I’ve always been interested, at least on some level, with graffiti. On my trip around South America I came across such a wide variety, I decided to start taking pictures of it. At it’s best, graffiti is thought-provoking, funny, shocking, political, controversial, and sits with the best art around. It’s art at street level, it’s not meant to sit in a fancy gallery for an elite cultured aristocracy. It provides a voice for the voiceless, a creative outlet for people who may not have the means to communicate any other way.
Of course, not all graffiti reaches those heights, some is just nice to look at, and some is totally bland and uninspiring. The pieces I’ve added below have interested me in some way, whether it’s the message behind them, the technical skill of the artist, or just a striking composition. First up is Bolivia, and the little town of Copacabana on Lake Titicaca. This piece is a bit of a cross between graffiti and indigenous art.
After Bolivia we crossed over to Peru, and this was taken in Cusco. ‘Pachamama’ means roughly ‘mother earth’, a very important figure to the Andean people.
This is also from Cusco, a very simple line drawing of a dog. But I liked it!
These next two come from Iquitos, a world away from the Andes, deep in the Amazon jungle (check out the indigenous figure in the second picture).
Moving on from Peru we hit Colombia, where the graffiti on the Caribbean coast had some of the tropical feel to it. This one is from Cartagena.
Still in Colombia, we moved on to the small village of Taganga.
From there we went on to Bogota. Because of the diversity and quality of the graff I saw there, I feel it’s only right to give it it’s own post. Stay tuned!