The Amazing Street Art Of Valparaiso Chile

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Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Valparaiso A Colorful City

Valparaiso is a very unique coastal city located about 90 minutes from Santiago. Before the Panama Canal was built, it was one of the most important port cities in the region. Valparaiso’s tradition of art and color started during this time.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

A Busy Port

Back when the port was buzzing with activity, Valparaiso became known as the place to get your ship painted. Since most people lived in houses built from ugly corrugated metal (a material easily obtained at the port), they would use the leftover ship paint to make things look nicer. Most of the time there wasn’t enough paint leftover to cover an entire house, so they often painted one wall or floor at a time. The result was a mish mash of colors that still exists today.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

A Time Of Unrest

As the 20th Century progressed, Chile’s politics grew more complicated and spray painting or tagging in protest became popular in Valparaiso. Today, there is still plenty of graffiti, but another type of art has flourished in the city. On just about every building, wall, sidewalk or stair, there are murals. Some of these murals are quite simple, while others are enormous in both scale & detail. Valparaiso street art is complicated, unique and mesmerizing to look at.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Working Together

Both the Valparaiso street art and tagging communities coexist in the city and have agreements not to alter each other’s work. If a tagger gets to a wall first, then an artist won’t come and paint a mural over it. It works the same way in reverse, however I did see a few examples of graffiti on otherwise beautiful pieces of art. Since most property owner’s in the city do not want graffiti, they gladly agree to provide supplies for the many artists to create their masterpieces. I was told these artists work for free in order to bolster their reputation.

Valparaiso - August 2014 (59)

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Conclusion

Today I am presenting 45 examples of the amazing street art that I personally found while strolling through the streets of Valparaiso. I had initially intended to take a few photos to share, but as we walked through the streets of the city, I became inspired and couldn’t stop snapping.  The amazing thing about Valparaiso street art is that it can be found just about everywhere. I hope you enjoy. If you like the photos then please share!

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Street art in Valparaiso, Chile.

Photo Gallery:


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2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s great to see that they can co-exist and that the work stays intact. In the past year, I’ve loved discovering the street art in Melbourne, Paris and London – for the most part there the work is fleeting with a few exceptions. Before I could even post my London photos, the work was gone a week later.
    Your photos are fantastic – thanks for the glimpse into this part of Chile, which I did not get to visit on my travels to Santiago but now need to add to my list of street art cities to visit. There is such a great, active street art community on social media that people can follow for work around the world.

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