After spending five lovely days in Medellin, truly surprised at the excellent quality and quantity of their street art, graffiti, murals and yes outright vandalism, I wondered what Bogota had in store for me. Well, compared to Medellin, the amount of pure trashy vandalism here in Bogota was so disappointing. It seems that every idiot with a pair of arms and access to spray paint decided to “tag” and RUIN so much of it’s charm and beauty. Yes there is also incredible world-class street art here, and that’s the focus of my story today.
However, I do want to say this strongly and clearly – if you do NOT get the building / structure / object OWNER’S PERMISSION, you are vandalizing. Which is stealing. Here in St. Pete, Florida, my home city, we have a fabulous understanding, a partnership where the muralists and the owners agree BEFORE hand where it’s OK and NOT OK to paint.
Other great blogs about Bogota Street Art:
This nice couple were part of a group that offers a mobile free library. I thought I had their card to help promote them here, and when I search #Quevedo I’m getting a post about this area, not the library itself. I love what they are doing and wish it hadn’t been pouring rain so I’d of hung around longer and done my whole “let me help you with your branding” thingy.
This neighborhood is also where the University of La Salle is, so lots of students milling around, doing all the things college students do on a rainy afternoon. Cool little head shops here too, though with the pouring rain and my batter almost dead, I made my way down towards the busier traffic areas to grab a taxi back to my apartment, to recharge, well everything.
Back to my title of this blog, Vandalism and street art the battle for respect in Bogota, and well it’s time to talk about the vandalism part. See most of the graffiti I’ve seen in Colombia, ESPECIALLY here in Bogota, is shit. It’s ignorance and destructive attitudes, “kids” with cans of spray paint and NO TALENT. Tagging your “name” on a wall, on bricks, on marble tile, on whatever, is stupid. No you are NOT an artist. You are being destructive, and making YOUR CITY look horrible. Sad, it’s really sad as this “graffiti” is everywhere and it looks awful.
See if YOU can tell the obvious difference here. Now I’m assuming that NONE of these artists / vandals had permission from the owner. Here in St. Pete, Florida, we have a mutual respect with artists and owners. In fact we offer the St. Pete Mural Tour which begins in downtown St. Pete and showcases some world-class street art and murals.
Anything added to another person’s property, without the express prior approval of the owners, is vandalism. Call it vandalism, rape, bullying, theft whatever, “artists” need to get permission from the owner. With that being said, most of the people with spray cans in their hands are NOT artists, though thankfully there are a few who are INCREDIBLY TALENTED and take your breath away. From these images, it should be quite easy to discern who is who. So unless you’ve been practicing for years, and everyone else, in addition to your mom, loves your work, then don’t tag anyone ELSES property. Go buy / find some plywood and practice, practice practice. If you don’t understand what I’m saying then Read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and his 10,000 hour rule. Comprendo?
So I’m now here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the wedding of my amigo Drew’s friend Facundo, and you can follow along, gracious!
So are you creative? Entrepreneurial? A business owner or start-up? A success already and you want to enjoy the energy of like-minded people while mentoring them? Then connect with the Entrepreneur Social Club, where we have fun while being productive, where we exclude religion and politics, while focusing on helping, connecting and enjoying our fellow Entrepreneurs and business owners. Why? Because if we don’t save our species, no one will. And I think we’re worth saving, don’t you? Then JOIN US! We meet in person here at NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, downtown St. Pete on Thursday nights, and online daily