Roma & Sam create the giant of Ballester
I spent an afternoon with Roma last week, and he took me around his neighbourhood of Villa Ballester to show me some of his latest pieces. I always like visiting Ballester. It’s just outside of the capital and is full of beautiful street art which looks especially striking in the context of Ballester’s modest low rise residential streets.
Roma’s latest mural is a collaboration with Sam. Both artists favour abstract forms and vibrant colours and their styles complement each other perfectly. The piece is gigantic. A 40 metre giant, composed of swirling shapes and psychedelic colours reclines against the wall of a printing warehouse. Each section of the giant has been beautifully detailed, and each body part is a work of art in itself.
It’s incredibly difficult for photos to do the piece justice – there is no way to recreate the sensation of walking along a quiet residential road and discovering a 40 metre giant. The only people who will ever really experience the full impact of this piece are a handful of local residents, which is exactly how Roma wants it to be. This humble barrio is slowly transforming into what could be called the abstract graffiti capital of Latin America.
New piece from Ever for Open Walls Baltimore
One of the most inspiring aspects of our work is watching artists’ styles develop over the years. We first met Ever back in 2008, and immediately warmed to his cheeky sense of humour and friendliness. At the time he was painting portraits of chihuahuas combined with ex-lovers all over Buenos Aires, and you could clearly see a touch of his personality coming through his surreal paintings.
His recent works have a different tone and feature creative juxtapositions of strikingly realistic portraits together with abstract forms. This theme has been incorporated into his latest piece for Open Walls Baltimore, where he has painted an extraordinary mural that spans the length of a building.
The mural was inspired by a comment Ever heard on a bus during the swine flu crisis. Public transport in Buenos Aires can be a little overcrowded at the best of times, and during the swine flu crisis tempers ran high. A man boarded a local bus trying to sell trinkets to the passengers, and noting that the passengers were glaring angrily at sneezing child, he began his sales pitch with the line “remember, the body is just a suit to be worn upon the earth”. The line may not have sold him many trinkets but it made a lasting impression on Ever.
Taking inspiration from this idea, Ever created a collage with Rosanna Bach which explored the relationship between the mind, the body and the soul. The collage became the basis for this mural, a stunning piece which is testament to Ever’s skill and ability to make ideas work at enormous scales.
We’re very happy to be able to share some photos of the mural taken by legendary photographer Martha Cooper, whom Ever was very honoured to spend time with during his time in Baltimore.
Ever is in high demand at the moment, and will shortly be heading to paint at festivals and exhibitions in Spain, Germany & London over the summer. We’re looking forward to see what he paints!
All images are copyright of Martha Cooper.
Thanks to an informative tour by the folks at Graffiti Mundo, I was able to get an insider’s view and learn some of the stories of the artists whose work you see all around the city.
"Arte Patricios" – open air art gallery
Parque Patricios is a barrio to watch. It’s a fairly traditional, residential neighbourhood boasting some beautiful turn of the century architecture, a large park and a newly opened subte line. A huge amount of investment has gone into the barrio in recent years, and one of the latest projects has been to develop an an entire neighbourhood block adjacent to the park into the new site for Banco Ciudad.
Arte Patricios was an innovative event which brought together dozens of artists over a single weekend to create an open air art gallery around the the perimeter of the construction site for Banco Ciudad. Wooden boards were attached to the metal walls surrounding the site, creating a gallery of empty spaces for the participating artists. Some artists focused on painting the board itself, whilst others incorporated the surrounding wall into their pieces.
We turned up late on the last day of the event having got lost en route. Whilst Parque Patricios is a barrio to watch, it’s also apparently a barrio that can be difficult to get to (according to our taxi driver anyway). So unfortunately we didn’t manage to capture all the artwork from the event – but happily if you’re interested in checking it out, the artwork will remain in place for the next 8 months whilst the bank is built, and then following completion of the site the artwork will be auctioned off.
From the little we caught it seemed like a great event with an interesting concept – transforming an inherently ugly construction site into something attractive for local residents. There were some beautiful paintings and a friendly vibe as artists, their friends and local residents enjoyed the art.