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Graffiti Tour in Buenos Aires

Graffiti

The colorful wall where we began our tour

[O]ne of my favorite activities of 2012 was a graffiti tour in Buenos Aires. I used Graffitimundo, which I was referred to by friends.

Living in Colombia, I grew accustomed to seeing a lot more street art than I ever saw in the USA. And the quality was often excellent.

During the graffiti tour in Buenos Aires, which lasted about two hours, and was conducted around the Palermo Soho neighborhood, we learned about the history and culture of street art in the Argentine capital.

Interestingly, artists can only get in trouble with the police if the property owners report them. And because many residents view the graffiti as real art, they are often OK with their buildings being used as canvasses (especially by the top artists).

I've pulled together some of my favorite scenes from the tour, but this barely scratches the surface of what's on display in just one neighborhood.

House covered in graffiti

A massive piece covering an entire building

Graffiti

The left is a piece based on the famous painting, Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass, by Jacques-Louis David. The piece with the boxing bulls to the right is by Jaz, an Argentina artist.

Graffiti

A psychedelic mushroom and a molotov cocktail make up two elements in what was one of my favorite pieces of the tour

Our guide

Our guide chats about the montage of stencils and graffiti on this wall. Can you spot the stencil of Robert de Niro?

Graffiti

Lots of blue and yellow stencilled words on a garage door

Graffiti

An intricate piece. The two battling figures on the right are definitely by Jaz

Polar bears by Jaz

Polar bears by Jaz

Street art

Facade of an street artist's studio in the Palermo neighborhood

Mao graffiti

What's in Mao's mind?

Shop in Palermo

The colorful facade of a shop in Palermo Soho

Graffiti artist

Toward the end of our tour, we lucked out and got to watch a stencil artist (blue sweatshirt) put up a figure with a lion's head (left of center)

Post Street Bar

The tour finished atop the Post Street Bar, which was covered with, you guessed it, graffiti

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Corinne

Tuesday 6th of May 2014

I love street art. I've never heard of a graffiti tour, though...interesting.

Jennifer

Monday 5th of May 2014

I took the same tour and it was simply amazing. Nice photos!

Rachel

Saturday 22nd of December 2012

It's just too cool to see these graffiti paintings in Buenos Aires. I have seen some of these in places I've been and it is also world class amazing. Nice post Dave :)

brandy bell

Saturday 22nd of December 2012

Dave, these are outstanding shots! I dont know which to be more impressed with first: the art- or how you managed to capture such large and colorful pieces in a lovely way. I'm very lucky to be living in Madrid, where the crisis has sent many people to the street with their expressions, you'll have to come capture these as well ;)

Dave

Saturday 22nd of December 2012

Thanks Brandy. I should note I also touched up the photos in Lightroom :)

Marco Fiori

Thursday 13th of December 2012

I adore all things street art (London's particularly good for it, especially the East End), but I've never seen anything quite like those photos. The nearest I've come to such expressive urban art is Lisbon. Makes me want to head over there to check it out.

Dave

Thursday 13th of December 2012

Yea, Buenos Aires is amazing for it because it's so well tolerated. Of course there is also a lot of tagging, which I think is very ugly.

A lot of us asked the guide how tagging could be lumped together as "art" alongside the kinds of pieces I'm sharing here. Her explanation was that some of the artists get there start tagging, and from humble beginnings, they can develop into serious artists.

In other words, without the tagging and obnoxious graffiti, you wouldn't get the beautiful graffiti.

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