Emerging Graffiti and Street Art in Buenos Aires

Posted on July 15, 2014 by Vivi in ARTS

Article by Nora Wallenius.  

Anyone who has strolled more than a few blocks down the sometimes crumbling sidewalks of Buenos Aires has seen some form of graffiti. From names and scribbles to elaborate murals, most walls in the city are covered in spray paint. In the last 10 years, graffiti has transformed from pesky vandalism to a bonafide artform, bringing canvases from building walls to art galleries. One of these artists is Cabaio, whose first solo exhibit premiered in the brand new art space in San Telmo, UNION.

Cabaio, whose given name is Santiago Spirito, first began producing street art as part of the collective Vomito Attack, following the Argentine economic crisis of 2001. The group used stencil art to comment on politics, societal, and cultural issues in the Argentina. When Santiago departed from Vomito Attack in 2007 and began producing individual work under the name Cabaio, his focus shifted away from political statements and more towards art appreciation. His projects aim to beautify the city, with their intricate color values, stencil sketches, and stunning kaleidoscopic murals with overlapping images. In Cabaio’s first individual exhibit with more than 20 works made of paper, wood, and fabric, “La Lluvia” explores Cabaio’s transformation as an artist and political figure.

Stencil street art is a smaller niche in the larger category of graffiti street art. Using layers of images, type words, and colors, themes range from silly to controversial: two children kissing in an explosion of pink, green and yellow compared with a figure of Jesus Christ with hands shaped in the form of Facebook “I like” image. Stencil art allows for multiple copies of the same image or text, with different colors, positioning and layers.

The emerging street art scene in Buenos Aires is predominant. From tours around the city that offer unique opportunities for visitors to experience first hand unique graffiti to up and coming young street artists taking over the local art scene, Buenos Aires certainly seems to be cultivating this new art form. UNION is a new space in San Telmo created by graffitimundo, where South American contemporary artists’ works are gathered and celebrated.

  • Venue: UNION Gallery,
  • Carlos Calvo 736, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
  • Normal hours: UNION is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 12-6pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
  • Exhibition dates: June 26- August 28
  • Contact:  uniongaleria@gmail.com 

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