Spend even five minutes in Buenos Aires
and you’re sure to see graffiti cluttering nearly every visible wall.
Most of the time it couldn’t be said to be an improvement on the architecture many take for granted. Spend a few days here and it’s part of the scenery. Proclamations of love for another person, a football team or a band are the bulk of it while political statements from radical to those that are sponsored by political parties take a close second.
But within your first week, you’re sure to run across a wall that makes it obvious that not all graffiti are pleas to be heard or the human equivalent of a dog pissing on a fire hydrant. You’re sure to see a single provocative stencil here or there. Within a month you’ll find that there are some places where you can see several different styles co-mingling to produce something that makes passers-by stop and consider the message, smile, admire, crane their necks and squint their eyes. While the art scene worldwide is getting more elite as time goes on, this is art by and for the people of Buenos Aires.
It’s only fitting, then, that GraffitiMundo, a company that gives graffiti tours in English, sheds light on the artists and their processes in an accessible way. Marina Charles, who leads the tours, doesn’t get bogged down with curatorial jargon that means nothing to the average viewer. She takes visitors through the history of the graffiti renaissance after the dictatorship, pointing out key art and artists off the beaten path from Chacarita to Villa Crespo and ending in Palermo.
Find yourself in Buenos Aires and advance reservations and $75 pesos (less than $20 US) will get even jaded art veterans excited about art again.
All Photos Kate Sedgwick. All Rights Reserved.
The tour starts here in Chacaritas
Led by Marina Charles (pictured here in blue), the tour starts at Tec
's in Chacarita. Many artists collaborated to cover the largest side of the artist's home including Parbo
, and Bleep
Massive Gualicho Piece
This piece by Gualicho
was finished in three days. The artist works alone and quickly.
Two views of giraffes
Two views of fenced in animals by RunDon'tWalk
. Giant red creature: Tester
, Big Yellow Robot: Bleep
The founder of Run Don't WalkCollective shows us how it's done.
The founder of Run Don't Walk
Collective shows us how it's done. I was star-struck when I saw him pull out the stencil I had so admired in other locations throughout the city.
One gallery from the tour, Casa L'Inc
. Works are affordable and appealing.
Across from Casa l'Inc, bits and pieces of a wall where many have contributed.
Tightrope walker: (artist unknown), Man with a Stick: Jaz
, Bat and face stancils: BsAsStencil
, Tu basura es mi tesoro (Your trash is my treasure): RunDon'tWalk
Stencils at Tegui
Stencils at Tegui: Vomito Attack
. An upscale restaurant has employed Vomito Attack to assure the eyes of all passing pedestrians have only one place to turn. This photo is a compilation of about 20 photos. For more details, you can check out the process on the collective's Flickr Page
Outside a photo studio, artists have surrounded this bus line termination with giant pieces.
Outside a photo studio, artists have surrounded this bus hangar with giant pieces. The Devil Head is by GrouLou, and in the background are Ever
's giant heart and RunDon'tWalk's head of a smoking man in 3-D glasses.
Collective Wall Piece
Collaboration on a house. The owner was approached by artists who, sketches in hands, made a case for this impressive piece. Massive pieces like this discourage taggers from leaving their mark. This wall is a collaboration by Triangulo Dorado
Smokin' in Palermo
A piece in Palermo very close to Hollywood in Cambodia by Ever
Hollywood in Cambodia
The tour ends at Hollywood in Cambodia. A bar and gallery, Hollywood in Cambodia is a two storey riot of art and stencil work with pieces for sale in the back. Dog with camera head: RunDon'tWalk
, Decapitated Fish: Tec
, 3-D Geometry: Nerf
, sailor cat and bird: PumPum
, any help in further identifying artists depicted here would be appreciated.