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Analytical Essay on Street Art in Ecuador

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Ecuador is a country that is very accepting of street art in general. But there is one city that is in the lower part of Ecuador, that is especially welcoming of street art, and that is Cuenca. In fact, Cuenca is the one and only city in Ecuador that has a municipal ordinance that regulates street art.

In Cuenca, the street art techniques vary all over the city, from person to person, from wall to wall. From pictures with deep meaning about rainforests, to simple and angry political scrawls saying “What are we teaching our children?”street art is a way that many people in Cuenca express themselves, either in a peaceful and calm way or in a more aggressive way.

In Cuenca, making street art is, surprisingly, a much more lucrative and better job opportunity than selling your art to any collections, or to any collectors. The Cuencanos, people from Cuenca, are usually very kind to street artists. They will come and talk to street artists, admire the street artists work, take pictures, and even ask if the street artists can paint their very own homes. This has become a great job opportunity for many, many people. Being able to make street art to make money will help create a lot more jobs in the future for many Cuencanos that need one. Paul Desmond, an artist who is participating in a collective intervention to decorate the walls of Hermano Miguel La Salle School with murals, says “I have friends who studied art at university, and they’re much better off painting outdoors than selling their works to museums and galleries,”

In most of the other countries in the world, street art is painted under the cover of darkness, so as to not get caught by any officials or people that regulate street art. Many, and in fact most people, consider it vandalism. But in Cuenca and other areas in Ecuador, such as Valparaiso, Bogotá, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires, it is becoming increasingly acceptable as the years go by. The urban art movement in Ecuador is huge, and it will only continue to grow larger as time goes on.

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Many of the artists that paint street art in Cuenca today are designers, art students, and even professors in universities. Almost all of the people that paint these artistic, beautiful, meaningful, and colorful murals are adults and professionals. And this is not, in fact, a coincidence. The third oldest university in Ecuador, the University of Cuenca, offers many art degrees, and it is, in fact, one of the very best places to study and learn in the entire country of Ecuador.

Now, Cuenca and Philadelphia, are two very, and I mean very, different places when it comes to graffiti laws. In Philadelphia, there are many laws that are against graffiti and murals if the art was not previously approved. It would be an improvement to the city if the people who regulate graffiti in Philadelphia should remove graffiti that is on things like street signs, street lights, and windows. But there are some graffiti artists that worked very hard on their work, and it feels more than slightly unfair to remove a beautiful piece of art that someone worked hard on, even though it isn’t hurting anyone, or causing anyone to be in danger. Especially because it can make some places look better that were previously very drab and boring.

Whereas, in stark contrast to Philadelphia, graffiti in Cuenca is looked kindly upon, and is a good job opportunity for many people, as stated before. In Cuenca, people will ask and pay for street artists to paint their own homes, and in Philadelphia people will call for someone to erase beautiful and colorful works of art just because it happened to interrupt the grayness of their buildings.

Making street art in Cuenca has changed many people’s lives for the better. Paul Desmond, who was previously mentioned, says “I started making tags when I was 17 years old. From that moment on, my life changed. If I hadn’t started to make graffiti, I don’t think I would have studied at university at all.” He is now a designer, and you can feel and hear his desire to share his art, and his passion for it when he speaks. “When you are painting on the walls, you feel that your art is not only for you, but for everyone to enjoy. Everyone, no matter the social class, can see it.” You can very clearly tell his great enthusiasm for all things art related.

Cuenca is an amazing place, and full of creativity and artistic talent. It’s way of interacting with street art should be more widely accepted all over the world, and its walls are an open art museum for everyone to enjoy. Cuenca is even a Unesco world cultural heritage site.

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Analytical Essay on Street Art in Ecuador. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2023, from
“Analytical Essay on Street Art in Ecuador.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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