Urban art or street art has been vindicated after being associated with crime. In Latin America it is already, even, a tourist attraction. We tell you which are the best cities in the region to appreciate it.
LatinAmerican Post | Daniel Alejandro Vergara
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Graffiti, street art or urban art is a practice that for decades was related to crime, insecurity, marginalization and various negative areas in cities. However, it is currently being claimed as an appropriation of public space in which artists can show the realities of the neighborhoods, tell stories or simply capture their art on the walls of the cities.
With the rise of this type of urban art in many cities around the world, various tours to see the local murals and graffiti have become very desirable. These street art tours consist of guided visits through the cities in which they talk not only about what is on the walls but also about their history and that of the artists. Tunisian gallery owner Mehdi Ben Cheikh, in an interview for UNESCO, states: “Street art was not born with the intention of bringing art to the people, but, in reality, that is what it does. As it is practiced in the public space, it is offered free to people, around any corner... It is the most democratic artistic movement that exists and also the most coherent with its time: by being reproduced on the internet through photos and videos generally taken by the artists themselves, their notoriety is based on the recognition of the largest possible number of viewers through social networks.
Various cities in Latin America have gained a lot of recognition for their graffiti and consequently for the interesting tours around them. Below you will find a list of the best cities in the region to enjoy this type of urban art:
Sao Paulo, Brazil
One of the most famous street art tours in the country takes place in the center of this city, the Concrete Jungle Walking lasts about two hours and is based on talking about the history of muralism and graffiti in the city, the lives of artists and what relationship citizens have with these walls made art.
You can find murals by famous urban artists such as Francisco Rodríguez da Silva and Os Gemeos. One of the most recognized graffiti is the Beco do Batman in the Vila Madalena neighborhood.
It is a city where graffiti and murals are found on all corners, it stands out for being the epicenter of "Hecho en Casa", one of the largest urban intervention festivals in the country. It has various tours throughout the city.
The neighborhoods of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, in addition to having an important value for tourism, are known for the various graffiti that house their streets and walls. Valparaíso is characterized by having walls, building facades and houses full of color, it could be classified as an outdoor urban art museum.
Although the city of eternal spring is well known for its urbanism and beauty, the murals found there are authentic manifestations of art and history. One of the best places to take a graffiti tour is Comuna 13, a place that decades ago had been plagued by insecurity and crime but that over time has been redefined by the community.
In Comuna 13 you can find not only highly significant murals for the neighborhood and the city, but also a wide range of other expressions of urban art in every corner and alley.
In recent years, Bogotá has positioned itself as one of the most important cities in terms of muralism and urban art, not only because of the wide and diverse amount of graffiti that can be found throughout the city, but also because of the giant murals that are carried out in the city buildings.
La Candelaria (historic center of the city) and the center are the most recommended places to do a graffiti tour in the capital, you can find murals that include more contemporary and avant-garde expressions of urban art and multiple stories about the neighborhoods and iconic characters from the city.
Graffiti and muralism are becoming a way of making art a public good, gradually these walls full of color are beginning to become heritage assets of the streets, people and cities.