2007_01_arts_todds.jpgBrazilian art is scorching hot this winter. Hopefully you made it to the Tropicalia exhibit at the Bronx Museum before it closed this past weekend. Next stop: Ruas de São Paulo, an exhibition on Brazilian street art that begins next month at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. But, before that gets underway, there’s going to be a must-attend benefit art auction today, January 31, at 7-10 PM, at The Newspace (530 West 21st St., Chelsea) to raise money for Brazilian street artists.

Showing their support for the Brazilian arts community the artists at Jonathan LeVine Gallery have donated some of the most mind-bending surrealist art on the market. You can view the artists’ works online. Our picks for top bid are Ray Caesar, for his cute-but-dark portraits of half-human creatures; Todd Shorr, for his Nightmare-Before-Christmas-inspired jack-o-lantern monsters; and Tara McPherson, because we love her work for Punk Planet and Shonen Knife.

For a chance to include these works in your art collection, email your maximum bids to sales@jonathanlevinegallery.com by 4 PM or attend the silent auction in person at Newspace by 10 PM. Admission to the live auction is a mandatory $30 in cash at the door (proceeds go toward the BrazilFoundation). There, you’ll have a chance to win prints, books, and original pieces from the gallery artists in the “equal opportunity” art raffle. Admission also grants you a few other things, including access to the open bar with beer and mixed drinks!

The money raised from the sale of the artwork will go toward creating a cross-cultural experience in which Brazilian street artists visit New York and give us a chance to learn more about their culture. The press release for the auction further explains:

The benefit is organized to raise funds for eight Brazilian street artists from São Paulo and Choque Cultural Gallery representatives to participate in a multi-tiered cultural immersion in New York City. Artists will raise awareness of Brazilian art and culture through community outreach and educational events. Projects include a public mural project, live painting demonstration and art exhibition, and Brazilian-themed celebrations. Proceeds from the event will go to BrazilFoundation and to support travel and lodging for the group of visiting Brazilian artists.

The Brazilian street artists involved are Boleto, Fefe, Highraff, Kboco, Onesto, Speto, Titi Freak, and Zezão. You’ll get to see their work when it comes to the newly expanded Jonathan LeVine Gallery (529 West 20th Street, 9E; Chelsea), February 17 – March 17, for Ruas de São Paulo: A Survey of Brazilian Street Art.