There is a terrific amount of street art on display in Buenos Aires. Graffiti, though not ‘legal’, is rarely (never?) prosecuted and this has cultivated a thriving network, where artists from around the world come to paint.
It has led to some stunning pieces. When you’re not worrying about imminent arrest you have the time to create something amazing.
Many artists are hired by residents to paint walls. There is no need for city authorisation for an artwork and so local residents often commission artists to paint their walls. Commissioning an artwork for your wall is a good way to cover over tagging and keep future taggers away (since there is a kind of honour amongst graffiti-ists not to cover over each others work).
Ok, purists may argue that’s not technically ‘street art’, but it does create a stunning open air gallery as you walk around the city, keeping art free (as it should be) and available for all to appreciate, not merely an elitist interest locked away in a gallery.
On the tour I took we travelled to the barrios of Coghlan and Villa Urquiza to look at various examples there. These areas, now gentrified, have a long history of street art.
The walking tour I took was with Buenos Aires Street art and Graffiti, costs US$20