Insufferably Bad Graffiti in Santiago, Chile

There was a building in Queens* that you could see from the 7 train that had beautiful graffiti. The colors were vibrant, the portrait of Hendrix was spot on and to be honest, it was one of the highlights of the borough. And then there’s the graffiti in Santiago, Chile.

Graffiti  Santiago ChileI think we can all agree on the message here, but I’m not sure that the statement belongs on the facade of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Such is the contrast of Santiago. The architecture is beautiful and the Andes Mountains tower above the city. Unfortunately, at every turn someone has scrawled something meaningless.

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Basura = Trash can. Perhaps this is a public service announcement?

It’s ugly for sure, but the most disappointing thing about the graffiti is that it’s everywhere and completely pointless. It’s not art like in Toronto, but rather an eyesore on the city of Santiago.

Graffiti Santiago Chile Graffiti Santiago ChileWhen I remarked about the poor graffiti to other travelers who had been to Santiago, they were surprised. They had seen beautiful street art and had seen nothing like these photos. Santiago must have a dramatic split between works of art and something like this…

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Even the trees could not escape.

Graffiti Santiago Chile

Actually, this one isn’t bad.

It was a shame that so many of the beautiful monuments, museums and public spaces were treated as a doodle pad for the city’s least skilled artists.

Santiago was a badass city and we walked all around, but I can’t say that we observed any street art beyond the scribbles that I photographed. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the other thing that stood out in Santiago was the high number of couples laying on grass making out. This is not as easy to photograph, but trust me, it was happening everywhere. Young, old, whatever, it was go time. Santiago: The City of Scribbles and PDA. I think it’s time for an updated slogan, don’t you?

*The 5 Pointz graffiti building in Queens was painted over earlier this week and is scheduled to be torn down and replaced with condos. There will be space set aside for curated graffiti, but the original building still must be demolished.

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6 Responses to “Insufferably Bad Graffiti in Santiago, Chile”

  1. Nicole
    November 22, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    What a shame. graffiti is art when done well. perhaps arts education needs more funding in Santiago. and as for 5 Pointz in Queens, what a loss.

    • StyleHiClub
      November 22, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      The thing is that people tell me they’ve seen good street art in Santiago, and I’m sure it’s there. But there is just so, so much that’s poorly done.

  2. Jav
    March 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    What’s wrong with couples making out in public?? In the States, you can barely see anyone even holding hands on the streets; public affection here is pretty much taboo.

    • StyleHiClub
      May 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      I actually don’t have a problem with that in general, but it was a little strange at noon in a park with kids all around. And it wasn’t just casual making out – these couples were laying on top of each other 😉

  3. George
    May 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    There actually is some pretty great street art out there in Santiago, but it’s rather hidden. You have to know where to find it. I wouldn’t even call some of those photos graffiti it’s more just like “loosers with paint cans”. If I was a city official I would put a heavy penalty for punks doing that stuff.
    Your so right about people making out. It’s ridiculous. Like literally everywhere. Give me a break, already.

    • StyleHiClub
      May 14, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Totally agree. The scribbles are a waste.