Graffiti in Chile

8 March 2008
2:46 PM

2 Comments

One of my favorite parts of walking through Chilean cities was the eclectic street art and graffiti. Especially in Valparaiso and the Bellavista neighborhood of Santiago, areas brimming with color, I thought graffiti added to the streets’ quirkiness. Graffiti is often characterized by its free-form, unplanned, random expression, but many of the examples I saw were a kind of internal contradiction: stenciled graffiti—spray paint confined by plastic templates.

Some of the specimins I found were so entirely whimsical or strange that it was hard not to be charmed by them. Here are three of my favorites:

Climbing and tight-rope walking

Men on pipes and tightropes This piece has probably the best placement of any I’ve seen.

An international outlaw.

An international outlaw. So, uh, where is he?

I love umbrellas.

I love you umbrellas. I’m not sure why I like this one so much, but there’s something charming about the non sequitur replacement of “you” with a picture of an umbrella.

You can check out the rest of the graffiti photos I took over at Flickr (or in a slideshow!) Much of the graffiti expresses political messages, some of which may be particularly offensive to Americans. But I figure that if you’re not offended or shocked on a regular basis, then you’re living an insular life and you don’t really know what people around the world think. That said, take these photos with a grain of salt.

Comments

Dear Ryan: I love to look at my county trough your eyes, you see things that sometimes i don’t see… those graffitis are good, Pinoshit is funny…and I love the frog one. thanks for bringing those memories, check the more spectaculars ones made for: La Brigada Ramona Parra. en mi blog hay uno…

Ho letto con grande piacere il tuo post, ho scoperto di avere con te in comune l’amore per il Cile e la voglia di far conoscere le ingiustizie cilene…

Proprio oggi ho montato un bel video che parla del Cile sul mio blog,

www.pensierinblu.com

spero che lo apprezzerai

Pablo

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