Urban art covers Lima with color


Carla Samon Ros

Lima, (EFE).- Twenty urban murals designed by artists from various Latin American countries color Lima, known as the “gray city”, with paintings that mimic photosynthesis and purify the air while trying to demystify the vandalism associated with street art.

At one of the corners of Avenida Alfonso Ugarte, in the historic center of Lima, the Chilean Araceli Villarreal draws the central piece of a macromural that attenuates, with magical patterns, the noise of the chaotic traffic of one of the backbones of the old city of the capital.

The wall, which stretches 27 meters long and four meters high, just a few weeks ago it looked “white and dull”, reminds EFE of the young painter and graphic designer, whose name scene is Lari.

Pots of paint used for the mural in the historic center, in Lima (Peru). EFE/Aldair Mejia

This is the first time that Lari, 28, has left her native country and she is doing so as a guest artist at the first edition of the Picante Festival, which last November brought together more than twenty muralists from seven countries in the region. , including Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Two trees per square meter

The architects of this event are Karim Sabal and Mucho González, two artists and cultural leaders respectively Chilean and Peruvian, who wanted to make different districts of Lima explode with color with the “plus of clean air”.

“Each square meter that will be painted will be equivalent to two trees planted”, they explain to EFE, after mentioning that “this is generated from Pholio”, a Chilean company that has developed a component that, applied to the paint, degrades polluting gases when in contact with sunlight.

Thus, according to his calculations, this process similar to that of photosynthesis would allow the mural in which Lari participates to have the same function as 200 trees planted in the center of the city.

The festival, which promoted as a parallel activity a collective exhibition of local urban artists in the Plaza de San Martín, adorned several walls of various sizes and styles also in the neighborhoods of Surco, Barranco and Miraflores in Lima.

Mucho Gonzales paints a drawing at the Ccori Wasi Cultural Center in Miraflores, Lima (Peru).  EFE/Aldair Mejia
Mucho Gonzales paints a drawing at the Ccori Wasi Cultural Center in Miraflores, Lima (Peru). EFE/Aldair Mejia

From a corner of the latter neighborhood, Colombian Sara Sifuentes, originally from Medellín, sprays pink paint to “bring life to a dusty and dirty wall”, located a few meters from the popular Kennedy Park.

As he usually does in his artwork, “Scifu” colors dolphins, characters he says convey “messages of love, empathy and joy.”

The 33-year-old hopes her painting will be a kind of “respite” for passers-by in Miraflores and that “even for a microsecond” they will be filled with “color and new energy”.

Promoting urban art

In the words of the creators of the first edition of the Picante Festival, the ultimate goal of the event is to provide “stimuli and positive contributions to the city of Lima” and its inhabitants, as people are ” educated” to value “this type of expression” and dissociating urban art from vandalism.

But for the twenty guest artists, the festival is also an opportunity to share their art, support their sector and learn about other techniques and styles.

“Much beyond painting these spaces and giving more space to artists, I think it is the community that creates (…) the links between people and the culture of street art”, comments a other EFE participants. the event, the Bolivian Abraham Velasco, artistically known as Oveja.

At the gates of the end of its first edition, the Picante Festival now dreams of replicating itself in other Latin American cities, starting with the neighboring country of Chile.


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