When mural painting knocks the wall

As the skin goes with tattoos, the city is geographically the natural territory of mural art, as a way of aesthetical-ideological expression that takes control itself of an important par of our environment, turning the urban space in a intentionally wide wing, where it is not discrimination with regard to materiality, quality or concept. In this aspect, one of the highlighted by its negative charge is eventually the graffiti. However, that cliché or value judgement obey to a authenticated vision by the structures of power that ad-infinitum wants, to control the public space, although, it also answers to the constant presence of that misunderstanding intervention, where anybody claims the right to damage that space in their tags, supported by the slogan that a improvised act marks territory. Categorical slant, which does not even reflect as genuine as this art is.

“A wall is a big weapon.
It is one of the most painful things
That you can hit somebody with


Now, beyond this preliminary approach, there are those who transfer messages to society and see on the walls a place where a significant inhabitant-city feedback is achieved. From this perspective, it will be necessary to go back to David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Venturelli, Julio Escámez or Gregorio de la Fuente as part of the drivers of a do, that later with the passage of time and given the political-contingent effervescence prior to the coup d’état ( 1970 – 1973), it is considered a battlefield, where social commitment can be felt in the murals made by the Ramona Parra Brigade in collaboration with Roberto Matta (Municipal Pool of the Farm) and in the extensive mural painted along the riverbank of the Mapocho River, which after September 11 was erased. Marking a before and after in an activity that mutates from resistance to denunciation. At present, it is also reflected in those who cry for an unavoidable social change (Chacón Brigade) and who often transmit their proposal under a momentary, pragmatic and rebellious temporality.

Even so, in a simple panning around the city we can find important examples of how Muralism bursts with such power that manages to congeniate a good part of that latent need for change, with an integral intervention that combines the cultural and architectural context with the aesthetic. the social, being an active part of a community, as it has been happening with more than sixty murals, located in the 6000 square meters, in the Open Air Museum in San Miguel south of the city of Santiago. A fact that, by the way, refers to another pioneering initiative in Chile (around 90 ‘) with the Open Air Museum of Valparaíso, which starts with 20 timid murals on the slopes of Cerro Bellavista and today, by expanding its field of action, concentrates a large part of the expression that gives shape and life to that great spine that transversally crosses the hills of the port city, among which is added from 2010 the Valparaíso collective in colors, taking their art to the neighborhoods.

On the other hand, by honoring in muralism, we can say that it relies both on helping the spaces it chooses, and on monumentalizing the collective memory, avoiding both historical and physical depredation, therefore, one of the qualities that come to the fore it is how the structural and aesthetic converges, with certain underlying dynamics in each community, turning muralism into a cultural product that, together with challenging or interpellating, faithfully interprets community feeling, attending to a need for transfer that in itself supports its role more significant, which is to restore and resignify an invalid territory; putting in value and transforming into urban landmarks once depreciated, despised and nonexistent spaces, whether facades, squares, blind walls or simple dividing tambourines, where when doing the comparative exercise you can clearly see how the vestiges of a past without face and color fall, for that “murality” that dialogues with everyone, becoming a priority component within the perception of the city, allowing the inhabitant to live and focus his attention on an art form that -from the cloister- transforms him into his unconditional audience.

Although the most illustrative of this, is that a mural is not restricted only to the ornamental and, in that sense, it is illuminating the fact that it should also be understood as a trace of temporality that within its chronology, is portraying our reality from a an embellished perspective, but not a naive one, but rather transfused by color and by the exuberance of expressions and forms that make truths more digestible than when they are adverse, they ignore or they do not reach the magnitude of a work that by transferring messages to the community It becomes a key factor. Something that perhaps at first sight is not perceived, but at deeper levels, does imply a set of stimuli that are modifying from the most contiguous – seeing differently – establishing with it a binding space that being an extension of their own life and By altering its environment favorably, it rips the floor from its feet to the routine and connects it with a universe of possibilities to understand and cope with its everyday life, but with another landscape.

Finally, being observed from the strictly patrimonial, it is more than valuable the contribution that this type of expression gives, since discounting the natural wear and tear, it forms a urban language where the graffiti, stencil or lettering come together. well they mark presence at world level, it can also be said that there is a street art that coexists in very good shape with our most recognizable codes, and even though it could be debatable to speak of “muralism chilensis”, it goes towards that, knocking decisively every wall.



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