In a city known for its vibrant, rapidly evolving urban art scene – picture garage doors enlivened with splashy color, tall buildings covered in dreamy murals, brick walls tattooed with politically charged stencils – graffiti is no longer relegated the outdoors. The street art enthusiasts behind Graffitimundo have opened UNION, a new gallery and project space dedicated to exhibiting the work of prominent urban artists in Buenos Aires and beyond.
You’ll find Tigua Art everywhere in Ecuador. It’s a staple of artisanal markets, craft stores and souvenir shops. But, what is Tigua? The word could come to mean a style of quintessentially Ecuadorian naïve painting, at least that is what most people equate it to today: strikingly colorful landscapes with hills and mountains, rural farmland, patchwork valleys, straw huts, maize fields, an occasional snow-peak (namely Cotopaxi) and Andean regulars such as the Condor, the Llama, the Masked Dancer, the Potato Picker, the sheep, the poncho-clad farmers …
‘And the city, now,’ wrote Jorge Luis Borges of Buenos Aires, ‘is like a map of my humiliations and failures.’ Argentina’s foremost literary hero had a complicated relationship to his hometown. The writer was, as his poetry suggests, at turns enchanted and discouraged – seduced and repelled – by the city where he spent his life.
I find myself thinking about those complexities some days as I run to the subway or walk to the market to buy milk – walking along the Palermo street where Borges used to live as a boy, a street that has since been named after him.
Today at two o’clock, the 23rd edition of arteBA opens to the public in Buenos Aires. Over the course of the next four days, galleries from all over the globe are displaying the work of more than 500 contemporary artists in an art fair that’s considered one of the most significant in Latin America.
Speaking of heritage artwork in Ecuador that you may want to take back home with you, I’d like to introduce to you a certain Eduardo Vega. One of the country’s foremost potters, Eduardo Vega is sure to impress you on your visit to Cuenca, or so I’d like to conjecture. Here, you’ll be able to discover the master’s gallery and workshop, located in his own home, which incidentally is only a few steps away from a nice sightseeing stop, Turi Church. The lookout point offers the most spectacular view of the city of Cuenca.
Back in the 1980s, Quito still used to be a quiet town past 8 pm. Quiteños were known to shy away from the cool evening winds that dominate the city’s altitude of 2800 meters above sea level, retiring to their homes as soon as the sun went down, warming up in front of their fireplaces, under their heavy llama-wool covers. But one fine day, everything changed, and an animated nightlife (with all the necessary party lights, dance floors, amps and turntables) was born.
Photo: photo courtesy of Natalie Southwick
With its long tradition of regional art, world-class museums and rising street artists, Colombia is making a name for itself in the international art scene. Artists like Fernando Botero have been well-known for decades, but the country’s artistic soul goes far beyond paintings and sculptures of larger-than-life figures. The major cities have been expanding their artistic offerings in recent years, and none more so than Bogotá, which seems to have decided that the end of the year is all about art. There are artsy events taking place just about every week, but the creative folks get especially busy toward the end of October, and will stay that way into the holiday season. A few past, present and future highlights of the capital city’s artistic months:
Photo: TOON Books
A pair of exciting new projects – the English-language début of Argentina’s most famous cartoonist and an upcoming documentary exposing Buenos Aires’ vibrant street art scene – are pushing Argentine artists into the international spotlight.
Photo: Asocación Mario Testino
As I said before, Lima is becoming a vibrant city with many things happening around.
Since last July a restored 19th century mansion located in Lima´s bohemian district of Barranco has hosted MATE – Asociación Mario Testino. MATE is a non-profit organization founded by the famous photographer Mario Testino, which promotes artistic and cultural exchange among local and international artists.
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