Urban intervention brightens Vitacura in Chilean capital

In a fit of color and creativity, Vitacura inaugurates 40 painted benches in the urban enclave of Alonso de Córdova just outside Santiago centro.

The neighborhood Alonso de Córdova in the upscale area of Vitacura to the east of Santiago centro is known for its luxury and design boutiques. It also happens to be a mini-mecca for some of the chicest art galleries in the city.

Galleries like Isabel Animal, AMS Marlborough, Artespacio, Cecilia Palma, and La Sala hold promise for up-and-coming artists as gateways to reaching the domestic and international art community.

Now, another layer of art comes to Alonso de Córdova, and this time it’s going beyond gallery walls to the open space of the streets. A public art project has called on a handful of important Chilean artists to paint 40 park benches in the area in a wonderful display of color and creativity.

“We had already done it in Las Condes and Santiago, then we thought about the idea for Vitacura,” project manager at La Sala Phillipa Pain told La Tercera. “We put forward the idea of Alonso de Córdova, which is a touristic and high-traffic location.”

Sculptor and painter Palolo Valdés, cubist drawer Catalina Abbott, larger than life painter Andrés Gana, and kooky sculptor Francisca Eluchans each had their hand in decorating the benches. Other invited artists include Matilde Huidobro, Patricia Ossa, José Basso, José Domingo Donoso, and Cristián Abelli.

Another participant, architect Albert Tidy, had interesting commentary about his bench:

“What I do is architecture. This is the first time I’ve participated in something like this,” Tidy told La Tercera. “I first painted the bench a golden color and then I put on a shackle attached to a ball and chain made from concrete.”

Pain maintained high hopes for this exciting creative intervention.

“This urban furniture will show new trends in art and the street will transform into a truly open air gallery.”

The decorative benches are now open for public viewing at the intersection of Alonso de Córdova and Avenida Bicentenario in Vitacura.