The Street Art of Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro
March 26, 2019
I’ve always been a lover of art, especially when I travel. But since I started blogging about my travels, I’ve grown an even bigger appreciation for street art. (Shoutout to #StreetArtChat!) Now I aim to find the best street art everywhere I go. And no, I don’t mean graffiti. There’s a big difference! Street art is meant to showcase artwork and enhance the aesthetics of cities. Now I’ve seen street art around the world, but never have I been as blown away as I was along Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro.
Home to the Summer 2016 Olympics, Rio underwent a lot of structural and artistic enhancements to better host the worldwide event. Among the projects was a 3,000 square meter mural, painted by the renowned Eduardo Kobra. Kobra’s art has become famous on social media, and he is one of my favorites to follow. His mural, with the help of several spraypainters, now hold’s the world record for the ‘largest spray-paint mural by a team.’
According to Guinness World Records, Kobra and his team used “180 buckets of acrylic paint, 2,800 cans of spray paint, and 7 hydraulic lifts” to create the masterpiece. Located in a formerly rundown neighborhood of Rio, the mural stretches 190 meters long and 15.5 meters high. It features the faces of indigenous people from the five main continents, replicating the symbol of the five olympic rings. It truly is a sight to behold.
But That’s Not All…
While Kobra’s mural stretches along one side of Olympic Boulevard, the buildings across the street are also canvases for a collection of street art by various artists. Ranging form abstract to hyper-realistic, the artwork just keeps going. Stretching from the Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow) and the street food vendors at one end to the AquaRio aquarium at the far end, artwork surrounds you! Plenty of spots for photo ops and cultural immersion along the way.
Olympic Boulevard is more than just street art
As amazing as the street art is, Olympic Boulevard does have more to offer. At the end closer to the city, you’ll find Museu do Amanha. If you walk around the pier at sunset, you’ll get some beautiful views of the modern architecture silhouetted in the sun’s glow. It’s stunning!
At the other end of the boulevard (behind the churro stand), is the aquarium of Rio de Janeiro, cleverly named AquaRio. It just so happens that this is the largest marine aquarium in all of Brazil! Definitely worth a visit, but you can get through it fairly quickly. Still not my favorite aquarium that I’ve been to… (I’m looking at you, Atlanta!)
Stay tuned for more travel advice about visiting Rio de Janeiro and my favorite street art in Sao Paulo!