Whenever I visit a new place, I always try to find the best spots for street art. After all, taking photos of beautiful murals is one of my passions. When I went to Bolivia, I was surprised to learn about Cochabamba and its rich urban art. It turns out that every couple of years there’s a great street art festival that brings together some of the best graffiti artists of South America. So thanks to the Bienal de Arte Urbano (BAU), Cocha — as the locals affectionately refer to Cochabamba — has some very impressive murals to show.
The last edition of the Biennale took place in 2013 and it brought together over 30 artists, mainly from South America, to let their creativity flow on the walls of Cochabamba. Overall, my favourite mural is the one t the start of this post, a piece by Ecuadorian artist Steep. This artwork features a scene from the Amazon jungle where humans, exotic birds and plants live in harmony. As soon as I saw it, I became a fan.
Another favourite were the murals with collaborations by Italian Erica Ilcane and Colombian Bastardilla. During my trip around South America, I found other pieces of these two great artists. I love how their styles blend and complement each other. Also, I was happy to see Erica Ilcane’s art on that side of the Atlantic. Previously, I had seen some of his works when I travelled around Italy.
There were also a few murals by some of my favourite Chilean artists. Charquipunk, one of the signature artists of Valparaíso, did a few pieces with his iconic hummingbirds along with strong figures of cholitas — as the indigenous women of Bolivia are called. Elodio was also present with his trademark characters; he also did a few pieces around the neighborhood.
Peruvian artist Decertor painted a couple of murals for the Biennale as well. I love his use of colours and his portraits of South American people. The mural above was the first one I saw from his works. Gladly, I found some more when I was in Lima.
The Urban Art Biennale has successfully put Cochabamba on the map as an authentic urban art destination and the best place to see street art in Bolivia. The next edition of the festival should take place later this year. If you’re a street art fan travelling to Bolivia, you shouldn’t miss visiting Cochabamba!
For more information about this event and a guide of where the murals are located, visit their website (in Spanish only). If you’d like to see more photos of street art in Cochabamba, visit my gallery.
Do you enjoy looking for street art while you travel? Which are your favourite locations and artists from South America? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!