Buenos Aires is one of a handful major cities where graffiti is legal. The lack of regulations allows and encourages many artists to take their creativity to the streets. From the very beginning such means of expression was mostly for political purposes where explicit slogans and messages were painted. As the country lived through and recovered from its repressive period of dictatorship in the 70’s/80’s and the unforgettable financial crisis in 2001, the street art has also grown to be more sophisticated from simple words and clever stencils to bigger, brighter, and a lot more elaborated murals. Even though there’s always a message embedded in each and every creation, not all of them are as politically charged as before. Rather than make you ponder for minutes, some of them simply put an instant smile on your face.
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A few years back, most of the artistic graffiti works were found in and around the Palermo neighborhood, but they have been gradually spreading to all over the city. With the city’s welcome arms to street art, not only local artists but also well-known international street artists are coming to Buenos Aires, adorning empty ugly surfaces with masterpieces after masterpieces; bringing this urban art form particularly in this city to a whole new level.
As this outdoor gallery is constantly growing and changing, a great way to make sure you catch all the best ones currently on ‘display’ is to join a guided tour. So far, there are 2 groups of knowledgeable and lovely people who run tours to show you around and can tell you everything you want to know about the artists and the works that you are looking at. One is Buenos Aires Street Art and the other one is Graffitimundo. Both of them offer group and private tours throughout the week and hold classes for those who would like to learn how to work with aerosols. They are also actively contributing and supporting the street art scene by organizing projects and commissioning local artists.
Check out this video to get a glimpse of what you might stumble upon while walking the streets of Buenos Aires.