SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA POLITIKS & GRAFFITI: “REBELLION”

My journey to becoming a global documenter of graffiti and street art began back in Bogota, Colombia in 2012. It was all of the words scrawled and stenciled on the walls all over the city that prompted a keen interest within me. Two things happened: My Spanish improved quickly (because I had to go home and translate the words into English) and secondly, I got a sense almost overnight of the political issues of the disenfranchised elements of society within the country.

Realizing that graffiti had the power to communicate important messages and concerns of ordinary citizens, I began to pay close attention to the writings on the walls all over the world. It’s amazing what you can see when you look. It’s amazing what you can hear when you listen. It’s amazing what you can understand when you open your heart.  

Once the foundation of my passion was set, my documentation progressed to all genres of street art including murals, stickers, sculptures, wheat pastes, everything and anything, that I judged to be making a statement of some kind in a public arena. 

Since 2012, this blog has grown exponentially and one series in particular, the “Politiks of Graffiti” series featuring street art images I’ve collected around the world, combined with the weekly list covering the current state of the U.S. government compiled by activist Amy Siskind, has garnered a lot of interest and has a bit of a following on Twitter. It’s important to note that I cover all forms of political statements I discover in public art. It’s unfortunate that it just so happens, the current “P.O.G” is heavily laden with visual commentary of ’45.’ I would love for it to be something else, or something more, and I believe it will be, eventually. 

In the future, I plan to do a book of “Graffiti and Global Politics,” or something like that, using the images I’ve collected around the world in the past decade. 

That being said, I am currently in San Jose, Costa Rica and the walls are rife with political statements. 

Please check them out below: 

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On the very first day I arrived in San Jose, I saw this stencil on walls, on roads (literally, I was crossing the street, looked down, and this image was stenciled on the road!), and here at a bus stop. I researched to find out that this man is Oscar Arias. He is a former President of Costa Rica and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He’s been accused of sexual assault by a nuclear disarmament activist. VIOLADOR is RAPIST in Spanish. 
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These two stencils are about domestic violence and oppression of the poor. On the left: “If he insults you, he doesn’t love you. If he hits you, don’t stay.” On the right: “The rich abort the dying poor.” 
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“The revolution will be feminist or it will not be.” I take it to mean that the revolution must be run by women, because if it isn’t. then there won’t be one at all. 
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“There are bullets and good decisions.”
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“They infuse terror and want forgiveness.”
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“Welcome Migrants”
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“My body does not want your opinion.”
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“The rich abort the dying poor.”
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“Against patriarchal and capitalist violence, our deep rebellion.”
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“The earth is feminist.”
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I’m not sure about this translation: “Outside rosaries of our ovaries.” It definitely has something to do with telling men that they don’t make decisions for women and their bodies. 

11/12/13/14/15FEB2019 San Jose, Costa Rica.

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SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA STREET ART: TRADICIONAL by SAN RAMON CREW

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15feb2019. San Jose, Costa Rica. 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: VIVIENDO LA VIDA

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Correos de Costa Rica. Central Post Office. Built in 1917.
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7 Cardinal Rules of Life = Siete Reglas Cardinales de la Vida

1. Make peace with your past – so it won’t disturb your present.

2. What other people think of you – is none of your business.

3. Time heals almost everything – give it time.

4. No one is in charge – of your happiness. Except you!

5. Don’t compare your life to others – and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

6. Stop thinking too much – it’s all right not to know all the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.

7. Smile – you don’t own all the problems in the world.

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Barrio in the valley
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“57% of the population identify themselves as Roman Catholics, 25% are Protestants, 15% do not have a religion…”

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The sun can be strong on the streets of San Jose

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Avocados for sale
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Peatonal. = Pedestrian.
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Old Skool mural

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La sera feminista o No Sera. = It will be feminist or it will not be. 
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This woman was an unwitting crossing guard for me. I waited to cross the busy street until she did, and when we were halfway across, I said “Gracias!” and she laughed. Costa Ricans are pura vida. 

11/12/13/14feb2019 San Jose, Costa Rica 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: NAMED IN HONOR OF JOSEPH OF NAZARETH

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Neoclassical building. Built in 1920. Located in Morazán Park and is one of the key architectural symbols of San Jose. Costa Rican José Francisco ‘Chisco’ Salazar designed it. It is said that he was inspired by the famous Palace of Versailles in France. Since its beginning, the Temple of Music has hosted festivals and musical shows and special New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Apart from hosting musical performances, the building has played a very prominent role in the public life of Costa Rica and many leaders have used it as a stage for their main political acts.
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A tico walks past a NEGUS piece. 

 

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This image gives you a sense of San Jose’s location in the Central Valley; mountains up ahead.

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This is what they say about this place: “Cinema showing straight porn films but with lots of gay action happening in the seats and other areas. Entry 3000 colones ($6)” Whoa ! It’s in Barrio Chino (Chinatown.) I knew when I took the picture, that it had some kind of “seedy underbelly.”

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Confucius. In Barrio Chino (Chinatown.)

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Sculpture: Gracias , by artist Alexy Palenzuela. He is a Costa Rican naturalized Cuban.
Gracias carries that title not only as a thank you to the Costa Ricans, but also as a recognition of the good manners of the Ticos. “The first thing I noticed about Costa Ricans is that they always say ‘thanks’, ‘please’ or with ‘great pleasure’,” said Valenzuela. Thanks is a work with a romantic and dreamy air that shows a robust woman with a guitar. “My work is based on musical instruments because music always accompanies us, both in moments of sadness and joy. That is to say, the musical instrument is a symbol of daily life, ” he said. Why is it so voluptuous? The artist commented that his work is inspired by the figure of his maternal grandmother, a lady who was always a chubby, enterprising, “fighter. “

 

 

 

IMG_3782José Gervasio Artigas Arnal June 19, 1764 – September 23, 1850) was a national hero of Uruguay, sometimes called “the father of Uruguayan nationhood”. Artigas was a staunch democrat and federalist, opposed to monarchism and centralism. 

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Flutist
Location: Teatro Nacional
Approximate date: 01-01-1997
Artist: Jorge Jiménez de Heredia
Technique: Marble
Measures: 245x45x45 cm
NOTES
The foundation of the work was executed in Italy. The destination of this sculpture was the Bank of San José, but on the advice of the architect Bruno Stagno, the work was considered inappropriate for that building and was donated to the National Theater in 1996. https://www.teatronacional.go.cr/Galeria/coleccion-detalle/7/flautista

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11/12/13Feb2019 San Jose, Costa Rica.

 

BULLET JOURNAL 2019: SOME OF MY COLLECTION PAGES

In my Leuchtturm1917 journal: 

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The collection I had to have in my BUJO, is my BOOKSHELF. I read 5-7 books at a time, so, on the left-hand page, are the books I am reading, and when I finish them, I highlight them (you can see the blue and yellow highlighted ones.) On the right-hand page, are the books I want to get, whether I’ve heard about them on my own, or if someone in particular has recommended something to me. The two books next to the apple were recommended to me, so I wrote my friend’s name above them, so that I know who to follow-up with once I’ve read them. 🙂 Also, you’ll notice one has been highlighted in blue. That means, I have procured the book. 
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This collection is all about foreign films and tv shows/series. On the left-hand page, you can see, I made a list of the Golden Globe nominations for best foreign language film this year and I just watched “Roma,’ so I was able to highlight it as ‘seen.’ And “Roma” was the overall winner, as well, so I’ll need to indicate that with an asterisk or something. There’s another box of past award nominees I haven’t seen yet, but want to, and a random list of others plus documentaries, I want to see, and also a box for Oscar nominated foreign language films and documentaries. I travel around the world so much, so I don’t watch regular tv and I have found it difficult to remember when a series is starting, etc, so I note that stuff down here. 
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This is Movies to See (I need to add ‘to see’) – and I list ones I hear about and also ones that are recommended to me. On the right-hand page, I will take note of Blog Ideas and Photo Projects I want to do throughout the year. 
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An Instagram page for particular addresses I want to remember for tagging purposes, for hashtags, for photo series ideas I have…and the Twitter page is also for taking note of particular addresses I want to remember for particular themed photo tweets I do (i.e. if I’m posting street art and graffiti, I want those addresses. If I’m posting surfers, I want addresses for surfing…)
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I write a lot of postcards throughout the year, so this page will keep track of who I’ve sent what to, and to make sure not to duplicate…this other page is to keep track of all of the books I read about teaching methodology. I am currently reading “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer” by Roy Peter Clark, but I haven’t written it in yet. Yes, I just think it’s a good idea to keep this separate from my Bookshelf.
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I also listen to audiobooks so I made this collection to keep track of them. 🙂 
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Ok, so, on the left-hand page here, I have a Top Ten List of Books (highlighted ones have been read) and a list of Books 2 Friends to keep track of who I give to and what I give, for a number of reasons. Note: One of my favorite books to give is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. On the right-hand page, I have Random Thoughts. It’s just what it sounds like. Sometimes I get a semi-original thought and I need to write it down somewhere for that book I’m eventually going to write. 🙂 
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Now, this is going to be a FUN one! 🙂 I am a huge Trappist Ale fan (if you’ve been to Belgium, you get what I’m saying) so I wanted to understand better about its history, how it came to be brewed in monasteries, etc. And like I tell everyone, I feel like I’m doing my part for charity every time I drink one because once the monasteries are taken care of, any money left over goes to charities. 🙂 I have had quite a few of them already, but I feel it’s important to start all over and this time, put a check next to each one I try… 🙂 – There are a couple more listed on the next page, if you were wondering…

So, there you have it, a few of my collections – I have others, like a Travel page where I have my airline membership #s, passport #, travel insurance info, etc, a Music page, etc, etc… – so, for YOU, you will just want to make collections for the things that you are passionate about! 🙂 Enjoy !

JAN2019

NEW YORK CITY STREET ART: THE EDUARDO KOBRA “TAKEOVER”

In 2018, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra painted a whopping 18 murals in New York City & Brooklyn! I was able to get to about 16 of them. Here they are below, with their locations:

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“27 Club” at Rivington & 170 Forsyth

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“Ellis” at 16 Clarkson Street in the West Village

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“Stop Guns” at 231 Eldridge Street

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“Run DMC” at 12th Street & 191 Ave A

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“Stop Wars” at 391 West St & Christopher St

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“Einstein on a Bike” at 780 3rd Ave

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“Elvis” at Bedford Ave & 142 N. 5th St in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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“Einstein” at 212 8th Ave & 21st St in Chelsea

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“Firefighter” at 150 E. 49th St & 3rd Ave

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“Statue of Liberty” at 49 Thompson St in SoHo

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“Mother Theresa & Gandhi” at 130 10th Ave & 18th St in Chelsea

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“Rushmore” at 210 10th Ave & 22nd St in Chelsea

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“Michael Jackson” at 180 1st Ave & 11th Street

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“Soulphia” at 16 Clarkson Street

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“Roy Lichtenstein” at 225 E. 44th

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“Boy and Balloon” on the other side of the Statue of Liberty piece at 49 Thompson St. SoHo
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Classic “Warhol & Basquiat” piece of Kobra’s still up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 162 N 9th St & Bedford Ave
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NYC-based artist, City Kitty, got into the “Kobra action” and put up a cheeky piece in response to Kobra’s takeover of the city. In Chelsea near the “Rushmore” piece: 10th Ave & 22nd St.

All photos taken in November 2018. NYC & Brooklyn, NY