Over 30 years ago in the ocean-side epicenter of Chile’s burgeoning street-art movement, a couple of kids took paint cans in hand and started feverishly adding to the color explosion that was enveloping the city. At the time, many residents considered the street art and graffiti to be a nuisance and painters were perpetually having to evade the police. Today however, the situation is quite different.

Now with thousands of high-quality artworks and murals in every corner of the city, Valparaiso has become an international destination and tourists and fans of street art from around the world swarm to the city, adding a valuable source of revenue for residents apart from the the traditional jobs of working in the port or for the fishing industry. Over time Sammy and Cynthia took on larger challenges and their surreal but distinctive male and female characters grew to even greater proportions. Then around the year 2000 the city government started sponsoring them and they took on commissions to paint a number of tall apartment buildings around the city. Today, in a city full of art, they remain the most recognized and well-represented muralists despite the brimming talent the city continues to attract.