Colombian graffiti art helps monkeys

This 2018 video from Colombia is called BOGOTA´S WORLD CLASS GRAFFITI ART.

From the Conservation International Blog:

On Streets of Bogotá, Graffiti Art Raises Environmental Awareness

David Suarez

Last year, CI’s visual storytelling team traveled to Colombia to document graffiti artists in Bogotá. Street art is a popular and powerful mode of expression in the Colombian capital; recently, prominent street artists partnered with CI and the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation to raise awareness about environmental issues while trying to steer young people away from drugs and crime. Today on the blog, one of them shares his most recent conservation-themed mural with us.

My name is David Suarez, and I am 29 years old. I have spent 13 of those years painting art on the streets of Bogotá under the pseudonym “Wap.”

I started drawing during childhood; probably due to the amount of anime and cartoons that I watched and collected, I started to lean toward illustration and art. I saw graffiti in videos and movies that I watched at that time (1997-98), and I was struck by the letters, colors, culture — and above all, the fact that it could be painted on the street where everyone could see it.

Some time went by before I got access to my first spray-paint cans to make my first piece, which was a total disaster. But I kept trying, learning from various painting and drawing techniques, color theory, etc. Finally in 2004, I and another street artist founded a group called “dot exe crew” — one of the most important in the history of graffiti in Bogotá.

We started painting murals not only thinking about the stylistic letters and use of color, but we also began to experiment with illustration of narrative and story, taking our graffiti concepts to a more professional and artistic level. This technique became popular among other taggers/artists during that time. This is how I came to paint the first mural on biodiversity, as well as work for corporate brands.

Parallel to this, in the eastern hills of Bogotá’s Chapinero neighborhood where I live, I helped to found Artes Urbanas (Urban Arts) with friends and local school districts that were involved in various manifestations of hip-hop culture. Artes Urbanas was a youth club that provided young people with a space to be creative and avoid getting involved in drugs and crime. There, I taught screening, airbrushing and drawing.

This project was very successful, and we were immediately exposed to many institutions and foundations that wanted to support us — including CI, with whom we began painting murals under the water ecosystem restoration project in Chapinero. These themes began to interest me more and more, so I started to do murals on these subjects independently.

After seven years of work with Artes Urbanas, due to some differences with members of the youth club, I left and the project died. It left me with great experiences and precedents, as art is my life. I continued painting murals on wildlife trafficking, on the Amazon, on the eastern hills of Bogotá, and other issues that don’t have anything to do with the environment but are part of the reality of my city.

Recently, I received the news that CI wanted to provide a grant to Artes Urbanas to paint a mural on the primates of Colombia. As Artes Urbanas was no longer, the solution was to divide the grant between two people for the preparation of two murals on endemic species of primates.

For issues of conflicting interests and limited time and budget, I was not able to go to the Amazon to meet my primate brothers in person. However, I received my half of the grant and did my best to maximize the resources I had to paint the mural. I researched everything about Colombia’s primates on the Internet. CI provided me with a copy of their scientific book “Primates of Colombia” and other sources of information. And so I painted a huge mural of nearly 10 feet in height and about 100 feet in length in a busy area of Bogotá. My team and I are very grateful to CI for believing in and supporting our art.

The completed primate mural, which includes depictions of spider, howler and saki monkeys. …

My newest project, called “Factory of Ideas” has to do with restoring public spaces and taking up some of the projects developed with Artes Urbanas. I’m painting murals continuously; since the primates of Colombia mural, I have made two more and I hope to continue painting for much longer.

As for people who took the time to read this humble street story, my message to you is to care for the environment and support the arts — if not financially, then at least by respecting their importance. We should focus on making our environment something positive for everyone, just as I’ve been trying to do all this time.

David “Wap” Suarez is a street artist in Bogotá, Colombia.

Yellow-washed Egyptian graffiti returns

This video is called Egypt: Graffiti as a Revolutionary Art Tool.

There is whitewashing (like of al-Qaeda money and drug money by HSBC bank).

There is greenwashing (like in the green logo and arts sponsorships of polluting oil firm BP).

Now, in Egypt, there is yellow-washing.

From Aswat Masriya (Cairo, Egypt):

Egypt: Graffiti Removed, Another Appears By Morning

19 September 2012

Graffiti in Mohamed Mahmoud Street were removed at a late hour on Tuesday where walls were painted yellow, sparking fury on social media.

It is still unclear who removed the graffiti.

Last November, Mohamed Mahmoud Street, branched from Tahrir Square, witnessed violent confrontations between security forces and protesters resulting in deaths and injuries.

The walls of Mohamed Mahmoud Street were covered with graffiti by activists, following the battle named after the street.

Graffiti included symbols of the January 25 revolution, the ousted regime and murals inspired by Egypt’s pharaonic heritage; they were images that animated post-revolution Egypt.

An eyewitness told Aswat Masriya that a few hours after the graffiti was removed, pedestrians were shocked to see new graffiti that translates to “wipe some more, cowardly regime” appear on the wall.

Activists on social media complained that graffiti on Germany’s Berlin Wall remains to this day as it expresses the people’s struggle against the tyranny and injustice of a corrupt regime.

In a similar attempt, state workers cleaned the walls in May, only to have new ones emerge hours later.

Egypt: Police Says Not Responsible for Removal of Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti: here.

Egypt: ANHRI Condemns the Disperse of the Nile University Students Sit-in Using Force: here.

FIVE YEARS AFTER THE ARAB SPRING, THE EGYPTIAN ARTIST TRAINING HIS EYE ON THE U.S. “But I think art in Egypt is far more developed than what you see in the U.S., for example. A lot of new artists emerged during the revolution. New artists made powerful art in different contexts, whether it was street art, visual art, or performative art in the street or showed art in independent galleries and spaces.” [HuffPost]