In the City: Colombia's Street Art is an International Scene

Street artist Vogel
Street art is perhaps the dominant artistic medium in Colombia today. It lines underpasses and is splashed on big infrastructure projects around the capital. The artists operate in a twilight between illegal and tolerated; much of their work, like Vogel’s, is overtly political, an ever-shifting critique of a society that is changing almost as fast as the graffiti.

But street art has achieved more recognition internationally in recent years, and at the same time, Colombia has begun to ride a wave of optimism as the economy booms and peace negotiations among warring factions make progress. As well, relations between city authorities and the artists have improved. 

“The situation in Colombia makes it ideal for street art – I’ve never been to Canada but I believe it’s very organized and people don’t have to struggle to express themselves,” says Vogel, who, like others in the scene, is willing to be identified only by his street name. 

“Here it’s a big soup, and here you can read the struggle in the streets. With graffiti, the struggle translates to the wall and is not physical.” - Vogel

by Stephanie Nolen

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