The pride of Ballester – Roma & Poeta present "Díada"

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“Díada” is the new exhibition from Poeta & Roma, held in the Museo Casa Carnacini in the heart of their barrio – Villa Ballester.

Villa Ballester is an unassuming barrio with an interesting history, located just outside the city limits of Capital Federal. In the early decades of the twentieth century Villa Ballester flourished, attracting wealthy European families, intellectuals and artists. Ballesters’ contemporary reality is a fairly chaotic jumble of retailers, businesses and newly-constructed housing blocks. However, despite its modern transformation the barrio retains a number of period buildings and its artistic character.

One of the most striking aspects of the barrio is the graffiti and art which cover its walls. If you visit by train, one of the first things you notice is the enormous mural Roma painted on a building near the opposite platform. If you come by road, you can’t fail to miss the stunning psychedelic murals painted by Poeta, Sam & Roma as you cross the railway. Venture further into Villa Ballester and you’ll discover murals and graffiti everywhere.

Poeta & Roma belong to a generation of artists who first began writing graffiti in the mid 90’s. Over time this generation experimented with techniques, materials and concepts, and their creations spanned from spray-painted letters to figurative and abstract compositions painted with everything from tar to blood.

For the exhibition “Díada”, Poeta & Roma were invited inside an important Ballester institution – the Museo Carnacini. The building itself is the former home of the painter Ceferino Carnacini, who built the house a hundred years earlier. The building has been beautifully restored, and features engravings and paintings from Carnacini on the ground floor, with a large exhibition space on the first floor.

“Díada” is a testament to Roma & Poeta’s talents as artists and their journey from childhood to maturity. The main exhibition space is full of stunning large format pieces from the pair, but our favourite part of the exhibition was a wall covered in photos in an adjoining room. The photos documented a lifetime spent painting in the streets. From the first ever pieces of graffiti they painted to their most recent murals, the photos documented each step taken by two teenage graffiti writers towards becoming the artists they are today.

One of the main aims of our project is to share the context to Buenos Aires’ urban art scene. The city’s art will always be impressive for its aesthetics, but for us it has always been just as important to provide the story of how it came to be there, who painted it and why.

“Díada” is a beautiful exhibition of Roma & Poeta’s work, made even more engaging through the presence of a visual journey depicting their development as artists.

Diada, Casa Carnacini, Calle 110 (Pueyrredón), 2720, Villa Ballester.