Art Off The Streets: Graffitimundo Opens Gallery Space
Article by Sharon Salt.
The Graffitimundo Gallery isn’t hard to find. It’s located at Carlos Calvo 736 in San Telmo, but perhaps it’s the bright stencil art creeping between the doors and windows that really gives it away. The new space is called UNION, as the building used to be the headquarters for a dockers union.
You’ve probably already heard of graffitimundo, an organization whose bread and butter consists of Buenos Aires street art tours, built specifically to shed light on this urban art by framing it within Argentina’s historical and cultural context. As interest in Buenos Aires street art has grown, founders Marina Charles and Jonny Robson have found their hands more full than ever; over the years, the organization has branched out from just tours to a book, private workshops, international exhibitions, an upcoming documentary, and now this gallery.
Graffitimundo’s new gallery, a 120-year-old casa chorizo given to them in partnership from the space next door, is white, open, and full of light – but it wasn’t always this way. Well, maybe it was this way long, long ago, but the first time Jonny and Marina walked in, it was an utter mess.
“All of the walls were painted black,” Jonny explains, “and rain was coming in from the ceiling.” Things were broken and there was muck on the floor. Jonny estimates that they’ve been renovating it for nine months now, a process which is still not finished and can seem never-ending. No telling how many coats of white paint it took to cover up all the black.
Well, bringing life back to the stained glass skylight and transoms, the long French doors, the elegant molding, and a beveled mirror is good for a start – but that’s not all they’re doing. Perhaps more importantly, the value is also in every gallery event they host, and in the exposure they’re giving to the artists.
Just as the streets artists of Buenos aires have given more life to our city, graffitmundo is doing a great service in giving greater wings to the art that they produce – and restoring this building while they’re at it, too.
All artwork pictured in this piece is, of course, for sale.