The streets of Panama City are now crawling with exotic birds, iguanas, lemurs and other creatures measuring up to three stories in height after a visit from famed Belgian street artist ROA.
Following his exhibition in Brussels, ROA made his way to the Latin American nation to work on new mass-scale pieces in his signature monochromatic style, set against broad stripes of color on stained, peeling urban surfaces.
Animal are ROA’s favorite subject, and the artist often chooses species that are native to the areas in which he’s working.
This faunal imagery contrasts with the stark concrete and asphalt spaces of the city, bringing in a connection to nature as well as some spectacular art that people from all walks of life can enjoy as they go about their daily routines.
A Beautiful Keel-Billed Toucan Keeps a Watchful Eye in Panama
by Robert Montenegro
It turns out there’s a lot more to toucans than pitching Fruit Loops and Guinness. Check out the Sites below to learn all about these very popular, very colorful tropical birds.
Via WAZA (the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums):
“Their beak’s [sic] serrated edges help the toucans hold fruit or other food at the tip, which then is thrown into their throat with an upward toss of the head. The long beak also helps to pluck fruits that are on branches too thin to hold their weight, as they reach far out from their perch on thicker branches.”
“Even though these beaks appear large and cumbersome, they are actually very light (yet strong), as they are made out of spongy and hollow bones that are covered in keratin (a light protein that also makes up human hair and finger nails).”
“The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize, where it is commonly seen outside of restaurants asking for handouts.”
Here it isn’t hard to find empty walls on high rises, garage doors or abandoned factories.
Like Rio de Janeiro, where graffiti is legal, Buenos Aires has few regulations around graffiti art.
Most of the time, all the artist needs is permission from the building owner. In many cases, artists are sought out by building owners who’d like to add something interesting to their bare walls.
In a city where the arts are as celebrated as tango and wine, porteños are favourable toward street art as a means of beautifying their city.
Argentine street artist Martin Ron explains, “we have a lot of freedom to paint and the acceptance of the public means that street art is not perceived as vandalism as in some countries.”
While there is still crude graffiti around the city that boasts of sexual conquests and football victories, much of the artwork in Buenos Aires has a deeper significance.
In the city’s Villa Urquiza neighbourhood, a giant baby painted by Italian street artist Blu is invaded by exploitation and corruption of human beings.
Another of Blu’s murals features hundreds of figures with their eyes covered by a blindfold in the colors of the Argentine national flag, obediently following a dark figure who stands above them wearing a presidential sash and a suit and tie.
Diana Beltran Herrera is a Colombian designer and illustrator who creates realistic, vibrantly colored paper birds.
Diana Beltran Herrera hand-makes the paper birds by building up layers to form the base structure, then glues on delicate feathers that are curled and splayed once attached. Wire legs are added and feathers are painted to make the models as realistic as possible.
Each model takes from 5 days to 2 weeks to complete depending on size and complexity.
Diana Herrera holds a BA in industrial design from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota, Colombia. She gained her first work experience in Finland under the Faroese-Danish artist Hanni Bjartalid.
Indigenous children dress in traditional outfits in preparation for the Rey Curré festival. Courtesy The Culture Ministry
The moment tourists arrive at a Costa Rican airport, they see artifacts of the Boruca people: elaborately painted balsawood masks hang in the souvenir shops, sculpted like monsters, jaguars, and playful demons.
Travelers stop, lean into the masks, and wonder, Now where did these come from?
But to really understand Boruca heritage, amateur anthropologists should attend the 22nd Indigenous Cultural Festival in in the deeply rural community of Rey Curré.
The annual event is a comprehensive celebration of Boruca culture. (Also note that while they are commonly known as “the Boruca,” the more accurate nomenclature is the “Brunca”).
“These cultural spaces are very important, because they offer a place that the community needs,” said Uriel Rojas, a community representative, in a press release.
“The customs, traditions, traditional cuisine, games, crafts, artistic skills, oral tradition, archaeological heritage, [and] natural medicine are part of the different themes showcased at the community during these days of celebration.”
Among outsiders, the Boruca are particularly famous for their “Juego de los Diablitos,” or “Game of the Little Devils.”
The custom began during the conquistador invasion, when Boruca warriors discovered that the Catholic Spanish were afraid of demonic imagery and crafted fearsome-looking masks.
Today, Boruca descendants enact playful rituals wearing this devilish headgear, a unique mix of pre- and post-colonial ceremony.
Image Credit: Photograph and caption by Lorraine Yip / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Traveling through Cuba in a vintage 1950 Chevrolet with a speedometer which no longer works.
We were passing by the city of Camagey known for its winding streets.
The modern American Hawaiian hula figure and yellow taxi cab sign on the dashboard adds to the time travel-esque element of the classic Chevrolet, set against the backdrop of an old and perhaps dilapidated , but not forgotten, Cuba.