Slideshow: Bastardilla's Bogota

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BOGOTA — Walls in the cities of Bogota, Cali, Medellin — and up the coast in Barranquilla and Santa Marta — are covered with paintings of faces haunted by sadness, women bearing cacti on their heads and hummingbirds.

This is the work of a mysterious woman who only goes by her pseudonym, Bastardilla — the Spanish word for "italics." She's determined to draw attention to her art, and not herself. "Fame doesn't interest me," said the 28-year-old.

Her paintings — which range from the size of your hand to massive murals — have garnered her fans from Paraguay to Serbia. Some have discovered her work through the Internet (see photos of her work here), while others have witnessed it for themselves.

Bastardilla also sends her artwork with friends when they travel abroad, for them to paste on doorways, garages or poles in places like Guatemala City, Boston and Madrid.

Now, Bastardilla is attempting to give some color to Los Lachas, a dangerous and poor neighborhood on a Bogota hillside where few people go unless they have to. For a rare commissioned piece (Bastardilla was asked to make it, but she is never paid for her art), she is painting a mural here that will provide the backdrop for her friend Diana Avella's album cover (Avella is a rapper and native of Los Lachas). Meet Bastardilla for yourself.

More GlobalPost dispatches from Colombia:

Renovating a literary giant's childhood home

Becoming an accordion king

Books by donkey

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