Art for Art’s Sake

Artistic expression is a core value of Ecuadorean culture, including everything from street performances, artisanal craftsmen, to dozens of museums. In that vein, one of my favorite art forms here are the murals that pop up around the city. The subjects range from the whimsical to the fantastic, and everywhere in between, showcasing the talents of the many local artists. It’s an interesting contrast to the US, where much of this art would be considered graffiti or vandalism and would be painted over or otherwise removed.

Another interesting observation is that the murals are generally treated with respect – it’s fairly rare to find a high-quality mural that has been defaced, unlike much of the street art I used to see stateside.  Anyhow, here are some of my favorites from our recent travels in Cuenca and Vilcabamba…

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