Spray Paint Revival

If I were a color, I would live on a wall in South America.

South American walls

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.

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile

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.


my personal favorite- the elephant and its digestive tract

I appreciated this new perspective on an old, underground art form.


Picutre of author

About Claire Shapleigh, Biomedical Visualization

Hi, my name is Claire and I'm in my second year of the Biomedical Visualization MS program at UIC. It's a combination of art and science, and it's pretty fun. So far I've dissected a human body and learned how to draw in 2D using a computer AND my hand, and I'm about to learn how to 3D model. Holler at me if you have any questions about the program!

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