A Buenos Aires Street Art Walking Tour

One of the reasons I throw myself into writing this blog is because it’s one of the only creative hobbies I have. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to sculpt vases around a potter’s wheel, paint Alpine scenes in water-colour or embroider gilded flowers onto ethnic fabrics but art and crafts were never my forte and my high school grades were suitably reflective!buenos aires street art colourful handViewing art was equally a pickle. I never felt knowledgeable enough to debate the significance of the works of Botticelli, nor could I comprehend how a red splodge inside a wooden frame could be defined as modern art. As simplistic and naive as it sounds, I’m drawn to art that is colourful, vibrant and invokes a surge of emotion in me.Buenos Aires Street Art Tour

Street art constitutes all of these things and Buenos Aires is not the only world city sprawling with it. My little old hometown of London is another but I just hadn’t registered that until a food tour in East London earlier this year, where I discovered some of the artistic talent hiding on London’s walls.

The Buenos Aires Street Art Walking Tour

Buenos Aires pink purple head piece street artWith our trip to Argentina looming, we were eagerly curious to discover more of Argentina’s street art scene on the Buenos Aires Street Art Tour. Far from being a local Argentine street artist, our guide was of German origin with a background in immunology, who has resided all over the world. Perhaps it was these eclectic global influences that propelled his passion for street art and he provided a riveting and interactive walking tour, pointing out the talented works from both prominent and lesser known local artists, talking about Argentina’s street art scene, educating us about what distinguishes street art from graffiti and even showed us one of his own masterpieces.political satire street art Wenzel Buenos AiresIn many parts of the world, street artists’ ability to express themselves is somewhat limited by legal aspects, risk of criminal charges and societal taboos. Technically, it isn’t legal in Argentina but their stance is relaxed with major political parties even going as far as commissioning street artists to concoct propaganda artworks for them, their liberal philosophy attracting passionate street artists from all over the world.

Argentina is also the country of origin of some of the world’s most eminent artists including the highly respected Martin Ron, which made it all the more inspiring to see his authentic works on the walls of his home nation.

The diverse range of art work on display reflected the variety of dynamic and subdued paintings, modern and more conventional, political and fantastical. The quirky little half cow, half hamburger (depending on which angle you happen to be standing at) was one of the finer details pointed out to us.Buenos Aires hamburger cow street artAnd my favourite piece? It’s a toughie but I’d have to choose between the passionate brass musician (it’s hard to believe it wasn’t an actual portrait) and I love the blues and purple that predominate, reminiscent of the jazz and blues scene in which he would be performing. And if not, the lady hidden beneath a tree branch, swathed in candy pink, a colourful dreamer – I know not what she is so pensive about but it had the fairytale factor that I’m always a sucker for.Buenos Aires street art saxophonist portrait pink blue lady in tree Buenos Aires street artThis relaxed tour is also a great way to discover some of the lesser known neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires particularly if you are there just for a few days and want to do a completely unique type of tour. Even if you don’t consider yourself an art-lover, you may just find this to be a fascinating and insightful medium through which to view a bustling city.

Practical Points

Tours usually last between 2-3 hours and cost approx 20 USD per head

– English and Spanish-speaking guides are available (our group was mixed so the translation required increased the duration slightly)

– The walk is relaxed but bring comfy shoes and a bottle of water if you’re going in warmer weather.

– Keep your cameras charged – the tour is a photographer’s treasure chest!

– In this post, I’ve tried to refrain from photo edits and filters – it was less about me showing off my photoshop skills and more about revealing the Buenos Aires street art scene as we saw it that day and giving you a flavour of what to expect if you ever take the walk yourself.

 

Where in the world have you spotted street art?

35 thoughts on “A Buenos Aires Street Art Walking Tour

  1. In Berlin they have preserved about amile long section of Berlin Wall with some awesome artwork on it!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 5:51 pm

      Yes, I’ve heard loads about the Berlin street art scene – I had never known it was such a hub for it – hope to go back there one day and see it for myself!

  2. I absolutely love this! It combines two things I love walking and art! Argentina is on the bucket list but I have no idea when I shall get to it! Ps the photos are fab just as they are. xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 5:54 pm

      Thanks so much Zoe πŸ™‚ So glad you liked the pics – on the day itself, I thought the murals were just fabulous the way they were so thought I’d let the photos do the talking! If you love art, you would love this walking tour. Hope you get a chance to go one day! x

  3. Ah, I love street art – I love the way that it’s always changing and you could keep going back and see completely new things! have you been on the Alternative London Tour? They do a walking street art tour of the East End, and the guide we had was an artist and knew a lot of the street artists, it’s well recommended!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 5:56 pm

      Thanks so much for this tip Fuschia – I’d love to try out this alternative London tour – will have to look into it! You’re so right about it being ever-evolving – the way a mural could be there one day and vanish the next to be replaced by something equally striking πŸ™‚

  4. Love this, I think the top one is my favourite! Fab colours!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 5:57 pm

      That one was one of my favourites too Becky! I’m a sucker for bright colourful paintings – I’d not seen much of the world’s street art hubs before so it was fabulous to spend an afternoon walking around taking it all in!

  5. Beautiful pics here – Buenos Aires is on the list for my big S. America trip in 2016!! πŸ˜€

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 5:59 pm

      Oh how exciting! That sounds like it’s going to be a great adventure! If you do get time in Buenos Aires to see some of the street art, either by browsing around yourself or by taking one of these tours, I’d highly recommend it! Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚

  6. Wow, so much beautiful street art. It’s great to see the ever changing art form all over the world.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 6:01 pm

      So glad you liked these pics too as I found them just fascinating to see! I haven’t seen street art in all that many places across the world but Buenos Aires definitely awoke an interest in it and I’d love to explore more in other parts of the world. Thanks so much for commenting!

  7. wow. It’s basically an outdoor gallery isn’t it? Stunning work. thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 6:04 pm

      That’s a brilliant description Andrew – so it is!! So pleased you like these paintings and artworks as much as I did and thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  8. francaangloitalian October 21, 2014 — 9:47 am

    The street art in Buenos Aires is so different to the one I’m used to see in Europe, I love it for its uniqueness. I’m starting to wander why I haven’t been there yet considering I’m a huge fan of street art πŸ™‚

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 6:08 pm

      I think you’ll love Buenos Aires if you love street art! I’d love to discover more of the European street art scene too especially in Berlin where you guys are! Thanks so much for reading Franca πŸ™‚

  9. Love all this street art – so colourful and fun! Apart from the one of the cow/hamburger! 😦 Hopefully I’ll get back to Buenos Aires one day and will be able to see it all for myself.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 6:09 pm

      Hehe, you know as a non-beef eater, I really shouldn’t have liked the cow/hamburger one but the colours were so striking and it was so cleverly done that I decided that it was ok to appreciate it for its artistic talent rather what it actually showed! If you do make it back to Argentina, definitely spend a few days in Buenos Aires – I love the character that the city has πŸ™‚

  10. It’s easy to connect with street art, isn’t it? You just have to know if you like it or not. With the famous painters (Botticelli, Monet, Salvador Dali), you worry about sounding ignorant if you express the view that you may not like some of their work :-). We may visit Buenos Aires next year, and if we do, we’ll keep an eye out for the colorful street art (probably hard to miss).

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 6:13 pm

      I completely agree! I did find it extremely easy to connect to, even without having too much knowledge about art πŸ™‚ If you do end up in Buenos Aires next year, I hope you will end up stumbling upon some of these murals – or maybe even several new ones that might have been painted by then! Thanks so much for reading Janice and George!

  11. This street art is fantastic, so colourful and I love the horserider

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 22, 2014 — 9:09 pm

      I love seeing which ones different people like the most! Just can’t believe how talented these artists are painting at such heights with such precision! Thanks so much for commenting Suze πŸ™‚

  12. I an never discuss art either – though I Love it. All of it. And I love street art. So real.
    It is also a great way to discover a city. And yes, always have a camera!
    I have just found you through Budge Travel Talk – through Travel Photo Thursday.
    Lovely to meet you. Happy travels.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 25, 2014 — 9:52 pm

      Great to meet you too! And thanks so much for stopping by Jill – so glad you liked the street art pictures – I agree completely that it was a great way to discover a new city and hope to try and explore the street art of some more cities in the future! Just having a look at your blog now – looks great πŸ™‚

  13. Isn’t the Street Art in Buenos Aires fantastic?? We didn’t do the tour, but saw SO MUCH just on our own exploration of the city. South America was fantastic for Street Art!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 25, 2014 — 9:55 pm

      It really was fantastic Emily! And yes, like you say, even without the tour, there is plenty to see! We saw a few pockets of great street art in Rio too but I’ve heard from a few people, including you now (!), that it is fantastic throughout all of South America! Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚

  14. Wow! Fantastic street art :). I love coming across it in cities – it always looks so vibrant and shocking, and so much of it comes from really talented people. I think my favourite from these is the jazz player, it looks like a portrait that you’s expect to see in a frame!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2014 — 7:13 pm

      We’re so on the same page Molly – that jazz player is just fantastic isn’t it?! So realistic – just wonderful! I never knew I’d love street art so much but I found it all so engaging! Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚

  15. Such beautiful art work, I canΒ΄t chose a favorite- the brass musician is amazing though!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 29, 2014 — 9:02 pm

      So glad you like all this artwork too Katie πŸ™‚ It’s hard to pic a fave isn’t it?1 I had the same struggle but that brass musician just looks so realistic that I loved it! Thanks so much for reading!

  16. Street art amazes me, I just love it! This is a fabulous tour to take and what a fun way to get to know an area. Great colors in your jazz player pick. I also really enjoyed the hand and the turtle.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 29, 2014 — 9:20 pm

      I completely agree! Street art is just so fascinating and intriguing!-There is so much of it around Buenos Aires but I was glad to have taken the tour because it gave me a chance to explore some neighbourhoods I wouldn’t have known about otherwise! The turtle was so detailed and must have taken hours – really intricate so I can see why you liked it. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts πŸ™‚

  17. Love discovering street art in different cities around the world. I’ve only been on one guided tour once so far (Athens) and it was wonderful, bringing the art to life somehow.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) November 25, 2014 — 2:23 pm

      It’s only really in the last year or so that I’ve even come to really notice it Kathryn and it’s definitely awoken a real interest in it! I’d love to see more around the world – have heard about it in Berlin and Lisbon as well so it’s great to learn about the scene in Athens too! Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚

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