La Candelaria Street Art, Bogotá, Colombia 8


Bogotá: capital of Colombia.

Population: 8 million.

Elevation: 2640m (making it the third highest capital in South America).

Bogota street art 9, Bogota, Colombia

And what is it famous for?

Drugs?

Violence?

Maybe in the past. But Colombia has moved on. And Bogotá has too. These days the city is famous for its graffiti slash street art. La Candelaria district, a historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogotá, is a treasure-trove of such works.

Bogota street art 11, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

The declassification of graffiti as a criminal act in Bogotá has led to a boom in street art. Artists have travelled to Bogotá from around the world to leave their mark here.

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Such as this work, by Barcelona native, Pez, a street artist of global renown. Pez is known for his Barcelona happy style, featuring abundant large smiling fish.

Bogota street art 2, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Or this artwork, by Ecuadorian street artist, Vera, featuring a woman eating a butterfly.

Bogota street art 6, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Local Colombian artists have a fondness for producing psychedelically coloured murals, incorporating indigenous peoples and themes, such as this work by street artist, Guache.

Bogota street art 3, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

And this work, featuring a Guna woman, also by Gauche.

Bogota street art 13, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Bogotá local, Rodez, also goes for bold, colourful schemes. In this mural he has produced a showcase of Colombian birds, including macaws, flamingos, and hummingbirds.

Bogota street art 4, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

This three dimensional art work marks the start of Calle del Embudo, a tiny cobblestoned laneway leading to Chorro de Quevado Plaza, the birthplace of Bogotá (the city was founded in 1538).

Bogota street art 12, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

This artwork, also by Rodez, decorates one of the oldest structures in the city, a building almost 500 years-old. Its placement on such a historically significant structure shows the acceptance of street art in Bogotá.

Bogota street art 14, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Street art used to appear overnight; the work of urban guerrillas. Now it is being commissioned by shop owners and city councils, as well as being promoted in community and school projects.

Bogota street art 5, Bogota, Colombia

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Fun, vibrant, decorative, politically motivated, or just a convenient way to deter taggers; street art does it all. And when it comes to street art, Bogotá is leading the way.


More on central Colombia:

Take a peek inside the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Bogotá – worth a visit?

Villa de Leyva – colonial town with colossal public square

Barichara – the place to eat fat-bottomed ants


Posts on southern Colombia:

Popayán – the White City

The enigmatic statuary of San Agustín 


Posts on northern Colombia:

La Ciudad Perdida – impressions from the four day hike to the Lost City

Santa Marta – unpretentious colonial town

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