Supported by AkzoNobel and Alba Paints, the Argentine and Belgian muralists transformed grey facades into an open-air gallery within the Buenos Aires Street Art and Art & Swap.
A common goal was to bring color and positivity to the city to combat the grey concrete.
Making Buenos Aires more joyful
AkzoNobel and its Alba brand sponsored the event by donating 500 liters of paint for creating the works of art that were shown to the public.
The paintings are located in a very interesting spot in the city – the place where sophisticated Buenos Aires meets one of its most emblematic slums – “Barrio 31”. Through these pieces of street art, everyday life has gained more positivity and energy, making the city a bit more human. Beside murals, the other works of art were made from non-dangerous waste in order to convey the message of consideration for the environment.
“We are very excited about the results achieved. We take pride in being able to transform a city space with essential colors and show how this essential ingredient changes the daily lives of neighbors, while giving them a share of joy. Cities are humanized with color. We are committed to working hard to make them more vibrant from tones that unleash positive feelings” pointed out Verónica Araujo, the Communications Manager for AkzoNobel Latin America, the Spanish-speaking countries.
The main mural is over 800 square meters in size and it was painted by Spear, the Belgian artist: “When I was called and heard the idea I could not refuse. I had already been to Buenos Aires and was delighted to return, but I was even more enthusiastic about having an exchange with the neighborhood. Making a mural means leaving a part of me alive in this beautiful city. I make portraits, and I looked for nearby people that might leave us a message with content. I met Ana María Sanchez and quickly knew I had to portray her. Her simplicity, her role in the community (she leads Saldías recycling cooperative in the 31 slums), and her smile both inspired and moved me. She and Zoe Ludmila Maluzan, her two-year-old daughter and granddaughter of community members, are the protagonists of this work”.
Ana María pointed out that she never imagined anything like this and that the whole community has been impressed by master Spear’s work.
This event, carried out within Art & Swap, brought together over 1000 people who enjoyed various cultural activities between May 19 and 21 throughout Saldías Cultural Pole. Helena Heukeshoven, the representative of Art & Swap in Buenos Aires, said that this city was chosen for its cultural wealth and artists’ potential. “We intend to democratize art because it belongs to everyone and it is for everyone. Saldías neighborhood represents a unique opportunity to bring our color proposal closer to the people. We wanted to make an exchange with the neighbors and we thought of murals that blur the boundary between Recoleta and Neighborhood 31,” she concluded.
The best expression of the Saldías’ transformation was described in the words of Martín, a neighbor of the area who was passing by on a Friday night, as he was going to a party. “If this is grey when it is hot, imagine what it is like when it rains or in winter. Now a hug and two smiles guide me on my way home. It gives me goosebumps, reminds me of my family and makes me realize that at the end of the day the only thing that makes sense is to bring color to life”.
Find out more about Alba in Argentina here.