Street Art Tuesday: Valparaiso, Chile



Street Art Tuesday

From Valparaiso, Chile


It’s time for Street Art Tuesday again! Every Tuesday we’ll take you to a different location around the world to have a closer look at the street art, the stories and/or street artists behind them. This week we bring you to Valparaiso, Chile‘s harbour city, where hardly any wall is left untouched by street artists and graffiti artists alike.

Would you like to contribute to the Street Art Tuesday series, either by your own photos, stories or knowledge or you happen to know the artist behind one of the works we have featured, just write us an email at wkndr(at)artweekenders.com. We’re always happy to hear from you and see more street art crossing our paths. #StreetArtTuesday #SAT


Street art by INTi – Valparaiso, Chile


No Wall Left Untouched

Before arriving to the Chilean harbour city of Valparaiso we already knew that we could expect quite some street art around town. Once we arrived the actual street art scene did, however, really surprise us. It was hard to find a wall that was not touched by the hands of a street artist. Every time we would take a turn somewhere, another great piece of art would be awaiting us.


Street Art along Valparaiso’s harbour.


Street Art in Valparaiso, Chile.

While you’ll be able to find loads of street art by just wandering through the city (mind your safety here and there), one area in town is officially dedicated to art in public spaces. It’s called El Museo a Cielo Abierto, translated as the open sky museum. The route through the neighborhood Cerro Bellavista contains 20 murals painted by 18 different artists and was initiated to involve the residents of the area with the art around them.


Van Gogh’s sunflowers as street art in Valparaiso, Chile.


Is it graffiti or is it street art?

Beside the great and high quality street art you’ll find in Valparaiso there’s of course also a lot of graffiti and tagging around. A difference that’s not always clear or makes a difference for everyone as we understood from our local guide, who was once asked by a tourist when they would remove all the graffiti in town. Seriously?


Mondriaan inspired street art in Valparaiso, Chile


Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

The difference between street art, graffiti and tagging should be clear though. Where street art in our eyes is made by skilled artists, often tries to bring a message across and is our preferred street decoration instead of all huge billboards you’ll find everywhere nowadays, graffiti is mostly composed of huge stylized letters without any extra story as a promotion for the artist him/herself. Tagging is merely a simple scribbling or signature both with a similar purpose as graffiti.


More street art by Chilean street artist INTI in Valparaiso, Chile.


Unwritten Rules

In other cities we’ve seen graffity artists and taggers often applying their work over works of other street artists, in the hope to get some publicity for themselves. Here in Valparaiso the unwritten rule among street artists not to paint over the works of another colleague is still well-respected, also giving the reason for such ‘clean’ street art all around town. Because of this street artists are sometimes even commissioned to paint houses which would otherwise be the ‘victim’ of graffiti artists and taggers. Once a street artist does a good job the risk of your house being used as a drawing board by graffity artists and taggers will be a lot less.


Commissioned street art in Valparaiso, Chile


Street art in Valparaiso, Chile


Street Art Themes Valparaiso

Themes we see back in the street art in Valparaiso are often historically tainted or illustrating a (social) political topic, but also show an interest in what is going on in the rest of the world. Have a look at the below pictures for example:


Yámana, the indigenous people in Chile.


Your Visit


Like to see the amazing street art in Valparaiso yourself? Once in Santiago de Chile, Chile’s capital, it’s about 1,5 hours by bus to get here. There are many other locations serving buses to Valparaiso, among others from Mendoza in Argentina (12 hours).

[ale_divider style=”medium” text=”textleft”] Previously in this series: [/ale_divider]

About The Author: Lydian Brunsting

'To be with Art is all we ask'- Gilbert and George. A quote that has stayed with me since I first saw it a couple of years ago. The word I would add though is 'travel' and that is, in fact, Art Weekenders, our new creation. The Art Weekenders project combines my passions for art, travel and photography, while we - at the same time - like to inspire and hopefully help you to prepare your art getaway. I am also photographer, writer and developer of the photoblog SHOuTography, a project that I started during a year of travelling through South-America to explore my life-long passion for photography.