Home - Admission & Financial Aid - Apply - Scholars Programs - Benton Scholars - Benton Scholars News
Benton Scholars News


Street Art in Buenos Aires

By Anastassia Bougakova '16 on May 24, 2013

Argentine street art design on a wall

On our fourth day in Buenos Aires, we were treated to a graffiti tour of the city. For three hours, we walked (and drove in a minibus) across different neighborhoods, not only getting to admire beautiful street art, but also learning what makes Argentine graffiti unique. Large, colorful, meticulously-painted murals point to Argentina’s openness to and acceptance of street art. While painting on public walls is still technically illegal, as it is in the US, the enforcement of these laws is much more lax in Argentina.

Here in Buenos Aires, there is a small plaza dedicated to street art where an international street art festival was held a few years ago. The plaza’s walls are covered with breathtaking art: from multi-story murals to smaller pieces by local artists. In this plaza, as in all locations in the city, the street art is impermanent and liable to be covered by tags and other graffiti sooner or later. Even commissioned murals on privately-owned walls that may eventually disappear behind layers of other graffiti, though these murals are usually guaranteed a significantly longer life than ones found on public walls.

Argentine street art is fluid, impermanent, and often collaborative. Most if all, it is passionate. It makes the street around you come alive, lending it character that spreads across whole neighborhoods.

In the late evening, just on the cusp of midnight, a friend and I ventured into another neighborhood in Buenos Aires to see a play performed at an independent theater called Timbre 4. It was a phenomenal performance, in a way made better by my lack of knowledge of Spanish. I paid so much more attention to the minute expressions of the actors, their movements, and the props used in the scene. But, Argentine theater deserves a blog post of its own, so I will leave that tale for someone else to tell. Suffice to say, that Argentina’s theatre and its street art have a lot in common: the passion, color, and range of emotion, ranging from open aggression to unrepressed joy.

Leave a comment

Comments: Please make sure you keep your feedback thoughtful, on-topic and respectful. Offensive language, personal attacks, or irrelevant comments may be deleted. Responsibility for comments lies with each individual user, not with Colgate University. Comments will not appear immediately. We appreciate your patience.