art on the streets of cartagena

We toyed with a pun to open this article: putting the 'art' into cartagena, street c-art-agena, a street cartagena named desire.

You get the picture.

This is a wonderfully charming city on the northern coast of Colombia - in parts beautiful, in parts gritty and sometimes a perfect blend of the two. 

We loved walking through its streets, where a number of decaying walls seemed to stay upright due solely to the graffiti and paintings which adorned them.  

This man was always stationed in front of this mural. There's something touching about the old woman's face with soulful eyes wide open, watching over him while he sleeps. As though she's waiting for him to be painted on the wall beside her. 

The city is known for the fruit sellers with vibrant costumes. Unfortunately, these days the ladies appear to be more of a tourist attraction for photo-ops, rather than a part of the city's fabric. 

Even the less artistic bits of spray-paint - more common at a skate park or derelict building - feel at home here. They form part of Cartagena's evolving backdrop. 

And if you stand still long enough, anyone can become part of the art. 

You'll spend hours discovering the colourful streets and characters of Cartagena - both the living and the imagined. 

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