Museo a Cielo Abierto is Spanish for Open Air Museum, but for some reasons the sound of the Spanish name for me is more…how to put it…more pleasant, melodious, maybe even delicate and mysterious. But these are just my musings on the name, and what I really wanted to write about is the initiative which combines social aspects, aesthetic values of the location, historic and cultural elements and street art by local artists.
Located in San Miguel, Chile, and funded by the Chilean governmental project for cultural development and arts Museo a Cielo Abierto has become the largest collective expression of street art in Chile.
The interest of the local residents and a need to stop and eliminate deterioration of buildings in the area, cause by decades of pollution – posting brochures and posters – these were the main factors which influenced the Centro Cultural Mixart to take up an initiative which took 3 years to be carried out. Patient work over this time enabled to transform local neighbourhood into a real public art gallery, access to which is free, unlimited by opening hours – regardless of the time of the day the whole community, passersby and visitor can find enjoyment in watching these enormous pieces of art.
There are 22 huge, outdoors murals and 6 indoors murals which are part of the Museum. They were created by major national and international artists, established and emerging; in their works they share the stage, traditional grafitti techniques are mixed with original pieces. A very important part of the project was the fact, that each project of the mural was “validated by the residents living in the neighbourhood by each wall – this adds an additional value of participation and generates a sense of belonging with the mural and its environment.”, the organizers say on their website.
Since each of the murals in the project is an amazing work of art in itself with sometimes a great story behind it, I decided to make a series out of it…
Hope you enjoy it.
Meli Wu’ayra is Aymara (native Indian tongue) for ‘four winds’. Created by a duo Aislap, the piece is characterized by symmetry; its main theme are the native cultures. The main character of the piece is a Machi – a women shaman, healer – who represents Mapuche culture. She is clad in a traditional costume, with a trapelacucha (a characteristic long, vertical jewellery made of silver, put on the chest) and a cultrun (ceremonial drum). In the geometric picture other major groups are inserted: of the south corner of the picture the already disappeared Onas, the Aymara on the north end, islandic people of Rapanui (Eastern Island) and a man emerging from the digital age. Apart from its important message, the mural strikes with its design and strong colours.
Aislap is a duo of Chilean grafitti artists. Their works, apart from the sheer love to paint, concentrate frequently on important social issues, they have also displayed their works i.a. during Expo in Paris. www.aislap.com