I think by now you’re very well aware that I’m a big fan of street art and I’m trying to find it everywhere, even in a very remote places. But, to be honest, I’ve never known very much about it. I either liked the mural/graffiti/tag/whatever or not but I had no idea about ways to create these or other technical things. I also never went for the street art tour, always tried to discover the local scene on my own. But as it turned out I missed out a lot! When I visited the capital of Argentina I went for the Buenos Aires street art tour and it turned out to be such a great decision! I loved the city anyway but the tour turned out to be the highlight of my stay there!
Buenos Aires street art tour review
The weather was gloomy and rainy, the kind of day you’d rather stay at home and curl under the blanket with a good book. I was kind of expecting the tour to be cancelled but no, we met in the random street in front of the random cafe in the district of Colegiales. Getting there was already a nice experience as it’s not that close from the city center (but it’s easy to get there by metro) and so on the way I could see some random parts of the city to get a better image of Buenos Aires. Besides me and Matt, our tour guide, there were 3 more people on the tour – a French couple and an American girl who was learning to be a street art guide too. Once we all met we took the train even further to explore some really cool murals in the further districts of Buenos Aires.
Despite the rain we managed to see quiet a lot of really great murals by both local and international, sometimes really well known, artists. The areas we visited – Collegiales, Coghlan and Villa Urquiza – were mainly suburban middle class houses and many of these had walls covered in some work of arts. Apparently in Argentina, like in most countries, it’s forbidden to randomly paint around cities but young people still do it, as a way to express themselves. Usually these are pretty bad tags that are nowhere close to art. To avoid that on their property, many house owners have chosen to pay the real artist to transform their gates and walls into small yet spectacular galleries. Basically every street had at least one house that presented a great mural.
Walking around these neighborhoods was also a perfect overview to the local street art scene. The variety of murals was really impressive. One theme appeared few times – faces of black people. It’s because Argentina is a slightly close minded society and doesn’t have that many immigrants from Africa hence locals still find these people fascinating and painting those murals is a way of familiarization with a different culture. But my favourite mural was “The Parrots tale” a huge piece by Martin Ron. We’ve seen few other works by this Argentinian artist during the tour but this one was the most spectacular one! It’s by far the biggest mural in Buenos Aires, covering 412m2 of the side of the building of Villa Urquiza and it took 16 days to finish it. The work had to be changed a little bit after minor protests and the little parrot was added to cover naked boy’s genitals. Oh, and the whole idea of this mural came from Matt, our tour guide, that also initiate new street art projects all over the city!
World famous street art artists in Buenos Aires
Just across the street from “The Parrots tale” we found another big and cool mural by the world famous Italian street art artist – Blu. That’s the same one who created the famous Pink Man in Berlin and who made his hometown, Bologna, a perfect street art destination. There are few of his works all over Buenos Aires (including the controversial mural in the downtown) but the one we’ve seen was the first one Blu painted in Argentinian capital, back in 2007. It shows a lying man, probably in main, and his full body is like a factory. There can be so many interpretation of this work, I already know mine. Too bad some modern sculptures were put in front of the building and block the overall view of this piece!
Buenos Aires – new world’s capital of street art?
The tour lasted over 2 hours (probably would have been longer if not the awful weather) and ended in the funky cafe in Palermo (the hippest district of Buenos Aires that I wish I had explored some more). Then we spent another 2 hours chatting even more. For the whole time Matt kept telling us about each artist, the history of every mural and its possible meaning and the background of the street art scene in Buenos Aires. It’s a fairly new movement but a very fast growing one and with the initiative like Matt’s the city has really big chances to become a world’s capital of street art! Recently even the city council has notticed the big importance of these projects, letting Matt’s crew paint one of the metro stations!
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Even if I fell in love with the city from the very first sight it was the Buenos Aires street art tour that was the highlight of my stay. Matt has a huge knowledge that he shared with us and in these few hours I learnt a lot, not only about the local scene but about street art in general. It was also a great opportunity to see some parts of the city I’d never ever gone to. So when you go to Buenos Aires don’t miss this great opportunity to discover the city in the more unusual, artistic way!
Do you like street art? Have you ever went for a street art tour? What’s the best street art city you’ve been to?
If you think of visiting Argentina or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:
- Bohemian Buenos Aires – San Telmo
- La Boca – the biggest disappointment of Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires street art
- and more!
Note: My street art tour was a complimentary one but as always I’m keeping it real and I really recommend you going for it when you’re in Buenos Aires!
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