In many cities you might think street artists would get into trouble for painting walls in public places but that’s rarely the case in Buenos Aires, where the city government has put up a plaque recognising the talents of Ever, Jaz, Mart and Poeta and thanking the artists for transforming an outdoor space.
Designs by Jaz and Mart with new plaque (right)
Sweet dreams: designs by Ever and Poeta
The mural in Plaza Zinny, Palermo, featuring a dreaming man by Poeta and Ever, a growling tigerman by Jaz and four colourful characters by Mart was completed at the end of February. All four artists were invited to the inauguration of the plaque on Friday but only Mart could attend. “Putting a plaque up for graffiti artists is something I never imagined,” said Mart. “To me it seems a bit ironic but it shows that things are going well and we were painting with the objective to improve the square for everyone who uses it.”
The fab four honoured
Mart believes in more developed countries such a project involving street artists would be far less likely. “In other places where a lot of things work better for example in the USA, Germany or Spain, there is more vandalism,” says Mart. “In Argentina where things don’t work so well and there are other problems such as crime, to add more vandalism makes no sense, it’s better to add a bit more peace and colour.”
|Rough edges: square before the revamp|
Before the mural was completed, the square was painted with tags, filled with rubbish and frequented by homeless people looking for a place to spend the night. Also present at the inauguration were the head of the district council (comuna) and 20 or so local residents. Mart added: “I was the only one of the four of us there but everyone was telling me ‘thank you all so much for the mural, it’s fantastic’, they were alll saying positive things.”