Monday, 26 October 2009

The Painter's Playground

The taxi slinks into Bogotá as a murky sky protests the dawn. Crawling through La Candelaria, a Turner sea emerges from the walls, leaking subtle hues through the darkness.

Hours later and the pastel shades of early morning have been transformed by daylight; buildings compete with colour now, splashing lines of red and yellow and blue across bare bricks. Banksy has been pushed aside in this city, it would seem, which favours instead the playfulness of Picasso with a Miro palette.

But Cosmopolitanism is imposing itself on this streetside gallery, seducing space with slogans and light-up skyscrapers. The bricks split under the weight of new traffic, caught up along the strangling ringroad, layed heavy with tar.

Leaving the painters to abandon their brushes and head north to the 'Street of Dreams', in a town where inspiration belongs to the toddlers, who supervise the painting of ships and doves and lambs on walls made for a fairytale. The siesta comes to clear the streets, but the painting never stops; as people climb up stepladders and lean out of windows to add the final touches.

Colour spills down from this winding street, finding it's way through Guatapé and across the Colombian Departments, lightening the shadow cast by it's disapproving neighbours.

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