Friday, May 24, 2013

Colombia, Caragena: Graffiti artists paint the biggest mural in Colombia

The Biggest Graffiti Mural in Colombia Is a Tribute to African-Colombian Women

Cartagena, one of Colombia’s touristic gems, welcomed seven of the most famous graffiti artists in the country. The goal: to create the biggest graffiti in the country with an approximate surface area of 400 m2 and more than 35 m high.

For 6 days and nights in 2012, the artists Ospen, Cazdos, Ecks, Zas, Dexs, Skida and Yurika, members of the well-known Vertigo Graffiti Crew created ‘Prisma Afro’, an artwork of unprecedented dimensions with the intention of paying a tribute to the African-Colombian women.

The message to be transmitted through ‘Prism Afro’ was a challenge in itself. “We wanted to portray the genuine black woman, not the party- and curvy-like stereotype, but her human and mother-like qualities instead,” explained ZAS, the only woman member of the crew.

A prism gravitates in her hands as a metaphor of her power of transformation, which is revealed by the colors and geometrical figures that burst from it. The artwork also includes elements of the iconic architecture of Cartagena and New York wildstyle letters that express “Black Power”.

Even before starting the first sketches, the team knew that it wanted to include graffiti aesthetics to give the work a special vitality and uniqueness. “We wanted people to automatically recognize that this striking image was painted by the same guys that paint in the streets, the same kids who are often victims of prejudices,” says Camilo Fidel López, Director of Creativity of Vertigo Graffiti, a cultural initiative that aims to prove that graffiti is a substitute for violence and vices among kids and communities.

Despite the long days, the hot weather, the strong winds, and the fact that they were working at high elevation, these 7 artists achieved, in a record time of 6 days, the creation of this amazing and enormous mural. All this was possible thanks to the invitation of Fundación Chao Racismo (‘Good-bye Racism Foundation’ in English) and the support of the Still Hotel located in Cartagena, which authorized Vertigo Graffiti to paint its 12-story high hotel facade.

This was a dream-come-true to these seven artists. They had always wanted to paint a large-format mural in one of the best locations in Cartagena, a few blocks away from the historical city, while at the same time communicating the message of respect and support of the African culture in Colombia.

See the video here:

For more information on Vertigo Graffiti, visit: