Graffiti of San Telmo

When I went for my first proper  San Telmo walk 5 weeks ago, not nocturnal for once but in hard, bright sunlight,   I didn’t know what to look at, the lovely old buildings, the people or th blue sky.

What grabbed my attention most forcefully in the end was the Graffiti.     Here is a sample for you.

My ignorance is still astounding.  I don’t know if these are two old tango or mionga legends or Juan & Evita Peron.

(Maybe one of my Argentine friends could enlighten me ?)    But this small but brillaint stencil was sprayed onto and on top of  a much

larger, previous work,   of a brilliantly toothy, big, blue pig.    The blue triangle, coming into the frame above, is his ear.

Toothy Blue Pig…. and bright orange Bin.

Toothy Blue Pig…. and bright orange Bin,  in context,  wide shot.

Mysterious,  chiaroscuro girl.

Stick-legged Beetle boy, holding a beer bottle

(Is that excess aliteration?)

San Telmo spray-can,  NY subway style.

I have no idea what this guy represents, he looks vaguely sinister,  like a storm trooper or someone clearing up atomic mess.  but I liked him.

Saw him around quite a lot, in various manifestations, including T-shirts.

Here he is again,  in his corner home.

Quiet and sweet Japanese(?) girl,   on a nice purple ground.

Same image,  in wide shot,  by way of context.

The same purple colour is the giveaway.   This is the other side of the same shopfront.  Another tradition or school of Graffiti tho, NY rather than Stencil Euro-style.

Lurid and garish, and a bit scary the ways the eyes seem to get jabbed.   But then i am very squeemish about anything to do with eyes.

Ditto this cat, garish, although with a good face.

I think the blue street numbers compliment the pinks and greens.

The bananas within the shop  make the colours outside sing even better.

Here’s where those greens and pinks come from.   The full pull-down grate.

Stick leg beetle beer boy,  again.   Because It is invidious to choose, but I think he was my favourite.

You have to admire the little doors or hatch in his torso, and how he seems to think of opening the door.

In his full and glorious domain.

8 thoughts on “Graffiti of San Telmo

  1. Reblogged this on Arran Q Henderson and commented:

    Since the Tour of Decorative Details was popular yesterday, here is another look back, to Buenos Aires. At Graffiti this time. Daubed, stencilled, sprayed and painted, all around my old home district of scruffy but historic and delightful San Telmo. Enjoy the pictures.


    1. Buen día, espero que entiendas español 🙂 El grafitti número uno representa a Néstor y su compañera Cristina Kirchner, es un stencil de la agrupación política y social “Segundo Centenario”. La otra imagen que desconoces viene de “El Eternauta” un cómic argentino de Hector Oesterheld (desaparecido durante la ultima dictadura) que habla del “héroe social”, combinando la cara de Néstor y el traje de El Eternauta surge “El Nestornauta” el cual ya viste en marchas y remeras. Muy lindas tus fotos, espero hayas entendido todo.



      1. Buen día Belen y gracias por toda esta información maravillosa. Como ya sabes, no tenía casi ninguna idea acerca de los personajes en el graffiti, ni los artistas que hacen los personajes, así que toda esta información es extremadamente interesante para mí. Es muy triste, horrible, que HGO fue asesinado por la Junta, aunque sé que muchos escritores y artistas y miles de otras personas. Pero muchas gracias, estoy muy agradecido. Mis respetos desde Dublín. -Arran.
        PS: Tiene razón sobre mi español. Tengo ‘unas nociones’ de algún español, pero muy poco, y es muy pobre. ¡Traté de escribir esta respuesta en mis propias palabras, (en español), pero cuándo comprobé mi lengua, contra un programa del traductor, era terrible! Por tanto tengo miedo tuve que usar el programa del traductor para escribir esta respuesta. Espero y sólo puedo confiar, que el español aquí es bien, y apropiado en el tono. Por favor perdone cualquier error en lengua o tono. Mis recuerdos otra vez – Arran.


  2. UPDATE: I received a nice comment here today from a reader in Buenos Aires, Belen, writing above about the origin of the graffiti images above, their meaning and the artists involved. Belen of course has written in Spanish, but here is a Computer generated translation:
    (THe Graffiti, in the (my) First picture… ” it is a stencil of the political and social group “Segundo Centenario“. Another image that you do not know comes from “The Eternauta” an Argentine cómic of Hector Oesterheld (missing person during the last dictatorship) that speaks about the “social hero”, combining the Néstor face and the suit of The Eternauta arises “The Nestornauta” which dresses already in marches and rowers.”
    With Belen’s kind lead, I then did a little further research, and found that “The Eternauta” is a very famous, in fact an iconic image and character in Argentina. The artist for most of the “comics” was Fransico Solano Lopez, and even more important, the writer Hector German Oesterheld, often known by his initials HGO. He (HGO) was kidnapped by the military Junta in 1977- one of the countless thousands of Argentinian “Disappeared” taken by the “Dirty War” – and presumed murdered, probably 2 or 3 years later, around 1979/1980. There is more information here.

    My thanks again to Belen, for this invaluable information.


    1. Me alegro mucho de poder dar a conocer a HGO, soy fanática de toda su obra. Tengo que felicitarte, el español del traductor que usas es bastante bueno jaja. Muchas gracias por tomarte el tiempo de responder, espero que hayas disfrutado tu visita a la Argentina.


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