FunCulturalGraffiti and murals: some artistic expressions of the National...

Graffiti and murals: some artistic expressions of the National Strike

During the current National Strike, different artistic expressions have emerged, among which graffiti stands out for its visual impact. Andrés Quintero, a member of the specialized graffiti medium Bogotart, carries out an analysis of the emerging graffiti works in the midst of the current marches.

Within the framework of this National Strike, in different cities of the country, such as Cali, Bogotá, Medellín, Manizales, Pereira, among others, some graffiti have appeared on the walls of the streets and on the floors of the streets, with messages alluding to the current marches, carried out by members of the graffiti community.

For Andrés Quintero, intrendy of the collective and media specialized in graffiti Bogotart, in this National Strike four forms of graffiti are being presented: “graffiti, as we know it in its purest essence, which can be a message like Down with the bad government or No to reform , which is the graffiti that an outraged citizen could do. Another type of graffiti is the posters, associated with the practice of poster design, and which are messages perhaps produced in a workshop, which are easily printed, very cheaply and which are also filling the streets; In places like the Parque de los Hippies they have formed an urban gallery, and I associate this with the practice of graffiti since it is spontaneous, an artist does it, a citizen to send a message. Another is the one associated with urban art, which is openly denouncing the excesses of the public force. And the other type is the one that has to do with the graffiti on the floor: they are making some typefaces in all the cities of Colombia, in times of unemployment ”.

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Quintero has gone out to cover the current marches with the Bogotart team. He explains that although the graffiti on the floor began to be carried out in the 2019 marches, during this strike, “in Bogotá there have been graffiti on the floor every day.”

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This type of graffiti “differs from walls exactly in the way you can appreciate it: while to appreciate a wall you need to walk, for these fonts on the floor you need an aerial shot and seen from the air, it is very powerful and symbolic” .

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The graffiti and murals, in contrast to other artistic expressions that occur in the middle of the marches, such as dance, performance and singing, remain in time as long as it is not censored. In the middle of the marches, the graffiti appear according to the rhythm of the marches. For Quintero, the main contribution of graffiti is to denounce: “Urban art turned to denounce the excesses of the public force, the murders of social leaders, the disappeared from these days of unemployment and I believe that the added value is that at the moment few artists are thinking of painting flora and fauna or smiling faces, rather people have turned to denouncing what is happening ”.

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Regarding the appropriation and resignification of public space, Quintero adds that “the appropriation of these spaces in which violence has been generated will be resignified over time. Now in various parts of the country they are making graffiti with the face of the graffiti artist Flexer, as well as Lucas Villa, who has already been honored on various walls ”. Thus, the presence of art in the streets ends up being a defense of the public, of the common spaces, of the scenarios that by nature are democratic, creating a testimony of what the mobilization has been in Colombia this year, at a time of history in which the streets have witnessed the spiral of violence that we live.

And it is that, months ago, in an interview for this newspaper about how urban art has lived this year of pandemic, Quintero affirmed: “The artists took to the streets with a more clandestine, more collaborative work, with a much social message. stronger. Murals were painted around the country with the message They are killing us ”.

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