Though Berlin will always hold a special place in my street art loving heart, Valparaiso is coming pretty close. I’ve really been enjoying walking around and seeing all the beautiful artwork in the city. It differs in several ways from the street art in Berlin.
One thing that is different is the medium, which I think is because of the legality. In Berlin where most of the street art is illegal, a lot of artists use paste ups. The art work is done on paper before, and then pasted onto the wall. This is good for two reasons, first, you’re literally out for a shorter amount of time, making it less likely the cops will see you. And also, because you’re not painting on the wall, it’s not considered destruction of property.
Because most of the art here was done legally, it’s mostly just painted directly onto the walls. Other than a few small stickers, everything I’ve seen has been painted directly onto the walls. Also, we were told by our street art tour guide, most of the pieces were actually commissioned by businesses.
Another thing I found interesting was how many of the artists in Valparaiso are women. Not sure if that’s because it’s legal, or just more culturally accepted- but upon researching some of my favorite pieces, I was surprised by how many were done by women.
Now, my love for El Bocho is unending. I think his work is beautiful, and was a big part of why I loved Berlin so much. However, in Valparaiso, I’ve found another artist that I just adore. So let’s start there: (I´ve included links to their personal profiles where you can find more info/art)
Charquipunk’s artwork is a riot of color. His hummingbirds are found all over the city, with larger pieces that are easily recognizable.
Prior to humming birds, he did a lot of cats, which you could still find all over the place.
And some are a mix of cats and hummingbirds!
He does a lot of pieces with other artists, which are really interesting due to the mix of styles in one mural. This is by Charquipunk, La Robot De Madera (LRM), and INTI.
These were both colaborations with La Robot De Madera (LRM) as well:
And this one incorporated the artwork of children that was preexisting on the wall.
I had seen a picture of a Charqipunk mural online while doing some research for this blog… and I spent the next two days looking for it, getting lost in the hills in Valpo. As is only appropriate I couldn’t find it… so I gave up and decided to head back to the hostel. Found it about 5 minutes after giving up.
And as much as I loved that, I think this one was actually my favorite:
Lalio Mutay: instagram
Another of the artists I loved was Lalio Mutay. His artwork was really distinct.
If you saw those noses, you could start looking for his signature. I really appreciate artists that have a really distinct look like that.
I also just really liked his characters.
Especially the one with the glasses.
I loved Anis’ work around the city. She is part of Abusa Crew, which is an all female graffiti crew in Valparaiso. You can tell it’s her artwork when you see the gradient colors in the faces.
I loved her characters as well. They were all so interesting, mystical, and colorful.
Unkolor Distinto: website
Unkolor Distinto is a crew that has murals everywhere in Valpo.
From little pieces on doors and gates, to giant pieces that cover the sides of buildings- they’ve got it all.
Most of the work is super colorful, and playful. Because it’s a collective, you can also see each artist’s style mixing together in different pieces.
They had these awesome surreal characters that I thought were really fun, and rather unexpected. Not what you would think when you think of grafitti.
And this was my favorite… because there was such a story:
He really wants to impress her, but you can see that she´s not really having it. And he knows. Tragic. But beautiful.
Some more pictures of the grafitti in Valparaiso:
Most places looked like this- with all the wallspace taken up by artwork.
Outdoor seating in a cafe.
This is another mural by Charquipunk and LRM and INTI.
Smaller mural by El Juan.
Ok, so it´s not all flowers and love.
This was just a piece of a larger mural. I believe this portion is by Martin Ron.
This is by the artist Marceli Millan, who is based in Chiloe, an island of the south coast of Chile.
Also, here´s a video about Anis, and her take on grafitti, female grafitti artists and gender roles in general. It´s in Spanish with English subtitles.