A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Voice

Cities each have their own voice. It isn't any one sound, but instead one giant improvisational sound experiment from the cacophony during the day to the subtle murmurs at night. Buenos Aires sounds something like this:

The sun rises to the the rumbling collectivos and whistles of the police cars,
beeping taxis and braking trucks,
cumbia music shooting out of the speakers in the mercado,
the chatter of the Chinese as they ring up your purchases.
thundering subway trains,
cell-phone ring tones,
blind musicians singing for their pesos.

Evening arrives and the city voice shifts to
squawking pigeons positioning for the perfect roost,
the fever-pitched tenor of the football announcer,
the thud of a soccer ball hitting the cement wall.

The footfalls on pavement,
the rattle of metal doors as restaurants reopen,
the clink of glasses of Malbec,
the sizzle as asado is flipped on the hot parrilla grill,
and the crooning of Carlos Gardel from a 2nd story Tango hall.

where laughter escapes an apartment get-together
shutters closing
clubs opening
dogs barking

And finally the quiet hum of a tired city,
and the soft crack of laundry drying in the wind.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Graffiti Paradise

A couple days ago I had the chance to go on a tour of a couple of neighborhoods in Buenos Aires in search of the best street art. Street art, graffiti, tagging, whatever you call it, has a long tradition in Latin America, and over the last decade Buenos Aires has become the canvas of many artists, both local, and from all over the world.

The government here quickly realized that it was better to promote street art, rather than criminalize it, and thus force people into other shady dealings in the dark of night. Therefore, for those pieces that are found to be of exceptional quality, the art is allowed to stand for quite awhile - years in some cases.

I haven't had a chance to see all of the art in BA - that would take years - but here is a sampling of some of the art that struck me most.

This artist goes by JAZ, and is a graffiti legend. In this piece he says (via interview) he was attempting to understand the monster within combative sports.

Another work by JAZ.

This one is by ICE.

The next four are by the Triangulo Dorado, or Golden Triangle. They tend to concentrate on metaphysical works, and often incorporate gold into their pictures, something inspired by works by Gustav Klimt. The first three are part of a three mural piece (a triptych) called "Titian's Dream", or "El Sueno del Titian".

The last piece by Triangulo Dorado is called "CVM - Patientia".
"CVM - Patientia"
I think this final work is by BLUE - internationally renowned, with even a film made about his work. I really love how this strange antlered animal is manipulating some machine that controls the city and creatures within. Bizarre, yet interesting.

I'll post more art as I come across it. And I'm also going to try to meet some of these artists on their own turf. Stay tuned for that.

- C