Pongalo Picotero

Its been a while since I last posted photos from Barranquilla here, so here are a few more shots.  As you may know from earlier posts, my girlfriend Carlota and I spent a few months in Colombia last year, during which time we were able to soak in as much music and sound system culture as our schedule would allow.   Many of the illustrations seen here are the works of William Gutiérrez and of Eddy from Soledad (whose last name I’m not sure of EDIT: It turns out that Eddy is the same person as Edilberto de la Hoz, who constructed my own replica picó.  Thanks to Fabian for clearing that up) I think a lot of what catches people’s interest about picós (sound systems/pick-ups) is the distinct style of decoration and adornment with the fluorescent colors, psychedelic portraits, and boasty tag-lines.  When I first started reading up on Colombia’s music scene and looked through some of the old pictures that Fabian has compiled at Africolombia, I was immediately fixated on the whole aesthetics of of the picó–from the shapes of the speaker boxes to the lettering, the texture, to the adoption of characters from music, politics and pop culture.  A small slice of this audacious style can be glimpsed in the photographs on this post.  If you would like to learn more about the painters and illustrators behind this popular art form, and can read some spanish, I direct you to Fukafra–a blog created by Dairo Barriosnuevo, himself a Barranquilla resident, visual artist, and popular historian.  There you will find detailed discussions of painters like Belimastth, Alcur, Gerson, and Dairo himself–valuable historical context for the aesthetic captured in the images below and above.

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Filed under b/quilla, champeta, colombia, photography

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