Followers of my ruminations here will be well aware of my keen appreciation of the Bogotá graffiti scene. In fact, one of the earliest interviews I recorded for the Colombia Calling podcast brought together two graffiti artists, Crisp and DJLu and resulted in a fascinating discussion about the street art world and its significance.
So, when I saw that the good folk at Visaje Graffiti Colombia were holding an auction of artwork donated by Bogotá graffiti artists to raise funds to help one of their own, Odio, to pay for some hefty medical bills, it was an event not to be missed. I figured that if anything it would make for an interesting Friday night and I might possibly bid on some choice artwork.
Not only did I bid on three pieces of art, but, I actually managed to bid correctly for a work by Ceroker entitled: “El Rey Pajaro“, which will hang for all to see in our new apartment soon enough. The big spender of the night was actually a person known to me and who will be returning from Colombia to the UK quite soon and who had decided to take back pieces of the Bogotá graffiti scene as his souvenirs. In fact, he too has been interviewed on Colombia Calling!
The story behind Odio’s medical bills.
A few days previously Odio had been on Bogotá’s Avenida Caracas when he saw two men attacking a lady. He intervened. His resulting injuries tell tales of how he defended himself from being slashed to death by this pair of men armed with knives. There were deep cuts to his forearms, near to his armpits and across his chin. In his own words, when a vein was severed: “it looked like a scene from Kill Bill.”
Odio could have lost the use of his hands and/ or arms and very possibly could have died as he fell unconscious there on the Avenida Caracas. Somehow he was taken in enough time to the Marly Hospital and saved. Not being affiliated to any health insurance, his bills are costly.
This is where other Bogotá graffiti artists decided to step in to help out one of their own. Crisp, DJLu, Vogel, Ceroker, Dast, Lesivo, Cochino and many others donated art for the cause.
The sum of nearly 10 million pesos raised will all go towards Odio´s bills and the auction was hosted by the inimitable Santiago Rivas of “Los puros criollos” on Señal Colombia which made the evening a real success.
The urban art world in Bogotá is clearly united in its politics and as a movement, but this auction showed a thoroughly selfless side to the “union”.
Long may this goodwill and solidarity last.