I had heard about a graffiti tour from a Brit at my Spanish school, and during one of my last weeks in BA I decided to check it out, thinking already that it might be a bigger photography project I would want to develop. Run by two London natives, Graffiti Mundo aims to share the story behind all the street art in Buenos Aires with the public while giving the artists additional exposure. The meeting point was a street in Palermo Hollywood where much of the city’s graffiti art lives and Marina, one of the company’s founders walked us through how graffiti art has evolved in Buenos Aires and the stories behind some of the works of art.

One of many graffiti murals in the Palermo Hollywood district

One of the really interesting things about graffiti in BA, and perhaps why it is much more abundant than in other cities and, to me, more “artistic” (rather than just tagging) is that it’s legal and in many cases shop owners or home owners will commission the artists to graffiti their buildings. Following the economic crisis in Argentina in the early 2000’s, many local artists in Buenos Aires were inspired to try to lift up the spirits of people and create more positive energy, hence the boom in graffiti art in the city. Sure we have all walked by a cool wall or two of graffiti art in our lives, but it’s a lot more meaningful when you know some information behind it – about the artist, their particular style, why they chose to paint what they did, and about camaraderie amongst the artists and how they are working with or in some cases competing against each other. Not only does the tour help shine light on these amazing artists that might otherwise go unnoticed, but it also references some important history and how these events have shaped the graffiti scene today. The tour was very well-organized and Marina so friendly and knowledgable – I highly recommend it as one of the more unique things to do in BA.

Various graffiti artists collaborate on one wall space