“4 ojos” literary means four eyes in Spanish and symbolically, whatever you want it to mean. Two Venezuelan girls have started a cultural movement of this name and have given the opportunity to local artists to make of it whatever they want it to be. Graffiti artists, painters, chefs, dancers, DJ’s, photographers and pretty much any kind of artistic expression are welcome at this event. The intention is to promote art and culture and the event itself is of a kind that Colombia has never seen before, perhaps even the world, at least in the way that they are doing it.
What makes it so different and special is that it is a “nomadic and ephemeral art gallery,” as the organizers put it. Is nomadic because it takes place in a different location every time, and ephemeral because the event and the art that makes it up is destroyed shortly after the event, along with the venue.
What does that mean? Nelixa Salas and Maria Fernanda Velandia (the two Venezuelan girls) look out for semi-abandoned houses to “intervene,” as they say (although it might not translate so well). They then invite local artists to take over the place. They then literary fill it with art and creativity. The walls get completely covered with paint or photos or sculptures. There are music sets and small, local, brand promotions. There are performers and food and drinks, all lasting until 4 am, usually on a Saturday, and gone by the following week when the properties are demolished or painted and brought back to “normal.” Although it only lasts a short while, the energy such event generates is pretty amazing. 4 Ojos allows artists to showcase their creativity, network, socialize and party, ALL at the same time. It is like the Latin American version of Create.Share.Unite that takes place in New Haven, CT, US. For those of you who are familiar with it ;)
The organizers know how beneficial this kind of cultural movement is for a city.
“It enriches the culture of the city,” they say. “It’s become its own social class that emerges from the necessity of creative people to interact.” The artists and attendees benefit by creating a social and professional network and the city itself benefits by having such creativity and good energy going on.
4 Ojos took place last Saturday in Medellin, Colombia. It also happens in San Cristobal, Venezuela. This is the 4th year running and the organizers plan to keep the ball rolling. Next month it will take place in Venezuela and they’ll be back in Medellin in November. Hopefully, eventually, it will take place in more cities in Colombia and the world….so stay tuned because 4 Ojos might come you way and you don’t want to miss it. It is truly fantastic.