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From Medellin to La Paz to Rio, the hills bled bricks. And that blood was warm and thick and alive with dancing vessels. The street art wasn’t born there, wasn’t conceived along these little dirt roads hiking up the hills. It was learned and somewhat painless. Those murals in Lima’s Barranco, Bogotá’s Candelaria and Santiago’s Bellavista were more suave than outrageous, more political than poor, their rebellion more thought than felt, their provocation planned, and they lacked the grit and grime of the barrios pobres, had little of the joie de vivre perfusing the favelas. They were urbane installations mixed with flamboyant Pacha Mama spirituality that formed a fairly tame and countenanced link between dyed colonialist old towns and glassy capitalist new towns. But beautiful.
glimpse: DEATH BIRTHING LIFE | You are not gone. Because when you went, all of you stayed here. Peekaboo. You didn't need that white marble heaven after all, or an ending repackaged as eternity. You just changed once more, effortlessly.
glimpse: EXPENSIVE POVERTY | What a sinister paradox: if you belong to the 35 % of Limeños, who live in the barrios pobres of Peru’s capital, you pay up to 10 times more for water than wealthier residents, according to Oxfam estimates. Water, filling the pools of affluent Miraflores abundantly, is a scarce commodity in next door San Juan de Miraflores, where squatter settlements crawl up muddy hills. Without plumbing, they depend on costly water truck deliveries that don’t make it up the slopes. This translates to additional labor and costs for those living higher up. Despite an infamous perpetual winter drizzle, it almost never rains in Lima, which undermines any efforts to harvest rainwater. And as though the irony wasn’t bitter enough up till here, the occasional rain comes down as torrential downpours, washing out these very hills and demolishing the brittle existences of those who dwell there.
Escadaria Selarón, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil · 2014 tile kaleidoscope
Bogotá / Colombia · 2012 gold face
Quito / Ecuador · 2012 concrete hill
The Street Around the Corner
tripping over nothing in everyday streets
Not imposing any art on them or desperately extrapolating some moxie that isn’t there, I strip their description down to only one statement and this is final: these are streets. see more
Valparaíso / TV, Tsunami, Fire, Neruda and the Quintessence of Hills & Timing
ups and downs: a poetic matter of perspective
Still, there was no denying that this little TV set was the unanimous center of attention right now with eight eyes between us fully devoted to it: an 8.2 earthquake off the Chilean Pacific coast was sending a Tsunami right our way and suddenly we felt a gust of appreciation for every meter our journey had led us up the raven hill. explore
Rio de Janeiro / No Hard Feelings
distinguishing between place and experience
...my harshest criticism towards many travelers and especially the ones armed with blogs – that they don’t distinguish between a place and their experience there... explore
Santiago de Chile / Outside the Fence with a Whisky Flask
the morals of sneaking in and getting what you pay for
...naturally, Kant's principals are noble, intact, and upright, while mine dangled lazily between mischievous and preposterous. But, from a pragmatic point of view no harm was done and this factual utilitarian reality was more convenient for me that day... explore
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