Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2017 - 36
Paint the Town
Urban artists boost Bogotá's street appeal.
Story and photography by Joel Centano
n Colombia's buzzing capital, urban art is booming.
Thanks to Bogotá's tolerant laws and businesses that often commission works, accomplished artists, both local and global, have
converged on the city, transforming its calles into bold open-air
galleries that lend insight into the country's aesthetic and soul.
"There are a host of potent issues that inspire graffiti and street art
here," says the artist Crisp, an Australian native who relocated to Bogotá in 2009 and who serves as one of the scene's unofficial ambassadors. Consider, he says, Colombia's long-running civil conflict and
recent peace process, the war on drugs, and "so much natural beauty
found in the country's jungles, mountains, and coasts." What's more,
he notes, the movement represents art in its most democratic form:
"It's a free space of expression, communication, and interpretation."
Visitors to the city who want to explore its exhibits have myriad
options. In fact,"it's almost impossible to find a street in Bogotá without some form of urban art," Crisp says. But a good place to start is
with an art walk he helped launch in the creative La Candelaria district - your travel advisor can arrange the tour as part of a customized
Colombia trip. Here are a few highlights found along a path where
one modern masterwork follows the next.
1. A Rodez and Guache collaboration adds color to La Peluquería, a barbershop-cum-creative space/café/music venue. 2. Colombia's fauna, including
hummingbirds, toucans, and frogs, is a recurrent motif in Crisp's works.
» For more on Bogotá's urban art scene, visit bogotagraffiti.com and read our
extended Q&A with the artist Crisp at blog.virtuoso.com/category/arts-and-culture.
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