Santiago Sprays

Street art generally possesses the Marmite effect, you either love it or hate it. Often times I feel these perceptions are coloured by what people think the art represents more than on the merits of the creation itself. Personally I have a fondness for the vibrancy and life that both commissioned and clandestine art brings to city streets. Like any city, Santiago suffers its fare share of crappy tags scrawled thoughtlessly about the place but beyond them lies a gold mine of talent. In my experience, Latin American city streets abound with art, a phenomena owed in part to the highly politicised climate of the continent. As in South Americas other major cities, graffiti has long flourished in Chile as a powerful form of expression harnessed by the marginalized. This avenue of dialog was closed for over a decade after General Pinochet seized power in 1973 but reemerged in the mid 1980’s to gain a momentum that continues to build.

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There are as many motivations as there are artists among the street art community. For most of the contributors to the scene their art marks a lifestyle choice rather than hobby. Such commitment to so many causes makes for an incredible range of styles and a unmissable power in the work. One of my favorite styles from the Santiago streets comes from the hand and mind of Faya (www.fayafayafaya.com) who I was lucky to observe in action.He rocked up with nothing more tan a few spray cans and a head full of ideas. In less than quarter of an hour he amazed all present, creating one of his trademark old men…

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I was also fortunate to be sharing a hostel with Luke Sniewski and Claire Robbie who are touring the word with their young son Jack making short films as they go. Here is what they say on their website (www.leaflifestyle.com) about their journey:

Luke Sniewski, Claire Robbie and their baby boy, Jack Jozef (his passport will be pretty awesome by the age of 2), have set out on a one year journey around the world to create a positive message into this world by showing how people in different cultures have fundamental principles in common; and the differences you do see on the surface should be celebrated! There is not single ‘right’ way to live. There never has and never will be. There are a million ways to live!”

Their subject in Santiago was a beautiful young artist called Fusa Deyas. Take a look at the resulting film…

Over the past couple of weeks I have spent many hours riding and walking Santiago’s streets. I have not always carried my camera but when I have I’ve filled it with images of art. Here is just a small selection of the works I have enjoyed…

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4 responses to “Santiago Sprays

  1. Pingback: Loving Santiago… Loving Cities | Velo Freedom - Cycling South·

  2. Awesooome!

    Santiago was a gem, some absolutely amazing street art.

    Barrio Brasil was one of my favourites.

    Thanks for sharing you miserable git 😉

  3. The pics in this one are AMAZBALLS! Flying thru to Japan and finally getting around to catching up on you!! Miss you!!

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