Here it isn’t hard to find empty walls on high rises, garage doors or abandoned factories.
Like Rio de Janeiro, where graffiti is legal, Buenos Aires has few regulations around graffiti art.
Most of the time, all the artist needs is permission from the building owner. In many cases, artists are sought out by building owners who’d like to add something interesting to their bare walls.
In a city where the arts are as celebrated as tango and wine, porteños are favourable toward street art as a means of beautifying their city.
Argentine street artist Martin Ron explains, “we have a lot of freedom to paint and the acceptance of the public means that street art is not perceived as vandalism as in some countries.”
While there is still crude graffiti around the city that boasts of sexual conquests and football victories, much of the artwork in Buenos Aires has a deeper significance.
In the city’s Villa Urquiza neighbourhood, a giant baby painted by Italian street artist Blu is invaded by exploitation and corruption of human beings.
Another of Blu’s murals features hundreds of figures with their eyes covered by a blindfold in the colors of the Argentine national flag, obediently following a dark figure who stands above them wearing a presidential sash and a suit and tie.
The European Central Bank has allowed graffiti artists to use the fence around the construction site of its new headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as a public gallery where they can share their often politically charged art.
Justus Becker, who helps curate paintings at the site, and fellow artist ‘Bobby Borderline’ recently completed a new work of street art.
Since first collaborating in 2007, Spanish street art duo Pichi & Avo (previously) have created an intriguing blend of traditional graffiti and renderings of mythological figures influenced by ancient Greek sculpture.
The precision, shading, and use of color is all that more impressive considering each piece is painted only with spray paint.
Pichi & Avo open their first exhibition in Italy titled Urban IconoMythology at the Basement Project Room.
You can see more of their work here. (via Illusion, Graff Crew, UrbaNNerding, I Support Street Art)
The opening of Melbourne street artist Rone’s exhibition, Empty, in Fitzroy. (Supplied: Sophie Argiriou)
by Julia Baird
For the artistically stunted among us, the idea of labouring intensely on murals while perched on ladders, cranes and cherry pickers for days or weeks, only to have our beautiful images tagged with graffiti or smashed to rubble, is a profoundly depressing one.
But for street artists, it’s a singular thrill. Temporariness is part of the game.
When I stand in an empty old movie theatre, the Star Lyric in Melbourne’s Fitzroy, looking at an enormous, delicately drawn female face, two storeys high, the thought that it will amount to a painted pile of rocks in a few days is difficult to stomach.
But the artist, Rone, created it knowing that the building would be destroyed by developers shortly after his current exhibition, Empty, closes.
A painting of a woman dominates a wall in an empty old movie theatre as light pours through round windows.
Portraits of beautiful women shine in Rone’s exhibition in Melbourne.
A finite lifespan, he says, is what makes street art singular: it blooms suddenly, then is exposed to the elements.
“The temporariness is what makes it contemporary, of the moment, and more important or special,” he says.“When someone paints something on the street it won’t be protected, anyone can come with spray paint and draw a dick on it, and destroy it — but you walk away, there’s not much you can do about it.”
According to historical accounts of the First Franco-Dahomean War, in the 1890s it was the highly trained military women who were chopping off the heads of the French.
Sometimes while they slept.
French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons.
A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force.
She has named this series of strong warriors on the street “Amazone”.