I have a confession to make. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know me well, but the world needs to know: I fell in love while travelling. I know, I know, I too never saw it coming. Like many great love affairs, it took me by surprise. One day I was walking the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the next I was spending every waking moment with her. She took my breath away, and there weren’t enough megapixels or memory in my camera to capture all of her beauty. She, of course, is my beautiful love – street art.
It came as such a surprise to me. I had of course seen her beautiful face before many times, and in places all over, but it wasn’t until her glory was shown in Rio that I truly fell in love. I’m not sure if it was the sun, the beautiful beaches, the caipirinhas, or the green mountain back drop, but she took my breath away. Each time I walked around a corner, I saw her anew, and it was at that moment that I fell madly and deeply in love.
Isn’t she beautiful in Brazil?!?
I can remember the first time she took my breath away. She was not quite ready for the outside world to see her yet, but I knew she’d be beautiful. I was rolling up to my new home in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, when I saw her being worked on. The intelligence behind her lines, the intricacy in her details, and colours that she wore were truly spectacular. How could I not fall in love? From that beautiful first taste, I was smitten.
I know! I love her hair too!
My days in Rio were full of long walks, taking as many photos of her as my memory card would allow. Every time I turned a new corner I fell in love with her again. The city had many tantalizing sights, sounds, and smells, but all I wanted to do was spend time with my new love. Photographing her in the perfect light. Making sure I could take her home with me, if only in digital form.
Holy, she’s beautiful
By the end of April, I knew I had to leave. My last day in Rio was a frenetic mess; trying to spend as much time as possible with her. I didn’t want to see all the beautiful people on the beaches. The beauty I wanted to see was spread across the walls.
I thought it was maybe just a short love affair with street art. I was heading back to Medellin, and her beauty was going to be captured in Rio. I had hundreds of photos of her, but she wouldn’t be at my side day in, and day out, as she had been in Rio. With sadness, and fond memories, I left her behind. Flying out of Rio, back to Colombia.
Piercing eyes (and nose)
I thought it was over. I thought she was gone. I continued my life in Medellin, where she just wasn’t as beautiful. There were faint glimpses of her around town, but nothing that held my attention. My love had flickered. Maybe Rio had her, and I had to let her go.
Then I arrived in Bogota. I saw her again! There she was! And she was on every corner, just like in Rio. My second love affair with her had begun, but I wasn’t fully ready to embrace her again. Was I ready to have my heart broken for a second time? Was she as beautiful under the grey skies of Bogota as she was on the sun-drenched streets of Rio? Could she capture me for a second time?
Needless to say, she took my heart again. She ran with it, and I with her. She had a different kind of beauty in Bogota, maybe a rougher, darker side, but stunning none-the-less. With a month at her side in Bogota, I had plenty of opportunities to fall in love all over again. She entrenched in me a deep love for her, that I now know will be a lifetime love affair. Seeking and yearning for her when she is not around the nearest corner.
I love how colourful she is
Since my first sweet innocent photograph, to my full on devotion to her, it has been a sweet journey. I’ve now taken my love with me to Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Toronto, London, and Buenos Aires. She’s brought beauty to my life, and wowed my friends, family, and strangers alike. I know she will keep wowing these people, and I look forward to our next sultry encounter.
Spending some quality time with my baby
*This was a guest post by my lovely friend Brice Peressini, the Trading Voyageur. To see more of his “love affair with street art” check out the street art section of his page.