“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Walking up Monserrate

A few weeks ago, the walk up Monserrate opened after being closed for renovation for several years. Most tourists take either the tram or the gondola up, but a nice alternative is to hike. It's about an hour straight up, but is a wide cobblestone path. With the number of people who are now taking it, and the police that are stationed at various points on the trail, it is quite safe. The trailhead is slightly up the hill to the left of the main gondola/tram building, across from the delicious fresh orange juice stands. The views across the skyscrapers of Bogota (is that Taquendama??) are great on a clear day!
The beginning of the trail is already above the main level of Bogota.
Near the top.
At the top.

Graffiti in Bogota

Recently a friend hooked me onto Stinkfish, a Bogota street artist, who has also painted murals in other Colombian and European cities. You can find his photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stinkfishate/ and the latest painting here: http://www.streetartnews.net/2012/02/stinkfish-x-bastardilla-x-ink-crew-new.html  

Another Bogota street artist that has reached some fame is Toxicomano. I really like his stencil style. They are really noticeable. Here is some work: http://www.benditomosquito.com/inusual/kolectivo-toxicomano/ and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toxicomano666/

Another friend has recently asked for people to share their favorite street art, and it included a really interesting list of people:

Banksy in London  http://www.banksy.co.uk/ or http://www.boredpanda.com/80-beautiful-street-crimes-done-by-banksy/ https://www.artsy.net/artist/banksy
Vik Muniz in Brazil  http://www.npr.org/2011/02/21/133941168/Trash-Pickers-Turn-Rio-Waste-Land-Into-High-Art and http://www.wastelandmovie.com/ 
http://www.pinksmith.com/ in New York
BLU http://blublu.org/
Jamie Hewlett http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Hewlett
Shepard Fairey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey

Anyway, with this inspiration, I decided to start to collect photos of various graffiti in Bogota. There is some amazing stuff here (and some ugly tagging too).
Was so pleased to find this one -- a Stinkfish near Simon Bolivar's house. An old lady was living in the small park in front of it, and got very upset at me taking photos -- she probably thought I was taking them of her.
A stenciled Jesus in a tiny corner of another piece, showing the religious connections in Colombia.
I love this very simple, bad grammar that's really close to my house... it's poetic and  such an interesting thing for someone to have chosen to write on the wall.
Toxicomano in the corner, and other artists. In the middle is a cute smiley fish which is an interesting contrast to Stinkfish's evil grin. I've seen the smiley fish in quite a few places.
Love this minute little stencil!

My area!
Mix of two types.
More typical, less interesting. There is a lot of this sort of stuff around.