If I were a color, I would live on a wall in South America.
While most of South America is full of vibrant colors, I would specifically settle down on a wall in Valparaiso, Chile, a coastal port city near Santiago.
The difference between Valparaiso and most big cities is that the historic, beat up town is being revived through graffiti. How contradictory.
But artists travel thousands of miles to find a blank wall in this town of hills, boats and colorful houses. Tourists come to see the murals and graffiti that cover the entire city. The graffiti is different here than in Chicago and many US cities; it is not a manifestation of territorial disputes or gang play. Instead, it is a fanciful art, an expression of creativity that has no frame.
My sister and I met a graffiti artist from Ireland who had been walking around Valparaiso for five days. He himself did not create a piece while he was there, but only observed and admired the works of others. Interestingly, he is also a student in urban planning. In his modern-day mind, the advancement of cities and the art of graffiti can tango; he does not see graffiti as an indication of a downtrodden recent past, but as a tool for a hopeful future. A blooming flower in a crack of concrete, if you will.
I appreciated this new perspective on an old, underground art form.