Perhaps nowhere on earth is street art more embraced and cultivated than the South American continent. Widely viewed as a nuisance by many in North America and abroad, artists to the south are using this art form to spawn urban rejuvenation and creative thought, breathing new life into areas plagued by urban decay. In cities like Buenos Aires and São Paulo, murals adorn entire street fronts, oftentimes mind-blowing in their depth and complexity.
We teamed up with South American graffiti experts, graffitimundo to bring you a few names we think you should know.
Attributing his unique style to “a childhood addicted to cartoons, video games and fantasy books”, the Rio de Janeiro based Lelo has amassed a portfolio of fantastical creations that span the globe. His unique, constantly evolving style is a direct reflection of his affinity for experimentation. Lelo is intrigued by the use of obscure methods in incorporating new and original creative elements into his work. The surrealist creations that result are instantly recognizable as his own.
Jazz enjoys graffiti because he can see his development as an artist reflected directly through his work. Initially inspired through his interest in rap music, he came to realize that the two are distinctly unique forms of creative expression. Although his tastes in music have evolved, he continues to paint walls. Often working with other local artists, Jazz collaborates in order to gain perspective and include new dimensions into his work. His intricate shading and detailed anatomical representations set him apart from his peers.
This Bogotá native creates entirely unique, intricate portraits of people he encounters in his daily life. Now a seasoned veteran of his craft, Stinkfish believes that street art holds an integral social and political value in his hometown. In 2007 he partnered with fellow Bogotá street artist Barstardilla to create the “HOGAR” project, a research group documenting the different forms of public expression visible today in Bogotá’s streets. Stinkfish recently completed an impressive project on the Colombian island of San Andrés and plans to take his vision abroad in the near future.
From his beginnings in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s, Ever has always been intrigued by the ability of street art to captivate those who happen to be passing by. Having evolved from standard letter work to murals and portraits, he often uses a combination of aerosol and brushwork to get the most out of his pieces. Though his style is more traditional in a sense, it presents an unconventional twist that is perhaps more appreciated on the streets.
The monstrous creations of this São Paulo native tap into the most primordial emotions of the human psyche. Fefe grew up in the midst of the São Paulo graffiti movement and drew inspiration from those who depicted the city’s plight through public exhibitions. Vibrant and colorful, yet oftentimes accompanied by an underlying sinister element, Talavera’s works are inspired by Aztec and Mayan mythologies, a reflection of her Mexican heritage.Argentina, Bogotá, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Colombia, Rio de Janeiro, San Andrés, Sao Paulo