The second edition of UruGraff in Concepción del Uruguay, Argentina took place at weekend with 18 artists invited to paint graffiti and murals in the port area. Photos and interview by Buenos Aires Street Art.
The three-day festival was held from Friday to Sunday in the city located in the province of Entre Rios. Argentine artist Teko curated and organised the project with help and support from Concepción del Uruguay local government.
The artists painting at the weekend were Agus Rucula, Byga, Cabe, Ciclope, Cobre, Dame, El Keni, Fio Silva, Ice, Lion, MIN8 (Uruguay), Mundo Rod, Nerf, Seba Cener, Shonis and Snap.
Curation & organisation
UruGraff festival curator Teko told Buenos Aires Street Art more about his ideas behind the project and the team of artists he selected to paint murals and graffiti together. “The event came about in the first place to gather friends and colleagues whom I appreciate very much both on a human and artistic level. When you organise this event, you want to have a good time, and if we can at the same time add value to an area and beautify it, even better.”
Teko added jokingly: “I want to emphasise that beyond the artistic level. I’m dealing with it all and it’s really important for me – almost to the point that it’s non-negotiable – when considering the human qualities of the artists that form the group, as they are going to be together for three or four days and the last thing we need is bad feeling!”
The port of Concepción del Uruguay still operates but traditionally it was once considered one of the most important in Argentina for the export of cereals and oilseeds, as well as timber. There are a few modern buildings around but much of the zone is characterised by old silos, abandoned warehouses with broken windows and concrete paving overgrown with weeds. “The warehouses, I don’t know what their functions were in the past but they are clearly related to port activity,” explained Teko. “The area is being redeveloped in stages with the idea to transform it into luxury apartments with a view over the river, it is a construction project similar to that in Puerto Madero (in the city of Buenos Aires). I think it provides a great backdrop for painting walls.”
Teko added: “I chose this place since I constantly walk around with my dog and now I have another excuse to do it more often. It is also a very busy street, especially at weekends where people go out for a walk and relax a bit more.”
Larger scale murals
Teko said UruGraff 2022 was a little different than before in relation to the selection of the artists taking part. “With the first edition in 2016, I invited more people related to graffiti, and pieces (graffiti letters) I mean, since the walls we had permission to paint at that time fitted perfectly,” he revealed. “In this new edition, the dimensions (of the walls and buildings) changed in terms of height so it seemed appropriate to select colleagues accustomed to covering slightly larger dimensions, as I also wanted to incorporate techniques such as brushes to achieve a mixture of styles that in turn would enhance each one of them, and I think the result was perfect.”
Mixture of styles
And Teko said he couldn’t be happier with the finished artworks. “It’s a nice experience to coordinate and select this level of artists because you know in advance that the result will exceed expectations. They are all top-level artists and that was reflected on the walls.”
Crowds of visitors
Thousands including locals, families with children and visitors to the city attended the festival over three days. They enjoyed the warm weather while watching the artists paint plus listening to a live band and DJ set on Saturday and Sunday.
Festival organiser Teko wanted to mention a few people: “I obviously want to thank each one of the artists who didn’t hesitate when they got the call (to participate), my family that is always there to support, and is fundamental. Also thanks to Nico Link who came to help me with everything, before and during the event; Lara Garrido with logistics and photography; to the sponsor Colorshop Concepción del Uruguay that provided the paint and materials. And a big thanks to Concepción del Uruguay Culture Department, mayor Martin Oliva and the great Ata Puchulu who were always there to help. Also to the band No Somos Nadie who played and closed the day on Saturday, to Sonido Zebra Sound System, Luciano Wacho, DJ El Prat and Imago Ciclo for the music and event production and Buenos Aires Street Art – great that you traveled to cover the event, thanks so much!”
“Finally to the local team of collaborators of Urugraff Bordelesa Serigrafia, Pablo, Pajaro, Beto, Carnicería el Gauchito, Santa Anita ice wholesaler El Rey, and to the entire community of Concepción that really values the work these artists have given to our city. See you at the next edition!”
Thanks to Teko! It really was great to be there at a truly fantastic event with great artists and excellent organisation.
Check out the new artworks at Av Galarza y Av Costanera Paysandú.
All photos & content © Buenos Aires Street Art