Beginning Sep. 21, four members of the Santiago, Chile-based HA CREW will take part in a 26-day art residency on the streets of southern California. First formed in 1996, the HA CREW is well-known in Santiago, a city renowned by street artists as something of a “graffiti Mecca.” They are considered the pioneers of street art in the city, where they paint nearly every day.
“Graffiti can change a city in a positive way,” said Ricardo Motta, HA Crew member. Ricardo, who works in Santiago as an IT Engineer, will be joined by Kode, a graphic designer, and Kastro and Gesak, both artists at the University of Chile.
“We believe that graffiti can change the city structure,” Motta said. “Doing huge murals, we know that we can change the city, that we can change the perspective of the cities.” According to Motta, some of the crew’s street art in crime-ridden and troubled areas has inspired residents, who have planted trees and cleaned up public spaces afterward. “The community takes the place and makes it their own,” he said.
The HA Crew painted the largest mural in Santiago, which measures an area of more than 50,000 square feet. The multidisciplinary crew plans to paint at least two large murals while in southern California, in addition to showing off their work before they depart in a public exhibition at the House of Trestles in San Clemente.