"Call Parade" Turns 100 São Paulo Phone Booths Into Buzzworthy Art

In São Paulo, 100 artists were set loose upon 100 phone booths, with the idea of curbing vandalism by one-upping the vandals.

One way to ward off vandals, it turns out, is by beating them to the punch. If potential targets for spray-painting have already been transformed into colorful canvasses, then would-be taggers have nothing left to do except admire the work. Curbing vandalism is just one of the goals of Call Parade, though.

We showed you a few weeks back how brands are slowly, artfully finding their way back to formerly ad-free São Paulo streets, via the city’s more open embrace of graffiti. With Call Parade, a brand is backing an art project based on a canvas so ubiquitous as to be invisible—the phone booth. Devised by phone carrier Vivo, Call Parade is a new public art project in São Paulo that unleashes 100 artist on 100 phone booths throughout the city, turning them into anything their imaginations might conceive.

The city’s unique phone booths resemble pistachio shells with a deeper curve, and they’ve gracefully handled their transition into objets d’art. The booth’s hoods have been converted into disco balls, lady bugs, brains, and what look like Fabergé eggs—reminiscent of another public art project from earlier this year. Photographer Mariane Borgomani has been traveling around the city shooting as many of them as she can.

Have a look at some of the more delightful entries in the slideshow above.

Hat tip Colossal.

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    Hi, Joe, 
    I am proud to have participated in a project as great as the Call Parade. Initiatives like this show that art is a great ally of marketing and can revolutionize the life in the big cities.
    I really enjoyed your text and thank you for helping us spread our message. Congrats!
    PS.: If you have the opportunity to visit the phone booths, be sure to check mine in the Pinacoteca do Estado.
    Best, artist Quim Alcantara

  • Mari Borgomani

    Quim, I'll definitely be checking yours AND photographing it too. It looks phenomenal. Congrats!