A new piece popped up in Graça, and this is the occasion for us to introduce you to pixação. What do these mysterious letters try to tell us from the top of the highest buildings of the city ?

Piece by Subtu, Féto and Pregos SHP, in Graça.

From the Portuguese pichar, traduced as: “to cover with tar”, pixação clearly got its inspiration from the urban context. On the idea of questioning urban frontiers and appropriating the urban space to a self-expression, this independent kind of graffiti-writing has its roots in the Brazilian culture, especially in São Paulo.

According to Barbosa Pereira, pixação is an “aesthetic manifestation by younger generations from the suburbs.” On the same idea than graffiti-writing, the aim of the pixadores is to write the name of their crew or messages of hate or love in the most places they can, with the specificity of being on the heaven, that is to say, on the top of high buildings. This symbolic place lets us feel that the pixadores scream to the entire world their identity, their voice and their discontentment about the society they are living in.

The unheard take the space to let us hear their messages. Working on the idea of several crews, pixação is also the standpoint of socialization between people in the urban context. More than an art that belongs to everyone, street art is also a motor of socialization and social inclusion, cohesion and improvement. Taking risks to let their mark, pushed by the adrenaline of the illegality, the pixadores see their art as a challenge.

Usually, pixadores want to distance themselves from graffiti-writing because the technique, the messages and the aim are different. In pixação, the risk is highly important. The style of the letters is also very special, more angular, inspired by the Latin alphabet used in Brazil. At first used as a mark of protestation against the government, the pixação became mainly a way of letting one’s signature in the street. Most of the time, it’s also a tool for crews to delimit territories between themselves.

Try to find the most interesting pixação in Lisbon and share with us the pictures with the #pixaçãoinLisbon.


Geco and pixação by Insanos Léo, Pregos SHP and Os Cururu in Lisbon (Cais do Sodré)



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