While some cities view graffiti and street art as vandalism Bogotá has done nothing but embrace and infact encourage it.
Color not Conflict
The city is filled with an estimated 5000 murals that are an expression of the Colombian people and its history. Colombia’s negative reputation of violence, drugs and conflict are quickly being forgotten and instead being replaced with walls covered in colorful, cool murals and amazing works of street art.
This wasn’t always the case though, like many citiesBogotá has always had graffiti, but many of these graffiti artists completed their work at night time and in a hurry due to fear of getting caught by the police.
This all changed in 2011 when a young graffiti artist, Diego Felipe Becerra was shot dead by police when he was carrying out his signature graffiti image. There was national outrage over Diego’s death, which led to a decree being issued by the then mayor ofBogotá which decriminalized graffiti and helped it to be seen as a new form of artistic and cultural expression.
Incredible Street Art
After this decriminalization occurred the city of Bogotá became a hotbed for incredible street art. Artists focused on Colombia’s history and painted murals depicting the country’s political and social struggles, while others painted murals just to make the people of Bogotá smile.
The ability to create amazing works of art on the streets without getting penalized by the police meant that the city has attracted all sorts of talented artists. Graffiti artists such as Blu, Alex Hornest, Claudio Ethos, Fin Dac, Seth Globepainter, JADE and Mad C have all left a piece of their work in Bogota.
Bogotá’s graffiti has brought an amazing vibe to the city and the historic La Candelaria district is basically a massive open-air graffiti exhibition. The street art is so good that Australian street artist Crisp offers a (free) walking tour of some of the city’s best street art.
By giving artists free reign of the city, (apart from monuments and public buildings) Bogotá will continually be covered in unique and interesting works of street art, helping to showcase native and international talent and change the perception of graffiti forever.