The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Caty and I went to Comuna 13 Medellin the other day to see the escalators, something I had wanted to do since before we moved to Colombia. The escalators were marvels and all, but we ended up more interested in the street art, which was ubiquitous and gorgeous.

It was a rainy day and this neighborhood, also known as San Javier, used to be a real slum and was so dangerous that to this day many people native to Medellin refuse to go there. Old habits die hard, and though this place is now quite safe (your biggest danger is getting a contact high from the occasional group of teenagers), in the eyes of those that grew up in the city it’s violent reputation is hard to forget.

As you walk up to the escalators you will see a little sign on a residential balcony advertising 30 cent (600 COP) Crema de Mango (a sort of mango popsicle in the shape of the cup they come in, with delightful chunks of mango and salty lime juice at the bottom of the cup), and I would take them up on that offer if someone is on the balcony. Just thinking about it now makes me want one…

The outdoor escalators are the perfect melding of form and function, and the neighborhood had a vitality that makes me want to come back again soon. The day itself was perfect: Drizzling rain, friendly people, beautiful art, myriad splashes of color, stunning views.

Some of the street art on one of the levels had been vandalized by someone who decided their contribution to beautifying the area would be to spray paint the eyes of every figure green. This bummed me out a little, it takes so long to create something, and just a few seconds of probably drunken lunacy to deface it, but on the whole the art was in fairly good condition. One of the murals had degraded in a particularly pleasing way, and reminded me of the fading splendor of the Pompeii murals.

Comuna 13 Medellin: a colorful barrio

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia San Javier

 

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia San Javier

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Something underfoot

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Benedict Cumberbatch meets weird 90’s post rebirth Superman

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

This graffiti can has loads of ‘dude

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Grapes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Hummingbird and the City

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Brothers

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Comuna 13

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

The Sustainable City

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Waiting for Crema de Mango

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

El Perro

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Don’t be a butthead

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Que Mas, Parcero?

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Such soulful eyes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Reminds me of the dude from City of God

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Duck tongue

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Do fish get tired of the sea?

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Eyes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Why don’t more urban areas utilize slides?

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

What is that bird up to?

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Polychromatic

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Lent Ear

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Sun with Lightning Eyes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Gooey

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Japanesque

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Snoop?

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art

Comuna 13 and beyond

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

The Colors

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Flowerhead

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

South America

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Different Sizes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Ay Maria

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Space Fish

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Just sitting in the rain

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Looks like something out of Pompeii

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Silenced

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Lovers

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Escalera escalators street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Los Enamorados

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Shades

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

El Barrio

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Wild Cat

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Grasshopper

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Comuna 13 and Beyond

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Is that an artist’s self portrait at the bottom?

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Punk Rock

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

And they said it was only a fad

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Greened Eyes

Comuna 13 Medellin Colombia Street art The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Los Colores

The Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellin

Comuna 13 Medellin

The Fantastic Street Art of Comuna 13 Medellín