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A Tour of Buenos Aires’ Best Graffiti

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Nuevo Mundo: Latin American Street Art

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.

Graffiti Tour Buenos Aires

The three-hour tour is organized by Graffiti Mundo, and on a Saturday afternoon we joined a sizable group in Palermo. Our guide was a friendly Australian girl who’s been a peripheral part of the scene for years. She personally knew a lot of the artists whose work we would be introduced to, and was full of colorful stories from the volatile underground world.

Part of what makes Buenos Aires’ scene so special is its relatively high level of social acceptance, permitting artists to work during the daytime on large, complicated pieces. Huge fish creatures splayed across empty walls, wrestling tigers, cutesy anime girls and unique combinations of stenciling, spray and painted art. We learned the names and styles of certain artists, and saw what happens when goodwill between groups dissolves: usually, the best revenge is had by painting over each other’s works. Disappointment once briefly darkened our guide’s cheery demeanor, after she discovered that one of her favorite pieces had vanished. This constant threat of disappearance is frustrating, but also part of what makes street art so compelling.

The tour was both on foot and via bus, and took us to some corners of the city we’d have never otherwise seen. We went into the warehouse studio of an artist named Ever, to check out some of his upcoming work, and ended up at the Post Street Bar: a cool joint whose interior decoration was provided by street artists.

At the end of three hours, we were exhausted, but had a decent understanding of Porteño graffiti. The tour cost $90 apiece, and takes off every Saturday. Reservations essential.

Graffiti Mundo’s Website
Tel: +54 9113 683 3219
Location of Post Street Bar
Street Art we liked in Valencia, Spain

Graffiti Tour
Cute Graffiti
Urban Monster
Gualicho Graffiti
Urban Art Animals
Palermo Architecture
Monster Tower
Gabaio Zoo
Graffiti Monkey
Urban Art Buenos Aires
Stencil Graffiti
Gabaio Stencil
Tagged
Madres de Mayo
Mill Buenos Aires
Art Buenos Aires
3 in 1 Face
Art Buenos Aires
Bat Art
Blark
Bock Frau
Boy Stensil
Bush Mikey Mouse Ears
Colabo Art
Elk Art
Gay Carlos Gardel
Graffiti Palermo
Graffiti Fight
Graffiti Photography
Jaz Art
Pig Art
Tegui Restaurant
Jungle Men
LOLz
Rhino Art
Zumi Art
Rodez Art
Self Tag
Street Rats
Stencil Portrait
Tur Bo
Wolfy
Ever Artist
Graffiti Eye
Graffiti Tools
Graffiti Guide Buenos Aires
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April 18, 2011 at 9:40 pm Comments (5)

The National Museum of Fine Arts

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Organize your Buenos Aires Trip here

We confidently strode up the stairs of an impressive neoclassical building, convinced that it was the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Passing between the massive gray Doric columns, a guard brusquely informed us that we were actually at the University’s Law School. He shoved us off toward a nearby clump of dark red clay, which had been been molded into the form of a building.

Museu-Nacional-de-Bellas-Art.

In this neighborhood of refined elegance, the museum definitely stands out. It was built in 1870 as a drainage pumping station, and converted for use as a museum in 1933. The building’s age is evident; inside, paint is peeling off the walls and the air is impregnated with the unmistakable atmosphere of slow decay. Exhibits were poorly lit, trash was strewn carelessly about the floor, and the visitors, laughing loudly and using cell phones, weren’t treating the place with any respect. Overall, it was a far cry from what we expected of the country’s premier fine arts museum.

Still, the museum holds an astounding collection, which we spent a couple hours taking in. The first floor features masters from all over the world, including Cezanne, Rembrandt, Guaguin, Van Gogh and Monet. But we most enjoyed the upper floor, which serves as an excellent primer to the history of Argentine art. There was a healthy blend of the classic and modern, featuring artists mostly unknown outside of the continent. We loved Guillermo Kutica’s mattresses made of maps, and were puzzled by the mystical, post-modern works of Xul Solar.

By the end of our visit, any complaints we’d had about the building had faded from memory. It helped that entrance to the museum is completely free, making it difficult to gripe at all. Still, once the city has a little extra cash on-hand, another round of refurbishment for this otherwise excellent museum might be in order.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map

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April 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm Comment (1)

Floralis Genérica

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Stylish Business Cards

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”.

Floralis Generica Buenos Aires

The Floralis Genérica was a 2002 gift to the Argentine people from Eduardo Catalano, an architect best known for his audacious home in Raleigh, NC: one of the few modern structures to earn the praise of Frank Lloyd Wright. Catalano’s 28-meter steel and aluminum flower, planted in Recoleta’s Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, opens its petals every morning at 8am, and closes again at dusk.

Meant to represent all the flowers of earth, thus the name Genérica, the daily opening also symbolizes the eternal rebirth of hope; especially poignant considering that the statue was unveiled just one year after Argentina’s devastating economic crisis. It’s stunningly beautiful. Placed in the middle of a small pond, the light shimmers and reflects from the water onto the steel. Hills and paths lead around the flower, offering views from various angles.

I would be willing to bet ten grand that nobody with a functioning camera has ever visited the Floralis Genérica and walked away without taking a picture. Considered it, but then thought to themselves, “Nah”. That seems impossible.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
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Floralis-Generica
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April 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm Comments (0)

Dadá – Artsy Eating in Retiro

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For a restaurant named after a 1920s anti-art movement, Dadá turns out to be remarkably unpretentious. There’s a lot to love about this little place on Calle San Martín in Retiro: the decoration, the friendliness of the staff and, of course, the food.

Dadá Buenos Aires

Everything inside Dadá is beautiful to look at, from the paintings hanging on the walls, to the brightly tiled bar. There’s definitely a Parisian flair to the place. A huge mural inspired by Roy Lichtenstein hovered above our table, where we had sat down for lunch. Looking at the menu, I was mainly surprised by how affordable everything was. Dining in a artsy, hip bistro usually comes with a hefty price tag.

Our waitress took the time to explain all the plates, and offer suggestions. Great service is one of the most-praised attributes of Dadá in online reviews, and certainly was the case for us. More than just pleasant, our waitress was laughing and good-natured, and seemed genuinely happy that we were there. And when the food came out, a great experience got even better. The lomo steak was huge and perfectly cooked. All the portions were absolutely generous, and we left full and happy.

Check out Dadá if you find yourself in need of a great meal, around Plaza San Martín. They’re open for lunch, dinner and evening drinks every day except Sunday. Given the size of the place, it’s probably best to call ahead for dinner reservations.

San Martín 941
Tel: 4314-4787
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
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Dada Steak
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March 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm Comments (0)

Buenos Aires from Day to Night

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Tango

If your schedule allows it, spend a whole day without any plans wandering around the streets of Buenos Aires. Put the guidebook and map away, and just take in the city in all its insane glory. And when you get tired, grab a window seat in the nearest Bar Notable, and watch the people and traffic of one of the world’s most entertaining cities pass by.

Here are some photographs I took during one of my recent wanderings:

Tango Couple
Dog Walker Buenos Aires
Cutest Dog
Airplane Playground
Bombereos Buenos Aires
Bomberos La Boca
Bomberos Antiques
Bar Notable
Buenos Aires Art
Buenos Aires Hotels
Deco Buenos Aires
Lion Head Buenos Aires
Romans Buenos Aires
Nature House Argentina
Modern Art
San Telmo Art
San Telmo Shopping
San Telmo Sights
San Telmo Blog
Smallest House San Telmo
Subte Maria
Unique Architecture
Water Delivery
Travel Blog
San Telmo
Buenos Aires at Night
Argentinian Lovers

Buenos Aires Travel Guides

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February 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm Comments (4)
A Tour of Buenos Aires' Best Graffiti
For 91 Days