‘Hecho en Casa’ festival of Urban Art starts in Santiago de Chile

Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO – The “Hecho en Casa” festival was opened in Santiago on Thursday, in a celebration of urban art which will last until October 8 (Sunday).

This year marks the fifth edition of the festival and will see five huge art installations taking over the city, created by both national and international artists. The festival is free for whoever wishes to admire the art.

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Amongst the art on public display is the famous “Rubber Duck”, by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. This gigantic floating sculpture of the iconic bathtime toy, which is 20m tall and 17m wide, will be on display in the Parque Quinta Normal from 28th September to the 1st October.

The duck will then be moved to Valparaiso where it will be on display for the rest of the festival in the harbour, weather permitting. This is the first year that the “Hecho en Casa” festival has extended beyond the city limits.

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120 tons of sand has been bought to Santiago for one of the other exhibits, a work called “Us”, a sculpture of faces of original Latin American tribal people. This installation, by the English group Sand in Your Eye is on display outside the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo until the 8th October, and will be completed during the time period of the festival.

The other international contribution is from the Australian group The Glue Society, which has been working for over 20 years. The artists’ collective aim is to use their art to shock and entertain passing citizens, offering them something unexpected during their day. The piece on display in Santiago consists of a gigantic washing line hanging between buildings in the Paseo Bulnes, with recently washed laundry frying and dripping onto the people below.

Perhaps the most prominent piece will be on display around the Entel Tower in the centre of Santiago. The installation, by Chilean artist Valeria Merina, will see 5 gigantic orange butterflies placed on the outside of the tower, to highlight the contrast between the urban world and the nature which lives in it. This piece of art was commissioned by Entel through a design competition earlier this year, which saw 40 projects being considered.

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The final piece of art, a large mural in Barrio Lastarria, has been presented as a permanent gift to the people of the neighbourhood. Located on the corner of Rosal and Lastarria, the Antafogastan artist Luís Nuñez San Martín will be painting a hyper-realistic 300m2 mural of the street as seen on a normal day in 1900.

Last year, over 3 million people visited the installations, making the festival the largest urban art celebration in South America. This year, the festival has increased its duration from 6 to 11 days, incorporating two weekends. Because of this, the organizers hope that 5 million people will be able to view the installations. Each of the installations will also come with a specific “Selfie Point”, which will encourage visitors to take a selfie at the best angle to see the art, so they can share their experience with their friends.

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The General Manager of Entel, Antonio Büchi, wants everyone to experience this new edition of the festival. “We are very happy to be able to inspire and surprise the people of Santiago once again, and to take the festival “Hecho en Casa Entel” to Valparaiso for the first time this year. We invite young and old to be part of this festival, to connect themselves with their city, the countryside, art and culture.”