Corrugated City

Sunday 20 April 2008

Graffiti: Catching The Criminals In The Act

(Parece que el humor ingles no se traduce muy bien asi que si el ingles no es tu idioma, lo que sigue es una broma...)

So as I mentioned in my previous post, on the zig-zagging walk back from La Piedra Feliz we bumped into a group of criminals destroying private property with stencil graffiti. Fortunately, I was able to get a number of photos of their faces and I have, of course, passed the information on to the appropriate authorities.



The finished product (although perhaps someone could tell me who it is-I reckon Lauryn Hill):

Chaplin was next up:

Now, for a group of nasty, blank wall destroying criminals, they were a nice bunch of kids and it was cool to meet some of the people who are actually making my favourite form of urban art.

Chicos, si estan leyendo esto- les felicito el trabajo. Realmente me gusta esta forma de expresion artistica. Que sigan asi..! Pero no en mi casa por favor :)

Click here for more graffiti in Valparaiso.


Anonymous said...

Es increible encontrar gente deambulando en la madrugada creer q son buenas personas extranjeras por lo demas la cual nuestro pais me imagino las acogido bien , es raro tambien encontrar personas dignas de fiar que con su cara reflejan muchas cosas y con esto quiero ahondar

unos ingleses que se acercan a un grupo de jovenes a los cuales ellos llaman delinquentes por hacer urban art , engrupiendo como dicen el chilenismo a estos jovenes que lo que hacen es bueno que es su arte callejero favorito y etc. y despues como tambien dice el chilenismo amariconadamente suben fotos a un blog con la secuencia de su trabajo despues que estos jovenes creyeron en ellos.

Aqui me despido PREFIERO SER DELINQUENTE QUE UNA PERSONA FALSA Y MENTIROSA y esto esta dirigido al dueño del blog y/o fotografo

saluda atte


PD saludos a los chicos que me acompañaron esa noche

Matt said...

jeje, parece que el sarcasmo ingles no se traduce muy bien :) nadie aca cree que uds son delincuentes, todos aca aprecian el trabajo, sobre todo yo...el dueno de este blog y el fotografo. chicos, tranquilo, no hablo en serio cuando digo que son delincuentes y nadie que lee este blog lo creera tampoco. fue un gusto conocerlos y les deseo suerte en todo :)

Anonymous said...

lo ultimo cualquier consulta o reclamo

Anonymous said...

si entiendo el sarcasmo solo no entiendo cuando dicen q la informacion la proporcionaron a las autoridades y es verda o es otra mentira?

Matt said...

por supuesto que no :)

Matt said...

Y no publique las fotos que muestran sus caras para no joderlos a uds ante cualquier problema. fue divertido el encuentro y realmente fue un gusto conocerlos ya que me gusta mucho el stencil.

Anonymous said...

Uh, actually, I do think that this "urban art" is what others quite correctly call "vandalism". Tagging is raw, criminal vandalism whether it is perpetrated on property in the US, Chile or Timbuktu, regardless of the effort & talent of the perpetrators. I like this blog & its author, but on this issue I cannot agree. Painting on others walls sans permission is unto art as rape is unto sex, the making of a bad thing out of a good one. One of the things that has helped Chile rise above most of Latin America economically is respect for property rights to which this
"(f)art" is a sad aberation.

And please don't prattle Leftist claptrap about "el pueblo espresando se" or respecting "cultura". Defacement is defacement, plain and simple.

John Hyre

Matt said...

John, thanks for the comment. We'll have to agree to disagree, though...

Valparaiso is one giant canvas, a playground for crazy minds to express themselves freely. This goes for the architects who built mansions hanging off the hills and houses in the shape of boats, urban planners who didn't really plan (winding streets, dead-end passageways etc), poets and conventional artists who where inspired by the city ...and now it's street artists who are working here.

What you have to understand is that the vast majority of urban art in Valparaiso is painted on blank concrete walls-mostlymuros de contencion or in passageways. These walls don't really have owners, they're part of the urban environment in the city.

Murals and stencil graffiti are an accepted part of life here in Valparaiso. And they're accepted because in most cases, the artists do respect people's private property. Walk around the city and you'll see a wall that belongs to no one in particular completely covered in graffiti and the private houses on either side without so much as a scratch. My own house has a huge muro de contencion that is almost totally painted, but the house itself has never been touched. On New Year's Eve, I sat on my doorstep drinking a beer and watching as a graffiti artist painted on my muro-we had a chat and he even asked whether it was ok.

I've yet to meet a tourist or local who has complained about either murals or stencils here. Every single visitor I've had here has talked about how much they loved the urban art in Valparaiso.

I have met tourists and locals who complain about the random spray painted graffiti such as you can see in the photos ('hazte vege..") because there's clearly a big difference between scrawling slogans and creating art. This kind of graffiti does not add to the urban art scene in Valparaiso.

And the painting of walls in this way has been is and still encouraged by the the local council-the Museo al Cielo Abierto being the most obvious example.

Urban art in Valparaiso is a part of Valparaiso. And it's a far more attractive part of the 'Valparaiso Experience' than dog shit and crazy wiring.

Anonymous said...

...Uf! de nuevo con los urban planners! Lay off, will you?! :)

...No urban planning in Valparaiso was the best thing that could have happened to it - that's why it's such a cool, interesting and beautiful place!

I'm no expert in the field of urban art but I tend to agree with Matt that, at least in a Valparaiso context, it plays a vital part in expressing the city's culture, vitality and perspectives.

Admittedly, I probably would want to be asked first before anybody painted on my house. However, I love how the urban artist challenges this very notion of property ownership - You may own the wall but you don't own the public space that it faces out onto...and just because you own the wall what gives you the right to be the sole dictator of how it should present to a public realm?


Matt said...'s the lack of urban planning that makes Valpo so unique, at least in South America. And that's obviously a legacy of the British influence...we're the worst town planners in the world-just look at London or any big UK city. A total mess...but more attractive for it.

I also agree that the graffiti is fantastic in the context of Valparaiso. It's a part of the city. Whether it would look so good in any other city is a question I can't answer with any certainty.