Buenos Aires’ Street Art Movement – Part 2

Jaz is one of my new favourite street artists who hails from Buenos Aires, now easily one of my favourite cities. http://www.fatcap.com/artist/jaz.html. I don’t know a ton about him but I do know that he studied set design at the prestigious Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and enjoys experimenting with different styles and mediums. He’s great at expressing his frustrations through art.

One of my favourites, above, is in homage to two of his friends who were killed, Teta (on the left) and Salta (on the right). Here he used asphalt paint to create this four-storey powerful piece on a twenty-storey building. Next to it, the horseman with spray can done by an English artist.  You’ll also see that the bull piece was tagged, demonstrating agreement of his message, in his frustration of how his friends were killed. http://thetravellingmunschkin.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/buenos-aires-street-art-movement-part-1/

Delving further into Jaz’ mind we learned of his series depicting football (soccer) hooligans represented as Mexican wrestling tigers. He has also depicted them as wolves and bears. 

This phase began when Jaz learned that football hooligans who were becoming quite a nuisance were intertwined with the underworld of sorts, drugs, prostitution etc and were also friends of the team owners who are Argentinean politicians. This series expresses his dismay that football was/is now about money/corruption and politics and not as much about the sport.

Jaz also went through a donkey phase. It’s the phases that are adorable to me in a sense, I guess because it reminds me of such a childlike quality. We were really lucky to run into Ever painting a commissioned piece on the side of an antique store. He is now in his Mao Tse Tung phase and has painted a number of them around the city. His Franco-Argentinean friend did the piece below his, of a famous French film critic. 

It’s a close race between Jaz and Ever for me. I absolutely love the flow, movement and colours that Ever brings to the table and I love the larger than life-size and messages behind Jaz’ work. Both are undeniable talents.

The other style of street art I really enjoy is stencil art, my favourite artist being Cabaio Stencil, http://cabaiostncl.blogspot.com.ar/. They were created with the intent to create dialogue on the street. They are known to be very effective in doing so because when well placed many people are affected and because small stencils are fairly easy and quick to put up and artists can plaster a city with their message. Stencil art in Buenos Aires has a very interesting history as it began using x-ray plates from hospitals during the 2001 economic crisis, when money and materials were hard come by and when artists would take used x-ray plates to create their stencils with. Today, stencils are created using cardboard, plastic or paper sheets and the plastic ones are best as they are reusable and take anywhere from 3 hours to 10 days to cut out with box cutters.

The most influential pieces are the larger stencils, which take hours, days and months to cut out, my favourite below being Apocalyptic Love, which took 10 hours/day for 6 weeks. Installation required patience and discipline as two sheets are placed side by side until finished.

One of the more famous pieces of stencil art that people might recognize was the one done by GG &NN, two Buenos Aires’ street artists who did the worldwide recognized stencil of George Bush with Mickey Mouse ears, http://graffitimundo.com/interviews/interview-gg-buenos-aires-stencil/. So popular is stencil art in Buenos Aires that when Roger Waters of Pink Floyd saw some he liked he commission ten different pieces to be displayed on screens at each of his ten shows that were taking place in Buenos Aires while I was there.

Stencil pieces are also commissioned by exclusive restaurants such as this “vomit stencil attack,” on the wall of Tegui, an excellent restaurant in Palermo. A “vomit attack” is a composition of pre-existing stencils and in this one you’ll see Ray Charles, The Million Dollar Man, Prince and many important political figures. It was a pleasure to look at and photograph.

Street art is always evolving and is a method that one might consider when beginning or expanding their art collections. Many now go for thousands of dollars and the value will only increase as more and more people are exposed to it. If you’re yearning for more watch the Oscar nominated documentary, “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” directed by the elusive and infamous English street artist Banksy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exit_Through_the_Gift_Shop. It is thoroughly enjoyable.

Once again, the Graffiti Tour in Buenos Aires comes highly recommended.

2 Responses to Buenos Aires’ Street Art Movement – Part 2

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