Av. Paulista, Part 2: MASP & Siqueira Campos Park

November 20, 2016

On a sunny Sunday afternoon on Av. Paulista, São Paulo, we saw:

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A “sertanejo” trio, traditional music from Northeastern Brazil
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Celtic band!
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Live statue – In homage to anonymous writers: “Reading is the food of the soul.”

We went into MASP where they had some unusual exhibits, including a lot of folk art.

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Indigenous pottery

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Dolls representing typical dress of different regions as well as a diversity of races.
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This contraption was traditionally used to make “cachaça”, Brazilian sugar cane liquor.

There was also a gallery where all the pictures stood singly in stands across the room, not on the walls.  To find out who the artist was, you had to go around to look at the back of the painting where the information was.  Not knowing this right away made me think about the paintings differently.

20161120_150210One of them, for example, made use of dark colors in a religious scene.  This one has to be Spanish, I thought – and when I went around to the back, I found I was right – it was an El Greco!  Nearby, I saw another one which I also thought was Spanish – that time, I was wrong: it was Italian.  Many of the works were by Brazilian artists, whom I’d never heard of, but I began to recognize certain styles and folkloric themes.

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Brazilian artist Vicente do Rego Monteiro, “Menino nu e tartaruga” (Nude Boy and Turtle), oil on canvas, 1923
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Maria Auxiliadora da Silva, “Velorio da noiva” (The Bride’s Wake), 1974. Maria Auxiliadora da Silva moved to Sao Paulo with her family when she was a child. She quit school to work as a housekeeper to help support 18 siblings! She began painting at age 32, using acrylics or a combination of paint and hair to lend texture to her scenes of popular festivals, rituals, and religious ceremonies from both the Catholic and Candomble (an African-based polytheist religion) traditions.

Leaving the museum, we found out there was to be a concert later that day by a classical ensemble, which was tempting, but instead we continued on to see more sights along the avenue.

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Across the avenue from MASP is a park, commonly called Trianon Park, but it is actually Siqueira Campos Park according to a sign at the far end.  Paths took us through tropical forest plants.  In some spots, we heard music:  a group doing pretty terrible a cappella renditions of Beatles songs; recorded music on a CD or MP3 player while a man watch a woman doing modern dance moves.  It was a great make-out place too – we saw couples of several types:  straight, gay, and lesbian.  I thought, Dale and I should sit on a bench and make out to contribute another type – OLD lovers! At the entrance to the park on the Av. Paulista side were many stands displaying craft goods for sale – we briefly glanced at them, but didn’t stop.  However, somewhere along the avenue, Dale got a São Paulo t-shirt and a new cap that says Brasil on it.

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