Blu – Megunica documentary

The Italian artist Blu has done some truly spectacular projects in Buenos Aires, where he has taken full advantage of the abundance of empty walls and the city’s tolerance & respect for street art.

His extraordinary animated short MUTO featured a stop motion animation painted entirely on public walls in Buenos Aires & Baden. To create the film Blu painted pretty much every day for three months, painstakingly painting each frame of the animation on city walls in full public view.

His follow-up to MUTO was perhaps even more ambitious – his second animated short “Big Bang Big Boom” featured another stop motion animation showing the evolution (and end) of life as we know it.

For a limited time, Wired.It have made Blu & Lorenzo Fonda’s documentary Megunica available to view online. The film documents Blu’s journey through Latin America, and offers a glimpse of the unique context of each country in addition to the stunning artwork created along the way.

Featuring a mix of murals, animation, graphics and stop motion video, the award-winning documentary is available to view in full until the 22nd of July.

EDIT: The film is no longer available – so we’ve replaced it with an excellent trailer:

Megunica documentary – Excerpt from lorenzo fonda on Vimeo.

JR in Buenos Aires

French photographer and street artist JR has been in Buenos Aires recently, and pasted up a huge 3m x 10m strip over political graffiti in San Telmo.

Wheatpastes are relatively rare in Buenos Aires, so it’s unusual to see two high profile international artists putting up wheatpastes in such a short space of time – barely a few weeks have passed since Yola pasted up her spectacular interpretation of “The Vicious Circle“.

JR’s photographs have covered rooftops in African slums, the Gaza wall, Brazilian favelas and the banks of the river Seine. His creativity was recognized by TED this year who awarded him their 2011 prize, and he chose to use his $100k award to fund an art project built upon public participation.

His piece in Buenos Aires hasn’t quite got the scale or impact of some of his other works, and we wish we knew more about what it represents. The image was pasted up as part of a German TV production, so guess we’ll have to wait for the program to air to learn more. If anyone knows anything else about this piece please let us know!

You can see JR’s acceptance speech at TED here and read more about the Inside Out project here.

Yola – The Vicious Circle

Wheatpastes are found in cities across the world, where the technique provides artists with a practical and inexpensive method of putting an image on a wall. In cities with strict anti-graffiti policies, pasting offers an alternative to painting. An image that would take several hours to paint can be pasted up in a matter of minutes, which is an important consideration for artists looking to avoid confrontations with the public and police. By contrast, wheatpastes are rarely seen in Buenos Aires. The public and police are more tolerant towards artists and street art, so there’s less of a need to hurriedly stick things on walls and run away. Besides – printing in Buenos Aires is expensive.

With relatively few wheatpaste artists active in Buenos Aires, we were really excited when Yola got in touch with us and talked us through her ideas. Yola is one of the most unusual and innovative wheatpaste artists in the world. Her creations feature classical paintings recreated using contemporary models, and she incorporates her passion for renaissance art, her wry sense of humour and her formidable talents in image manipulation and digital composition into her work.

Over the years her artistic career has progressed from illicitly pasting posters in Parisian streets, to being informed by the Polish minister of culture that she was free to do whatever she wanted on any public building, anywhere in Warsaw. Taking full advantage of this freedom to work, she created a series of increasingly ambitious pieces, some spanning several floors in height and requiring cranes and specialist teams to paste them up. At scale, her work becomes arresting and highly provocative. The public cannot avoid her pieces, which can be an issue. Whilst paste ups will inevitably be peeled away from the walls by the wind and the rain – Yola’s are sometimes brought down by human hands – critics who object to her subverting religious imagery in her pieces.

Her piece in Buenos Aires is a recreation of a painting called “The Vicious Circle” by Jacek Malczewski, a Polish artist whose painting depicts a circular dance, which represents human lives becoming entangled in history. Yola explained that her interpretation of the piece explores the relationship that migration has with this sense of entanglement. The models who posed to recreate the painting hailed from across Latin America and the rest of the world, as did the three street artists who shared the wall with her – Jaz, Other & Corona are from Argentina, Canada & France respectively.

The spectacular piece nestles between one of Jaz’s lion masked wrestlers, a demonic creation from Other and a set of serene, regal faces painted by Corona. Whilst elements of Yola’s piece currently overlap the other pieces, this was fully anticipated by her collaborators, who plan to return in the weeks to come and add the final touches to fully integrate their pieces with Yola’s.

There are very few artists with the technical skills required to create a piece like this (when not pasting things to the side of buildings, Yola works on CGI and digital composition for major Hollywood productions.) Even fewer would self-finance a trip to the other side of the world to recreate a relatively obscure Polish masterpiece. But aside from the impressive scale, techniques and unusual concept behind Yola’s work, what we enjoyed most was the way she collaborated and interacted with others. She incorporated the public into her piece, recreating the painting using local models and newly-made friends. In true Argentine style, she connected with local street artists to create a collaborative mural, and finally – she put the piece up in a busy street where everybody could see it.

Yola’s art, whilst highly specialised, is created to engage and interact with the public. This is surely one of the ultimate aims of art in the streets – to connect to the general public in a way that art in a museum cannot.

Yola’s piece is located at Charcas and Sanchez de Bustamente in Palermo, Buenos Aires.

You can see more work from Yola here:


Take a sunset tour of some of the most beautiful graffiti in the world with the Graffitimundo crew (; +54 9113 683 3219) and then go for drinks at the Post Street Bar (Thames 1885), a stencil-art covered dive bar with awesome Krylon-decorated toilets and a graffiti gallery upstairs

Fuera de la Línea

Fuera de la Linea opened last month and will run until June 28 at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Rosario (MACRo), a remarkable building built within abandoned grain storage silos overlooking the river Paraná in Rosario, Argentina.

Set across six floors, the exhibition showcased work from Argentina artists Nerf, Pum Pum, Jaz, Ever, Georgina Ciotti, Poeta, Roma, Andrés Bonavera (Larva), Lucas Lasnier (Parbo), Pedro Perelman (PMP)rundontwalkNazza Stencil, Argentine art collectives federación stickboxing, DOMA & FASE together with Brazilian artists Gen Duarte, Zezau, Fefe Talavera and Highraff.

With an all-star lineup, featuring some of the best known and loved graffiti and street artists from Argentina and Brazil it was perhaps inevitable that Fuera de la Linea would be described as an exhibition of “graffiti art” in the press, however this wasn’t how curators and siblings Lucas Zambrano & Soledad Zambrano presented their exhibition. Instead of focusing on the relationship the exhibiting artists have with the streets, the curators presented them as vanguards that have consistently pushed traditional artistic boundaries – and worked “fuera de la linea” (outside the line). This subtle shift in presentation avoided any preconceptions of what a “graffiti art” exhibition should incorporate, and allowed the curators to focus on demonstrating how the artists have challenged convention.

The exhibition had been two years in the making, and to the curators it represented a progression from the work they had begun when they arranged for street artists to create collaborative murals in Carabobo & Puan subway stations. This had been a seminal moment for street art in Argentina, and represented institutional recognition for the main styles of Argentine street art. These murals were part of the long running project to capture Argentina’s artistic heritage within the subte network.

The inclusion of Brazilian artists in an exhibition of Argentine vanguards was an interesting move. The curators explained that they wanted to highlight the international quality of many of these artists’ work. In the same way they have pushed beyond the limitations of canvases and galleries, they have also taken their art beyond national borders. Artistically there has always been a special relationship between Argentina & Brazil. For many, Sao Paulo holds the crown as the most important city for street art in Latin America. Brazilian artists played an important role during the formative years of the Argentine scene, and ties remain strong between the two movements.

The exhibition was striking both in terms of the styles represented and the variety of work on display. DOMA & FASE (who had joined forces to become FAMA) created an extraordinary installation featuring an enormous wooden golem. Lying on the floor and set against a painted city backdrop, the golem had been coated in luminous paint and came to life when the lights were shut off and his glowing skeletal form was revealed. Two floors of the exhibition were dedicated to murals, and showcased a glorious display of techniques, styles and colours from Argentine and Brazilian artists who had collaborated to make creative use of the space. Two floors featured videos, photography and a space for sponsors, and the top floor of the museum featured a gallery of framed pieces together with a spectacular installation from Kid Gaucho & Federico Felici. Whilst the gallery was perhaps the most conventional use of space, it demonstrated how easily the artists could work “within the lines” when they wanted to.

True to its theme, the standout elements of the show were the occassions where artists had breached the conventional spaces, whether that meant extending beyond a framed canvas, splashing a concept across the museums’ walls or spilling out into the stairwell, where the Rosario collective Federación Stickboxing had covered the staircase between each floor in stickers, pasteups and stencils. The whole exhibition bristled with energy and colour, and collaboration between different artists & collectives was evident throughout.

The exhibition was visually spectacular and conceptually intriguing. With the majority of the artists exhibiting being best known for their works in the street, it would have been all too easy to position the show as one of “Argentine street art”. By avoiding the “street art” label, the curators highlighted something different and ultimately more interesting – the constantly changing relationship these artists have with materials, techniques, environments and audiences.

Photos below are from our flickr: