Buenos Aires is less about must-see architecture and more about experiencing the culture, so pick neighborhoods to catch interesting glimpses and be a part of the city OR take these two semi-private tours that will let you discover the magic of BsAs with a little guidance.
Buenos Aires explodes with street art as vibrant as the city — started in 2001 when the rest of the world’s craze for graffiti died, and started as a way of self-expression and a dialogue between young artists.
Graffitimundo was the biggest highlight of our trip; a five hour bike tour to explore the streets and to gain an unique perspective of urban artists. An artist himself, comes along to walk you through the work, giving you insights behind political art and stories about the cultural phenomenon and creative collaborations of artists that are still working together to create a beautiful and inspiring BsAs.
Fun fact: Street Art in BsAs is legal if you have gained a permission from residents, infact most of the work were commissioned to beautify the city.
BsAs has a group of artists that are well known in the city, all of whom are around 17-22 of age, work together, inspire each other and often plan a street mural together.
I have featured some of my favorites here..
Zumi, is a fashion designer who likes painting happy urban jungles with overly cheerful images to bring a positive attitude towards street art. This is an example of how graffiti can be just an work of art.
Pictured here with Zumi’s mural is our guide (a British expat)
Jaz, a BsAs native, uses unconventional materials, large complex scale and often places themes of Mexican lucha Libre wrestling images with part-man part beast.
This below art was created with just petrol and asphalt paint, giving a beautiful watercolor effect.
Young Portenos painting in daylight
An architect has painted geometrical patterns infront of his studio.
Ever likes to paint portraits and detailed murals but skips painting the eyes inorder to take the focus to the entire mural.
Stolen Walls -
“All across the city, large sections of murals began to disappear.
A few days before the disappearances started, we were running a tour and came across a group of people applying a coating of resin to a section of a mural painted by Bert van Wijk. When we asked them what they were doing, they replied that a gallery had asked them to protect the murals, and so they were going around the city preserving the best pieces. It seemed strange that they would only preserve a section of a mural instead of the whole piece, but they were reluctant to share any more information and quickly left.
– the pieces were being removed by a conceptual artist, who wanted to use pieces of street art in his own exhibition.
Apparently the concept behind his exhibition was that street art is vandalism, and removing street art from the walls represented an act of vandalism against vandalism.”
The good part here is the ending, where the artist was condoned by angry public and media, and his shows were canceled.
Pum Pum’s talent in design and illustrations have been taken to the streets, she likes to paint cartoon images of cute animals or punky blonde girls..
The rise of Stencil work
Supporter of Christina Fernandez’s, President of Argentina, did this graffiti stenciling her speeches and phrases in front of his home/office. I loved this effect of creating layers of typography which in turn creates immense depth and adds so much more power to the meaning of the words.
This wall was dedicated for a girl who went missing with the other 30,000 people. Each square of this portrait was done by the family member.
This symbol represents the ‘Madres’ - Mothers in search of their children who went missing during the Dirty War between 1976-83.
A street bar - Post is a unique place to see all the artists’ work in one small place, meet them and also buy directly from them. The bar also gets rowdy good at night.
Inspired by these graffitis I had decided to paint a mural in my living room but (considering we moved to a rental now) we settled to convert my photographs as canvases and now I am super psyched to see a piece of Buenos Aires in my liv room.
Fotoruta is an urban photo experience that takes you to a neighborhood in Buenos Aires to experience the city with a new pair of lens, literally and figuratively.
Started by an international expat two-woman team, Fotoruta is a photo tour with a twist. It’s sort of a treasure hunt, you will be armed with a map and series of 10 clues. Braving the idea, you set out as a team to capture the clues and your interpretations.
The tour starts off with a mini-tutorial into Creative Street Photography and a few bottles of Malbec.
The clues were:
Sound of Music
Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Gift of Time
Some of my faves from the team -
Gift of Time
Sound of Music
The end of day, you meet as a group and review each picture
which was also a great way to compare your photos, group critique (mostly positive critique ONLY) and meet new people that share a common interest.
A tour around the one thing that you carry around as a traveler, especially when you are not sure how and what to click in a city that’s not super famous for any of its sightings, Fotoruta’s concept is brilliant - rewarding the travelers with a bit of muse. But let me say, its a must-try even if all-you-have is an iphone camera.
Raise to the city that never seizes to inspire you ~