Gallery: the street art of Candelaria, Bogota
If I had to choose a single word to associate with Colombia, it would be ‘colour’. Nowhere else, I believe, have I seen so many brightly painted houses as in some of its villages. And as for street art, I firmly believe the Colombians are obsessed! If there is a flat surface, they will paint it. From the smallest roadside shack selling snacks, to the sides of high-rise buildings in parts of Bogota and Medellin, the quality of the art often amazed me.
Over the coming weeks I plan to share the street art from several of the cities we visited for the Photographing Public Art challenge, hosted by Natalie. I’m starting today with the capital, Bogota, which is also where we started our trip. This is a large sprawling metropolis, but in the heart of its old city lies La Candelaria. The name comes from its church, which is dedicated to the Virgen de la Candelaria. This is where the city was founded in 1538 and in addition to some significant buildings such as the cathedral and Botero Museum (look for another post on this), it is also home to steep cobbled streets and small plazas lined with old colonial houses. Today most of these are bars or restaurants, their walls adorned with often beautiful murals. Here are some of my favourites.
I visited Colombia in February 2023
Wow, what amazing (and definitely colourful) street art!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Wow! They are spectacular, Sarah. Love good street art. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed these Siobhan 🙂 Colombia is full of great street art, I’ll be sharing some more soon!
Wow, I see what you mean! That heavy dose of color must have been the perfect antidote to February blues. I love the last one – it’s powerful.
There’s colour everywhere in Colombia – as you say , the perfect February brightener! That last one is among my favourites too 😀
Excellent. Haven’t seen those. I have to go back to La Candelaria… 😉
That’s the thing with street art, isn’t it? Always changing … 🙂
It does. Though here in some places it stays for a few years. There are some very good initiatives by the Water company and the main paint brand here to support street artists on water wells. And the art is fairly much respected. Not over tagged.
Beautiful! Especially the ones of faces.
Yes, they’re my favourites too 🙂
Amazing street art! They are wonderful artists!
They are indeed!
I just love street art- the color, the detail, the immensity of it all. Nothing shares the soul of a place like the art.
Very true 🙂 If you love street art, you would love Colombia!
wow. Colorful indeed. I am most impressed with the exquisite detail and the creativity. I’ll bet you wonder like I do what the artists were thinking in some of them. And it is one thing to paint a canvas on an easel, but to pull off the art on a wall or a building is a different story. Interesting to walk through the streets for sure.
I agree, I can’t imagine how they paint so well on such a large scale! And yes, I’d like to know more about the inspiration behind some of the designs. Clearly indigenous culture is an influence, and some are fairly obviously related to the commercial business of the building (restaurant or bar), but there’s still a lot of imagination behind them too.
The different colours are mind blowing …
Yes – and even more so when you consider the streets are narrow and often have murals on both sides!
Aletta - nowathome
Thede murals are stunning!
Thank you Aletta 🙂
I agree, there are so many colours all over Colombia. These are wonderful pictures of the street art in Candelaria. I see none of the murals we saw 3 years ago, which is what’s supposed to happen to this art I suppose. Maggie
Thanks Maggie 😊 I guess that’s true, they’re very fleeting. On the other hand, this is just a small selection of what’s there currently, so some at least of the murals you saw may still be there!
Thought provoking, colorful, powerful, soft, joyful and just plain weird – nice collection.
Thank you Suzanne, you’ve summed up these pieces perfectly 😀
Oh my goodness – these are astonishing: vibrant and full of life. I’ve a feeling we may be seeing more …
Oh you will indeed!! Thank you Margaret 😀
Too beautiful for words! What ana amazing city. I like the lady in the blue skirt the most ☺️
Thanks Alison 😊 That’s an interesting choice of favourite and shows we’re all different – that was my least favourite among this bunch and I nearly didn’t include it!
the eternal traveller
Wow, these are simply stunning. And you managed to photograph them beautifully.
Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you like the photos!
Wow, the quality of these is as high as you could possibly get in street art….surely. Everything from romance to sorrow to beauty to humour to…..Picasso!! Fabulous. As a big lover of street art you must have been in your element!
I was indeed in my element! And wait till you see what Medellin and Cartagena had to offer 😀
Sarah, Wonderful street art and you captured them so well. I really like the Bullitas Chicha mural with the dog by the door. I saw some amazing murals in Santiago and Valparaiso in Chile, too. Thank you for your PPAC contribution. I look forward to your posts on Colombia.
Thank you Natalie 🙂 I too saw street art in Santiago and Valparaiso, the latter among the best I have ever seen. But some places in Colombia rivalled it – some areas of Medellin and one part of Cartagena in particular (Getsemani) certainly did 🙂
These street artists are so talented! The murals are always a joy to see.
Yes, amazing talent 🙂
Woah! The street art is really stunning. I see even Freddy from the Nightmare on Elm street made his presence felt. I wonder, if the exteriors are so beautiful, how pretty are the interiors. Are they all residential blocks or commercial space?
Yes, Freddy was there 🙂 Many of these are restaurants and bars (you might spot some signs or menus on the walls), and the old colonial buildings are mostly single storey. I’m not sure about the newer taller buildings – maybe they have apartments? Casa Locombia (on the right midway down, with Frida Kahlo) is a hostel.
Mike and Kellye Hefner
Oh, to be able to paint like that and in such large scale. These awesome works of art are a sight to behold, Sarah. I’m so glad you shared them with us.
I agree, it amazes me that people can paint so well on such a large ‘canvas’. When you have step back to see the piece in full, how do you get the details so perfect?! I’m really glad you liked seeing them 🙂
Brilliant. What a joy must be to keep discovering so much quality street art!
Thanks Manja – I was blown away by some of the street art in Colombia!