Last month, Gachi Prieto Gallery exhibited“Instantes” by artists Defi (Gustavo Gagliardo) and Pedro (Pedro Perelman). The contemporary art gallery in the heart of Palermo has cultivated a fruitful relationship with urban artists since the gallery’s first landmark show of street art in 2009. At that time, it was one of the first commercial art galleries to open its walls to this kind of artwork.
Many of the talented street artists of Buenos Aires have honed their craft for well over a decade, and it shows. Artists boast an incredible skill set in a wide range of mediums and have well developed and distinct personal artistic styles. What for some started out as a hobby of interacting with the streets through art and intervention, has evolved over the years into a passion that knows no limits.
However, even for artists with incredible skill, talent, and experience, it can be difficult to find the point of crossover into the contemporary art world. Defi and Pedro, however, have found their way comfortably into the gallery setting and seem to fit right in. Their art maintains something of the vibrant and unpredictable nature of the urban context that has so inspired them, even when hung on spartan white walls.
The works by these two artists, who have formed the collective FASE together with artist Tec since the late 1990’s, have always worked well together. In the gallery the works by both artists are displayed in a boisterous mixture, spread across the gallery walls in an eclectic display of painted works on canvas and wood, works with mixed media, and sculpture boxes.
Pedro’s works feature his unique cast of iconic characters, at times in isolated snapshots and at times busy playing various archetypical roles on the stage of his detailed symbolic worlds. Defi’s works range from explosive abstract and highly gestural paintings to his minute magical universes constructed with stunning detail inside glass front boxes.
Whether works are created on street walls or on canvas, both artists continue to meditate on themes inspired by the heartbeat and character of the surrounding city and the nature of life in the urban context.
Just like any big city, Buenos Aires is full of messages, from the street signs integral to the order of the urban landscape to the publicities that holler at us constantly as we make our way through the streets. In Buenos Aires a massive quantity of political messages are added to this basic level of visual noise as well. This city, like many others in Latin America, has a very long tradition of political graffiti. Throughout the city there is a dizzying array of official posters but also endless anonymous commentaries and huge organized propaganda paintings.
Maybe it’s no surprise then that street art often finds such a welcoming audience in this Buenos Aires. In a city where most people will tell you that they cannot remember a moment when there were no political paintings, perhaps we’re grateful for the unexpected presence of an artistic mural created just because an artist felt inspired.
In the midst of so much noise, murals of bright colors and abstract forms, like those created by the artist Poeta, offer us a beautiful repose. In the streets we’re surprised to discover a pure expression by someone who isn’t trying to tell us anything concrete or sell us anything, but just trying to make us stop for a moment in our tracks and contemplate. This art invites us to step into another space in the middle of this chaotic city.
Here we have an example of an artist whose work translates easily both outdoors and in. Poeta’s art has impact on and off the streets and there’s a clear coherence whether it’s created on a wall or on canvas. Poeta is creating from a pure artistic impulse and his message manifests itself wherever he leaves his mark. Where “traditional” graffiti has been defined by the nature of its context, in this case the artist has discovered his voice and shares his creative word wherever he happens to be. Of course, our experience of his works changes depending on whether we discover it on a busy street corner or hanging in a gallery, but there’s a continuity and consistency in what the artist accomplishes through his art that is not dependent on context.
At the moment Poeta has an incredible exhibit on at the Honeycomb art gallery and project space. Full of experiments in different mediums; from acrylic to watercolor and ink, artworks with bright colors and complex geometric forms call out to us from canvas, paper and wood. Sizes range from small delicate works on paper to large impressive pieces on canvas, as well as the huge mural that greets us in the entranceway of the gallery.
Be sure and get out to visit the exhibit before it closes on September 14!
To arrange a visit, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org - Exhibition Closing Event: Saturday 14 September, from 6pm to 10pm.
To see more work by Poeta, check out his website: www.christianriffel.com
On a sultry summer night in Washington DC the graffitimundo team took over the walls of The Fridge gallery, bringing the vibrant colours of the Buenos Aires urban art scene to the American capital.
The Fridge functions as a gallery, community and project space, and has built up an impressive reputation for showcasing unconventional art from graffiti & street artists.
We spent the week leading up to the show playing with power tools, cutting lumber for the frames and assembling the 70 pieces of artwork into a coherent order.
Our aim was to create a show which represented the different visual styles and artistic influences that make up the contemporary urban art scene in Buenos Aires. The show brought together works from artists with backgrounds in graphic design and illustration, punk, skate & stencil and abstract and figurative works from graffiti artists and muralists.
Curating a show with such a variety of different aesthetics, from the comic to the anarchic is always a challenge, but we were very happy with how it all came together. Whilst each artist has their own distinctive voice and visual language, collectively they express common themes and offer a glimpse of the city that has nurtured their talents.
The show will be open until Sunday July 28th. If you live in the DC area we’d love for you to see it.
For those of you who can’t make it, you can download the exhibition catalogue here: bit.ly/talkingwallsDC
Artwork can be delivered anywhere in the world. For any questions about the artwork, the show or artists just get in touch!
The Fridge: 516 1/2 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
Open: Thursday – Saturday: 12pm–8pm Sunday: 1pm–5pm