His grim visage is all over Buenos Aires. The Eternauta is the hero of one of the most influential science fiction comics ever published, and certainly the most important comic in Argentina’s history. He’s also the most often employed graffiti motif in the city.
I’ll remember Roger Yrurtia for two things. One: for having a last name so ridiculously intimidating that I won’t even try to pronounce it. And, two: for his gorgeous sculpture called Canto al Trabajo (“Song to Work”).
Like all great metropolises, Buenos Aires has a thriving street art scene. We took a tour of some of the best graffiti the city has to offer.
I can count on exactly one finger the number of times I’ve stood before a flower sculpture and thought to myself, “Now that is really fucking cool”.
Before moving to Buenos Aires, we conducted a little research into the city’s music scene and stumbled upon an artist by the name of Chancha via Circuito. We were instantly hooked, and his music became our constant soundtrack for our final weeks in Savannah. Fresh and modern, but firmly rooted in tradition, it sounded exactly how we imagined Buenos Aires would be like. It made us anxious to arrive.
At the end of an afternoon spent exploring Belgrano “R”, one of the most posh neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, a huge turtle peering out of a window on Calle Mendoza grabbed our attention. Made completely out of recycled plastic bottles, it was just one piece in what looked like an incredible gallery. We tried the door, but it was closed. Curses.
Swirling, symmetrical lines and bright colors are the primary elements of fileteado, the most porteño of all arts. The decorative style can be seen everywhere in the capital, from store fronts to city buses, and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. We met one of Buenos Aires’ most famous filete artists, Alfredo Genovese, at his studio in the barrio of Paternal.
Allow me to introduce Juan Carlos Balvidares, the “Caminante Argentino”, who’s been around the world, sharing his music beyond the borders of his native land. We met him in front of the Recoleta Cemetery, where he was performing. Finding out that I’m from Germany, he told me that he’s been there and also walked across the rest of the world, making money by playing his original songs on the streets. Usually, you can find him in front of the cemetery, but on Sundays you might run into him at the Antique Market in San Telmo. Visit his site to hear some of his music. And if you run into him on the streets, strike up a conversation! He’s more than happy to share his stories.
Occupying an old tobacco factory on Avendia San Juan, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA) is an awesome museum with a bright future ahead of it.
With its brightly painted houses and open air art, the southern immigrant neighborhood of La Boca is both enchanting and irritating. How much you enjoy yourself depends on when you go, and how allergic you are to kitsch.