Street Art in Santiago de Chile

I believe that street art tells a lot about a community`s philosophy and spirituality. This is why I like to wonder the streets and to listen to what the images have to say.

Just like in Sao Paulo,  street art reveals a hidden face of Santiago and Chile through a wide range of messages and ideas, from fantasy-related themes to more serious issues such as poverty, ethnicity and ecology.

The paintings completely change the way the building look like, giving you the impression that you are walking into a fantasy world.

The most famous neighborhoods are Barrio Brasil, Barrio Yungay, Bellas Artes and Bellavista.

Discover Santiago through street art!

Barrio Brasil & Barrio Yungay

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Bellavista & Bellas Artes

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Paulista street art

I was amazed to discover so many high-quality examples of street art in Rio de Janeiro, but I have to admit that Sao Paulo is a lot better. The artists can transform the simplest building into a work of art. The city council new how to take advantage of this situation and they started contracting underground artists that soon transformed the city into a sort of urban museum where you can find paintings in the most unexpected places.

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This phenomenon convinced the authorities to place the “hot spots” for street art on touristic maps. This is the first city that I’ve seen where the officials promote, encourage and finance underground art. I hope that someday this type of works will be as appreciated as the works of art displayed in museums. Sao Paulo is making steps for transforming this into reality.

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The Vila Madalena neighbourhood is probably the best area for admiring graffitti paintings, but there are some examples on Av. Paulista, for example. The “Beco del Rato” is an example of how  a common street can be transformed into a place for imagination and inspiration. Here I met one of the artists from the Kobra group working on their latest work. They also made the portrait of Niemeyer on Paulista.

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I like the fact that the artists basically transform the city into a canvas for their ideas. Just like in Rio, most of the times the murals send different messages concerning the environment, political issues or social problems. I believe this way of expression make this city unique. I wish Bucharest could follow this example and start colouring the grey atmosphere.

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Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa

This is my favourite borough in Rio. Before the tunnels to the south zone were inaugurated, it used to be the fanciest area in Rio, so all the rich people used to live here. You can admire views of the city and old colonial architecture.

A small tram used to pass this neighborhood and it also crossed above the Arches in Lapa. Unfortunately, it is no longer running, but there are murals of it, sculptures in the old stations and an artist`s workshop organized in one. I believe this is the symbol of Santa Teresa.

On the top of the hill you can visit Las Ruinas, a museum inside an old abandoned house. From the last floor a 360 degree view opens. Right next to it there is the museum Chacara de Ceu, that is free on Thursdays.

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There are many workshops, souvenir shops, restaurants, hostels and bars. Bar do Gomes is the oldest bar in Rio as it opened its doors in 1919.

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This is a district that cannot be missed! It`s very different from the rest of Rio, it`s boheme and classy. Definitely a must see!

Carioca Street Art

One of the many immigrants that are living in Rio got famous through his art. He was living in a house in Lapa, right next to the stairs that lead to Santa Teresa. He began adding pieces of ceramics on the stairs. Friends and admirers donated tiles and porcelain. It took him 20 years to finish his work, but now this is the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Probably every person who`s been to Rio has seen the Escadaria Selaron. When he was 65 years old he was found dead on the steps. As Selaron himself stated, the stairs are a tribute to the Brazilian people.

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Lapa shows many examples of good street art. But you can find this everywhere around the city, in the facy neighborhoods and in the favela.

It is an important aspect of the underground culture in Rio and I think it helps you learn about the people`s mentality. The subject they choose are sometimes very interesting because they raise awareness on important subjects like ecology, discrimination, poverty or homophobia. It is a great way to learn about the culture.

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This is an example of participative street art. In this case, people are asked to right down their wishes.

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