How to love graffiti

Most of what I know of street art and graffiti, I learned by walking the streets of Bogotá, Colombia. Like most people, I initially did not notice that my hometown was saturated with murals and pieces, as well as hastily executed stencils, tags and throw-ups. But just like a gestalt image, once you shift your gaze towards the street, you start seeing them, and then there is no turning back. My fascination with these strange letters and images, done mostly by anonymous artists, led me to start thinking through the tensions and contradictions embedded in our public spaces and eventually to writing my master’s thesis on Bogotá’s street art and graffiti culture.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Two sides of the same coin.

Gabriel Ortiz van Meerbeke

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to
Gabriel Ortiz van Meerbeke.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ortiz van Meerbeke, G. How to love graffiti — learning from Bogotá.
Nat Cities 1, 174 (2024).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This post was originally published on this site be sure to check out more of their content.