Walls talk, they send messages, they reflect historical, social and political landmarks, they give voice to those who don’t have one, they reaffirm the identity of those who feel ignored, and they also show art in its most varied ways and styles.
In Buenos Aires, political “pintadas” (graffiti) appeared for the first time in the nineteen-fifties, followed by graffiti under the influence of hip-hop, many of which were painted on trains to let the message “travel” and get known. Graffiti appeared in the Bronx in New York in the late seventies, and it reached our lands in the eighties. But it was finally in the nineties that graffiti had gained popularity. Before that, dictatorship had made this kind of urban art impossible.
Today, in the South of our city, the industrial neighborhood of Barracas and the colorful and traditional La Boca show on their walls and facades this phenomenon of Urban or Street Art, a trend that grows and embellishes the City through its “pintadas”.
It’s the neighbours themselves, the businesses and the very Government of the City who have called out for talented artists to give art and color to the neighborhood. You can enjoy a range that goes from huge murals on buildings, to interventions under bridges and household facades.
“Before the arrival of the stencil and Banksy movement, we already had very committed artists to reality. From the “Siluetazo” which was created in one of the first demonstrations of Madres de Plaza de Mayo, when artists where called upon to try to create awareness that we could all become “desaparecidos” (missing people), up to #NiUnaMenos (#NotOneWomanLess) and its innumerable artistic expressions,” explains Ana, our specialist in Urban Art who guides the travelers in our tours.
The concept all these artists want to convey is that “art is for everyone.” “We can all paint and create,” adds Ana.
In 2012, for example, seven artists took part in the Sullair Project, which radically changed the looks of the neighborhood of Barracas. From Pol Corona (in picture below) to Jaz and Pastel, they all left their art in the public space to delight neighbors and tourists.
Another group painted murals on the facade of a neglected factory, bringing joy to the students of the School who can observe it in wonder.
Another must-see piece of the tour is “El Regreso de Quinquela” (article picture), considered the largest mural of the world, created by “Pelado” Alfredo Segatori.
“Urban Art tells many stories of its neighborhood, like the one painted on the ice-cream factory recovered in 2012, depicting the story of the workers reflected on its mural. There, you can see the representation of forty-one families who were able to keep their jobs. Or the story of the football classic match of the neighborhood, with the violence as well as the passion for football in the mural on the Red Sudaca, which summarizes the history of La Boca.
“The neighborhood has changed, and it will go on changing over the next decade. The facades and walls send us messages with their art, and are an exhibition in themselves in the endless culture of Buenos Aires.”
We invite you to discover the identity and magic of these neighborhoods of the city of Buenos Aires along with Ana.