Poster Boy NYC

1. Check out Poster Boy NYC’s work:

NYTimes article (trying to catch him)

Video of his work (it’s a little long, I recommend skipping to near the end)

>>Mira el trabajo de Poster Boy NYC, un graffitero que utiliza el estilo de collage para crear imagenes nuevos, a veces muy polemicos.

2. Relatively sure I’ll be coming back to Argentina to write a thesis on bsas graffiti later this summer (august-sept?). Hurrah!

>>Regreso el verano (pero el verano del norte… asi que el invierno de argentina, quizas agosto-septiembre) para seguir con mi investigacion, esta vez como parte de la tesis de la facultad/universidad.

xo, char


Some things of note:

Bomb It!--international graffiti documentary, screenings worldwide (but nothing coming to BsAs, sadly)

Graffiti Argentina, book that just came out this year

Also, being back in the states, I feel like the buzz surrounding Shephard Fairey (of the Obey campaign and the ubiquitous Obama blue/red image fame) is UNREAL. in fact, the boston contemp arts museum is going to host a retrospective on him. isn’t he s a little on the young side for a retrospective?

Hey guys,

So I did in fact write that paper on the subject, which I’ll attach here in pdf form. Unfortunately, it’s still in Spanish since it was for an UBA class, but I’m working on translating it (albeit really slowly and intermittently), possibly for publication in English. But I also might wait on sending it in anywhere, since I might still write a seniors thesis project on this? Details to come.

Also, I never did complete my planned graffiti tour of the city, so no personal photos, but I’ll post up some faves from other sources anyway (all of those can be found in the pdf though). But I’ll leave that for another day…

Enjoy! And comments are welcome, as it’s still a work in progress…

xo, Char


Sí, escribí la monografía sobre el arte callejero, y la adjunto en pdf acá en castellano. Lamentablemente, nunca hice el recorrido del graffiti de la ciudad como había planeado, pero bueno, voy a publicar fotos de otras fuentes pronto… De todos modos, todas de estas fotos ya están en el pdf.

Disfrutála! Y por favor, dime sus comentarios porque todavía es en proceso… (Y todavía estoy pensando en continuar este proyecto como mi tésis)

besos, char

Monografía sobre el arte callejero porteño

Sat Chit Ananda, etc.

A todos los profes, artistas, activistas, y graffiteros que me han ayudado: muchisimas gracias. me ha ponido tan contenta este proyecto, y en este momento no puedo creer que en menos que dos meses, tengo que terminarlo!

Ahora, una propaganda para Gualicho, aunque hace mucho que no lo veo:

sat chit ananda gualicho
Si te gusten sus obras, anda a Colegiales por la puente de Jorge Newberry…

Tambien me gustaria subrayar las manifestaciones por la estacion de Dario y Maxi el 26 de cada mes, en que participan distintos grupos del llamado arte activista, o arte de accion. Quizas me voy este mes…

Y ademas el trabajo de Ala Plastica, una ONG que hace intervenciones medioambientales y artisticas. Me parece muy interesante su colectivo, si bien es medio lejos de capital (esta en la plata).

Bueno, escribo mas en la semana que viene, pero estoy en Iguazu sin mi propia computadora…

xo, char

Update soon!

This marks the longest I have let this blog sit without updating it, but as finals begin to wrap up here (in the next week or so), I’ll be posting a ton more… photos, videos, a more reader-friendly timeline (the current/new “cronología” page is a bit of a mess), an updated “The Word” column (God that’s outdated) and so forth. Also, I’ll finally put up transcripts/audio of interviews, and a final recap of everything. SORRY FOR THE DELAY!

For any Stanford kids reading this, I’ve been thinking of trying to put together a student-initiated course on international graffiti sometime during my senior year. The way I imagine it, I’d try to get some speakers down from San Fran, we’d watch some documentaries (certainly “Style Wars”), have some short readings, do presentations on various cities, and go out and do chalk graff around Stanford’s campus… I wonder if there’d be any interest? Thoughts/comments/suggestions are welcome: cslau@stanford.edu

Another quick update…

My project has officially evolved/expanded so that I’ll be focusing on ARTE CALLEJERO (street art), as a more general term than just “graffiti.” I’ve been creating a timeline of sorts about any sort of movements that involve writing/art in the streets in Buenos Aires since about the 1890s until today, and what seems to emerge from this is two rather distinct histories/stories (linguistic/dorky sidenote: I love that in spanish, the word for those two can be the same).

1. the political writing on the wall (pintura política): organizations, the church, and political parties posting up their two cents for all to read. in the beginning, stamements were often rhythmic, like chants in demonstrations, so there was a link between the oral and the written. With time, this became more visuall; most notable is the Siluetazo of 1983 by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (when the organization placed thousands of white silhouettes around the city, a nod to the Disappeared under the military dictatorship). In the 1990s, more groups emerged that hoped to raise awareness about the impunity of officers during the dictatorship, so there was a strong link to human rights groups. (Examples of these include HIJOs and Grupo Etcetera, both begun in 1997). Finally, following the economic crisis that peaked in December 2001, more groups emerged, this time more artistically-leaning (TPS, Arte! Arde), which sought to raise awareness about government neglect as well as police brutality. (Many poltiical-artistic groups formed that used Dario Santillan, who was killed by police at a protest, as their martyr.)
INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL ANTECEDENT: France 1950s-60s, peaking with the student movement of May 1968.

2. graffiti / the artistic side: begun in the 60s/70s with statements scribbled on walls denouncing mass media (some art students also began to get involved). In the 70s, aerosol also started gaining popularity (even for political statements), a result of the NYC graff movement. In the 80s and 90s, graffiti began appearing relating to national and international rock music, as well as about football (soccer) teams. In the 1990s, tagging gained popularity too (cool note: according to researcher Emilio Peterson, the first tags in Buenos Aires were actually done by foreigners, not Argentines). Then in the late 90s, just as groups like HIJOS and Grupo Etc. were starting up, students at the University of Buenos Aires’ FADU (architecture/design) sector began making their marks on the street. According to Chu from one of those first groups (DOMA), some of those activities were political too. With the 2001 crisis, though, many artists began to reject the politicized nature of, well, everything, and began to create “personajes” (characters) that could enliven, and make happier, public streets. Other artists, less concerned about whether the act of graffiti should be considered political or not, joined simply because the culture was fun or because it allowed for another type of artistic expression.
INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL ANTECEDENT: New York City 70s and 80s, aesthetic graffiti.

What’s interesting here is how both were born out of the same circumstances and are now creating two different responses to the same stimuli–like two fraternal twins, if you will. And as both movements continue to mature, they begin to face similar challenges posed by the current state of society/art: questions of institutionalism, their links to “high art,” and ways to make the forms participatory.

In one of Ana Longoni’s articles, some of the activist artists mentioned that there could be a decline of activist art now that political groups are utilizing artistic means within themselves, without needing to reach out to outside organizations specializing in political art. At the same time, graffiti seems to be expanding and entering a new phase of its life, causing some to term the current age one of “posgraffiti.”

Quick thoughts…

In our interview, Pum Pum had talked about how pop art was one of her influences, and it struck me how similar (at least superficially) the two forms are:
-Pop art appropriated the form of advertising and mass media to create “art”
-Graphic designers and artists in Argentina have appropriated the form of “graffiti” (that is, writing on the wall), which was/is a form of political mass media here, to create “posgrafiti”–a term some graffiteros like Gaulicho, as well as street art curators like Máximo Jacoby, prefer bc it is more open-ended than “graffiti,” which has too strong of links to the nyc hip-hop scene.

And both pop art and posgrafiti sought/seek to take what was “on the streets” into the gallery.

It seems that the people who don’t do political street art don’t because they don’t think it’s the place for politics. Politics taints things, taints art. Their art is often more “cartoony”; it’s purpose is to make people smile or laugh. In other words, it seems to be constitute a shift in society in which people have become sick of politics (in contrast to the populist Peronist movement, for which there was LOTS of political graffiti). Also, it seems to be a statement about the efficacy of public education

read on>>

progress report

En inglés con subtítulos en castellano (traducida de manera muy aproximada):

but it’s all been put on a pause bc of midterms…
(aunque he parado mi trabajo con esta investigación como resultado de mis parciales…)

xo, char

Back to the U.S….

I know this is supposed to be about Argentine graff, but really contemporary graff is so international that I felt the need to post this:
Time Magazine photo essay: Art of the Street
a bit dated (from 2005), but I just discovered it, and it gives a good sampling of some modern happenings in NYC and L.A. I hear there’s a cool woodblocking (literally, painted/designed wood blocks nailed to street posts, etc.) scene in Chicago too, not sure if that’s come and gone though…

Here are some fave images:

DAN WITZ. total trompe l'oeil (all painted)

DAN WITZ. total trompe l'oeil (all painted)



fotos + read on>>

Last post for a while, since I need to clamp down on work for other classes, but this one’s props go to Prof. Lyman Chaffee of California State Univ, Dominguez Hills.

The full text of the L.A. Times article is here, but basically describes this new trend in street art (“regarded as creative, non-gang graffiti by its admirers and as vandalism by its detractors — evolved in part out of the do-it-yourself punk movement of the 1980s”) to make pro-Obama stickers, posters, and murals, spotted all over in the U.S. but also internationally, with Beijing and Paris as the two named examples.

read on>>