Have you ever become so enamoured by a subject that you find it consuming you? Every time you leave the house you’re searching for it, thinking about it, and desiring it. No, I’m not talking about my heroin problem; talking about that doesn’t go over very well. This is about my Buenos Aires street art problem.
I first encountered my drug of choice on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Among the hustle and bustle of Brazil’s second largest city there is what some would call an underbelly, but something I thing should be celebrated and promoted. Every time I left the door of my Santa Teresa apartment I was immediately put in its intoxicating presence.
Fast forward six months. I arrived in Argentina’s bustling capital, Buenos Aires. I had heard before arriving that the Buenos Aires street art street art scene was world class. I was, needless-to-say, ready for my next fix after spending the summer back home in the street art free confines of Calgary, Canada.
The first two months, however, I was living in the squeaky clean, white-washed wealthy neighbourhood of Recoleta. Although street art is very much embraced in Buenos Aires, the upper class here, as in the rest of the world, haven’t quite caught on to the trend yet. This left me thinking that the city may not be as big of a hotspot as I thought.
Then things changed.
First I went to a street art festival, called The Meeting of Styles. It had the city’s best, and some international artists all working on amazing pieces for four days. It included hip-hop groups, break dancing, skateboarding, and everything that goes with the urban art scene. It was a fantastic festival, with some truly ingenious pieces of street art being created.
After going to the festival, I knew that I needed to go on a “Buenos Aires Street Art Tour” here in order to see some more of the best. This is where I met Matt, the owner, operator, extraordinaire on the BsAs scene. He took me, and a few others on a tour to some of the best sites that were safely accessible in the city (some amazing stuff is produced in less than amazing neighbourhoods.)
Once the tour finished, he invited me to an all women street art festival in one of the “less than amazing” parts of town. I had nothing else going on that afternoon, so why not go to the hood to get my fix? We took the subway, a train, and a f’in crazy taxi (literally the driver was nuts,) to get to the days festivities. Once there Matt was greeted by everyone, and we made our rounds taking a look at the newest creations by these talented ladies.
When most travelers are spending their time looking for tourist sites, restaurants, bars, parks, and museums, I am looking for my next fix. I can’t get enough of street art in Buenos Aires, and thankfully this city keeps bringing it. There’s a festival almost every weekend and there’s internationally renowned artists arriving on a regular basis. The street art scene in Buenos Aires is in the same realm as the heavyweights of New York, London, Berlin, Sao Paolo, Bogota, and Rio. How do I know? I’ve visited, and taken photos in half of those cities – this year. I’m going to keep following my drug to the next fix. Unlike other drugs, however, her beauty keeps getting better.