“Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think,
to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth.”
– Barbra Streisand –
Bogota’s street art makes you pay attention. It may be a piece of art as simple yet powerful as the enlarged face of an everyday person; an image of one of the countless people you walk by all the time and probably don’t notice. But all of a sudden, when you look into those augmented eyes, you peer into a life, you see a soul.
Maybe you know the story behind a piece, like how the artist’s troubled childhood inspires her to paint about her history and children’s and women’s empowerment. Or how another piece was made in solidarity with a recent a ban of bullfighting in Bogota. Or how a street art collective spreads its message around town with outspoken murals often depicting punks and retro characters.
Maybe you don’t know the stories but it’s just as well. The pieces draw you into their nuances and make you pause to consider what emotions were released through spray paint as they were created. Beautiful, ugly, sad, quirky, political, disturbing, witty thoughts transferred through in-your-face or larger than life art that sometimes drips at the edges and is not immune to the scrawling of others.
In Bogota’s street art, life is amplified. It shouts at your mind and heart as you pass by. It’ll make you smile, it’ll make you sigh, it’ll make you think.