to say, that was the first, but definitely not the only time I will visit the Pinacoteca. Next time you are in Sao Paulo, definitely check it out!