Over the past few months I have been photographing colourful street-art in Central and South America. The photos in this post are from the lively streets of Medellin Colombia, where the street-art scene appears to be in bloom. Although I haven’t been able to make it to Colombia’s capital city Bogota, I have been told that the street-art scene is at a more mature stage than here in Medellin. Artists like DjLu, Stinkfish, and Bastardilla (a prominent female street-artist) have all managed to make a name for themselves, gaining a loyal fan following both here in Colombia and internationally. For more on these artists, read Off Track Planet’s – Guide to Street Art in Colombia.
The majority of the pieces that I have found thus far in Medellin are traditional free-hand graffiti – using aerosol sprays and brushes. Although I have photographed a few stencil and sticker pieces, these techniques do not seem as popular in Medellin as in other cities I have visited.
Finding street-art in Medellin: Artwork can be found on walls, lamp-posts, and electrical boxes in many neighbourhoods and side-streets throughout the city, but there are certain areas where you will find a higher concentration of artwork. Tip: spend the day doing some art-spotting. Take a ride on the city’s modern metro and cable-cars which take you through the city and up into the mountains to Medellin’s poorer neighbourhoods. Cruising well above street level, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the areas with art-covered wall. On the way back, hop off at one or two of the stops close to the areas where you spotted some art.
One such area is right outside the Hospital metro stop. There are several walls that have been virtually dedicated to street art. Locate the Hospital stop on a map of the Medellin metro system. Although I fully support being spontaneous by hopping off the metro when you spot an area with a lot of art, some areas are safer than others. Also, you are a foreigner in an unfamiliar place – always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your camera and other belongings.
If you are interested in street-art culture, I highly recommend watching the film ‘Exit Through Gift Shop‘ which the NY Times calls ‘relentlessly entertaining‘ and the Evening Standard says is “A thrilling record of a spontaneous, secretive revolution in contemporary cultural life.” Watch the trailer now.
Like the street-art photos? To see the entire album, please visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/adventurejotravel
Do you know any areas in Medellin or other parts of Colombia where good street-art can be found? If so leave a comment below for the benefit of future visitors.