This is kind of hilarious and sad. A fellow blogger/street art lover from Toronto sent me a photo of her cat ‘reading’ my first book on Bogota Street Art. Funny, yes, but the sad thing is, this isn’t the first cat to read it. Someone else sent me a photo last year of their cat reading it. I have yet to receive a photo of a human looking at it. Should I re-market this as “The first street art book ever catered exclusively to cats?” This is just odd. But, then again, so is my life.
New York Cat: photos by Kelly Fechter, Carol Lislevatn
I have finally self-published my first book. It’s a dream come true. I won’t make any money off of it, and that’s absolutely fine, as just being able to hold even one copy in my hand, is an experience more valuable to me than any amount of money. It is purely a photo book of street art images from Bogota, Colombia, covering the final four months of 2012. There’s a good chance, and that’s what makes street art so special, that most of it is already gone and the walls have been painted anew.
Thanks to my fellow bloggers for checking out my street art posts. Your “likes” gave me confidence.
Message from Crisp in response to my questions about the above murals: “Yeah, the Obama with Kogi and Amazon Indian is mine, whereas the President Santos and Amazon child on the other side is a friend of mine from the UK. His street name is MIKO, short for “Mi Kolombia”. His side depicts Santos in indigenous clothes while the child is wearing the Colombian presidential sash. He wrote “we are all mixed” between the 2 figures.
My side is actually a statement that, not everyone benefits from the recent free trade agreement signed between the USA and Colombia. We recently repaired this wall as it was defaced pretty quickly due to the directness of the mural. It used to have “TLC:Nadia Gana” written on it, but this and all the faces and money were erased with black paint. Seemed very specific and probably done by government people rather than other grafiteros. So when I repaired it, I toned it down a bit.
The “L” is added by someone else. It’s always risky doing graffiti about politics and heads of state as it’s at high risk of being defaced by people who don’t agree or don’t understand the statement. The MIKO wall has been defaced quite a bit due to depicting Santos. Still, that’s all part of street art, it’s not protected and people can add, alter, adjust, deface, or completely destroy at their own will.” – Crisp
I also notice that APC has written on Santos’ head. Did the REAL APC tag it, or was it done by an impostor? This is all so intriguing…7OCT12. Chapinero, Septima, Bogota, Colombia. (Canon 550D, Canon Lens EF 28mm.)
Again, I drove by on a bus one day and had to go back and take a closer look. It was risky here and a bit dangerous. Two men walked by me and told me I shouldn’t have my camera out in this area. I got pissed off and told them I have every right. They kept walking past me, but I really wanted to ask them why people think they have a right to just take what isn’t theirs. Pissed me off. Anyway, taking a closer look at the mural: it’s a protestation against the “Tratado de Libre Comercio,” – TLC – (Free Trade Agreement) – between India and South America (Colombia). This artist is equating India with Nazis. Negocio Redondo means “Windfall.” Crisis equals TLC equals War.
7OCT12. Carrera 10, Bogota, Colombia. (Canon 550D, Canon Lens EF 28mm.)
On Saturday, I had driven by this in a bus and decided that I had to come back Sunday morning and photograph this mural. It’s beautiful and it symbolizes such hope and positivity. I knew I was in a bit of a dangerous area. It’s the kind of spot that you have to find out where the police are, and you have to keep looking around you for people that will creep up on you. I know it’s risky to brandish my camera, but I’m as careful as I can be and part of me gets really defensive if all of Bogota simply accepts it as a fact that if you are using something that you worked really hard for to get, that some Bogotan (sic) is going to feel like it’s their right to take it from you. So, like I said, first, I find the police. Secondly, I put a whistle in my mouth, and thirdly, I take a picture and then do a 360 turn to make sure someone hasn’t crept up on me. When I was at this mural, I did catch a homeless man coming up behind me holding up something that resembled an umbrella poised for an attack, but as I saw him, I yelled at him and he turned around and walked away. This mural is on Carrera 10. If you want to check it out, take a friend to make you feel safer. It’s generally safe and there is a police presence.
Unfortunately, domestic abuse is still prevalent in Colombian culture. Any time we see art like this, we need to praise it, acknowledge it, and adhere to it.
“Esta lote no esta en venta” means “This item is not for sale.”
This is incredible to see: art expressing freedom of sexual expression, stopping violence against women, encouraging Colombians to speak out against trade agreements that negatively affect them as a people…awesome. This portion of the mural also speaks out against child abuse and proclaims that education is a duty, it’s not a negotiation.
All pictures: 7OCT12. Carrera 10, Bogota, Colombia. (Canon 550D, Canon Lens EF 28mm)