Chile: International artists transform Santiago through street art

Subverted street signs and surreal installations marked art festival starring renowned artists including Inti Castro and Roadsworth.

Live in Santiago for any length of time and you’ll become accustomed to stumbling across art installations and festivals you never knew where happening simply in the course of moving from A to B. That’s why anyone walking around the capital in early December may well have seen families, commuters or schoolchildren walk nonchalantly past a tree with eyes or a office building adorned with green tentacles protruding from its windows.

After a successful debut last summer, Hecho en Casa returned to Santiago, offering residents and tourists the chance to take in some of the world’s best street art. This year’s event expanded on its predecessor, featuring 25 installations across nine boroughs, including Providencia, Cerro Navia, Quinta Normal and the downtown area.

Some of the genre’s leading artists from across the globe featured including Roadsworth (Canada), Filthy Luker (U.K.) and renowned Chilean muralist Inti Castro. In an added twist, the 2013 event also included three amateur artists whose participation in a special contest earned them the right to participate alongside the internationally-acclaimed heavy-hitters of street art.

Among the highlights was a mural by Alejandro “Mono” González, a founding member of the revolutionary Chilean street art style — vivid, detailed works adorning walls across the country and espousing leftist political ideas.

The Virgin Mary also featured in the festival as part of an installation by Mario González. The iconic statue that sits atop the capital’s Cerro San Cristobal was “dressed” in brightly colored clothes using high quality projections, the results visible from much of the city.

Santiago has hosted a plethora art events in recent months: October saw “100 in a day” transform the city with citizen installations, the country’s largest artisan fair was held in Parque Bustamante in November and a recent initiative to install piano’s across the city has just come to an end.

Watch a video summary of the festival here.