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The capital is but a canvas | Street Art in Buenos Aires

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You don’t need to go on a tour to see amazing street art in Buenos Aires. Like pages from a comic book, the streets of the city host incredible images, from small, political stencils to gifted, large-scale paintings all over its walls.

Street Art in Buenos AiresWe admired the pieces and took tons of pictures for a couple of weeks before deciding to jump on a street art tour. Whether your trip is two days or two months, if you are a fan of street art, we recommend getting on this tour right away and here is why. First of all, the fact that there is a street art tour at all is great. In so many cities around the world we wish we knew more about the street artists, but admire from afar instead.
buenos aires street art palermoMore importantly, unlike appreciating art in a museum, street art doesn’t come with an explanation of the piece and a background of the artist, and just because you see a mind-blowing piece of art one day, doesn’t mean it will even still be there the next. It might be its ephemeral, intangible nature that attracts us or the jaw-dropping skill expressed on everyday surfaces with low-tech materials, usually under the cover of night.

buenos aires street art eyeHere in Buenos Aires, however, artists need not work in the dark, avoiding the police. Instead, for many reasons related to the recent economic crash in 2001 and a relaxed attitude throughout history about writing on walls in the city, street art and graffiti were not seen as criminal activity.
buenos aires street art sprayerThis is why Buenos Aires is home to intricate, two and three story pieces of urban art, created in the light of day over days, even weeks at a time. This was just one of the insights we were told by the non-profit and very cool Graffitimundo organization who has put together the tours.

buenos aires street art mao zedongFriends with the actual street artists themselves, this collective are super passionate about the work on the street and also supporting the scene in the city. Obviously, we loved the tour, which took us to beyond the central Palermo neighborhoods and out into pockets of the city most tourists wouldn’t just happen to see.
buenos aires street artWe spent a good half an hour circling an out-of-the-way bus depot, talking existentialism, graphic design and that there were actually three pieces by international street artists on that one block alone. There was plenty of walking through more popular areas of Palermo as well, but this was not a city tour with some graffiti info sprinkled in.
buenos aires street artWe talked urban art for three hours and still walked away feeling like not only did we understand the scene here better, but also Argentine history and culture as well. We may have also taken hundreds of pictures, a select few of which can be found below.

buenos aires street art post street bar
buenos aires street art elk
buenos aires street art with whale
buenos aires street art pig
buenos aires street art horse rider
Street Art in Buenos Aires Palermo
buenos aires street art and laundry
buenos aires street art wall

Graffitimundo Street Art Tour Info:

  • Tours take place every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting at 3pm and lasting around 3 hours
  • The tour is partially walking, partially driving in a minibus through the neighborhoods of Palermo, Colegiales, Villa Crespo and Chacarita
  • Tours are available in Spanish and English
  • Price: US$25 per person

Check out the graffitimundo website for more information, private tours and bicycle tour, hidden wall tours and stencil workshops.

Want more street art? Check out our Flickr album with our favorite Buenos Aires street art:

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”Globetrottergirls” id=”72157632066854580″]

 

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Tags : buenos airesstreet art

23 Comments

    1. Thanks David! We love the relaxed approach to street art here -it is fantastic to see how many people offer their walls as a canvas to the graffiti artists 🙂

  1. Wow! This is some of the best street art I’ve seen in a long time (maybe even ever!). They are so colourful and diverse! It’s great that there is a graffiti tour as I think street art is a great way to get to know more about a places’ culture and history. Great photos – I could look at them all day!

    1. This was our first street art tour, but we’ll definitely look them up in other places now and try to go on more. In which cities did you go on street art tours in Europe, Chris?

  2. Wow… these are amazing. I haven’t been in a city yet that offers a STREET ART TOUR, but when I do I know for sure I’m gonna take it. Love the photos…

    Have y’all been to Amsterdam? So much amazing street art there too, because in some areas it’s legal too.

    1. Absolutely Shalu, and then to think that they make this amount of effort, on par with those who paint on a canvas or create pieces which are meant to reside indoors, knowing that their work will be outside, on walls, to be scratched, rained on and eventually even painted over. It’s beautiful, really!

  3. If you see my Instagram, then you alrady know I am a huge fan of street art. I grew up in Jersey/NYC in the early 80’s, so I was able to see a lot of great graf. Street art is still one of my favorite subjects.
    I’ve seen a few posts about BA street art. Yours is hiting it home; I gotta go there and do a street art tour. Excellent pics and information.
    How long have you been in SA? One minute I am following you in SE Asia, next, you’re in South America 🙂
    Happy travels!

    1. Hey Fidel – ha, we have really been around the world this year! 🙂 Man, Buenos Aires street art is so fascinating, because it was never criminalized here, so people get out during the day and create some amazing pieces of art. You’d end up blowing up your Instagram account with the all the pics you’d take down here. The coolest thing about the Graffitimundo tour was that even though it should feel ironic to be on a ‘tour’ of street art, it doesn’t. For us, it felt almost like a relief, like FINALLY we got to know more information about these amazing artists. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures if you ever get here…

  4. This is stunning stunning stunning! The first city I’ve been to that is really identifiable by its street art is Reykjavik. I loved it, and want to see more now! This post is going in the “pro” column for visiting BA someday soon.

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