Street Art as High Art?

Chicha, a popular and controversial art form, has peppered the cities of Peru since the 1960s. The colorful murals of Chicha typically contain socially charged messages.

Embraced by some, repelled by others, these murals have been removed by the Peruvian government in recent months. Yet Chicha prospers among a global audience. This summer’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival features the work of several highly regarded Chicha street artists. 

Though not Chicha, Alixa and Naima similarly serves as a symbol for social activism. The artist Swoon uses salvaged materials to illustrate her fellow street artists in a tight embrace, seeking to overcome the destructive elements of urban life. —Abbey Thomsen, Intern, July 15



Photo credit: Caro Curbelo, Mirá Mamá