Killart 2017 – Much More Than Vandalic Doodles

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This weekend witnessed Barranquilla’s most ambitious effort to-date, making street art visible as an accessible alternative for citizens to enjoy art on a daily basis in an urban setting. As part of KillArt 2017, the 3rd version of a festival revolving around street art, several artists embellished the walls of Carrera 50 between Murillo Avenue and Via 40. As several houses had been demolished to make way for the broadening of Cra 50, an opportunity arose to shift ruins into canvases and stages, a well thought-out gamble that is paying off, as this sector is slowly claiming its newfound reputation as a cultural venue of sorts.

The murals, varying in size and technique, were painted by local, national and foreign artists, chosen through a thorough selection process. While some of the local artists, for instance Roberto Barraza, Joyce Obregón, and Omar Alonso are repeating, this time around new talents were given their own walls and a chance to shine. Such is Graff 24’s case; last year assistant to one of the out-of-towners, this year making his debut and competing for a chance to win a fully sponsored internship in France.

As remarked by Omar Alonso, plastic artist and one of the participant painters, street art is appealing to the public as it democratizes art, and at the same time too, the artist acquires automatic access to a much larger audience. This festival, besides leaving a yearly stamp on the urban improvement for the city and its inhabitants, also offers an array of conferences and exhibitions on street art and urban culture. Kudos to the French Alliance, the Troi3 Society, the Urban Canvas Foundation, and their sponsoring partners for making these kinds of sorely-needed events possible and helping to promote the concept of street art as a creative activity developing way beyond.

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