STREET ART – Roa in Panama City

After whizzing past this location onroute to the Panama Canal and other locations – it seemed our hotel based in Panama City wasn’t actually THAT far away from what looked like an amazing piece of street art each time we passed (but too quickly to take any photos though!)Roa Street Art, Panama City
So armed with my camera and dressed in surf shorts, sunglasses and flipflops I ventured into this industrial part of the city whilst traffic passed these busy roads at crazy speeds.

After a short walk I amazingly managed to work my way to this location and could see these few tower blocks infront of me nestling just on the edge of a busy industrial estate.
Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama City
As I got ever closer I could see that the whole area was totally run down with rubbish strewn everywhere and a lot of locals hanging about – did I really want to get any closer to this masterpiece?

Hell yes I did!

Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama CityRoa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama City
Across the front of each building, artist Roa, featured his signature highly detailed animals – this time of a giant rat, lizard and bird.
What an amazing canvas for such work – you can feel the character oozing out of the three storey structures.

Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama CityRoa Street Art, Panama City

Before I got the camera out a man walked past and said to me “I painted this!” then asked me for $20!
I started speaking Welsh at him and he didn’t have a clue what to do next so I just carried on moving and didn’t enter into any longer conversation.

I was totally on edge whilst taking these few shots with many vehicles going past and honking their horns and shouting things at me!

I got the feeling that they were politely telling me to get out of the area asap as it wasnt particularly nice and walking round with a large camera I could’ve been an easy target!

Roa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama City

Since I was a kid I drew animals, so I wanted to paint like I draw, but more plastic and looser. I gave it a try on the wall… I got inspired to go up to paint in left-behind factories and hidden places and experiment with lines and scales. I was still enjoying it because every wall is different; the environment, the social life around it, the external conditions, the size, the depiction, the challenge is always there. ROA

Roa Street Art, Panama CityRoa Street Art, Panama City
Roa Street Art, Panama CityRoa Street Art, Panama City

Animal are ROA’s favorite subject, where he usuallychooses species that are native to the areas in which he’s working. Here the creatures contrast with the stark concrete and urban life of the city, bringing in a connection to nature as well as some spectacular art that people from all walks of life can enjoy as they go about their daily routines.

Roa Street Art, Panama City

im so glad I made the effort to navigate this area and grab a few snaps of such a spectacular piece from Roa and managed to survive the area in my flipflops!

The full set can be viewed at the link below or by pressing play on the slideshow.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/djleekee/sets/72157637745244183/

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