Thursday, July 30, 2009

Best of Never Before Seen

I'm leaving Buenos Aires for good this weekend and I thought I would post a few best of shots that I hadn't shown on the site before. I don't think any of these images besides the flower explicitly reminds me of Buenos Aires and that is perhaps the point.

The city itself really could be anywhere in my mind. Having spent six months here, I have concluded that the urban area as a whole does not really have any outstanding or unique characteristics. That is not to say that the people or traditions of the city are not unique, only that the actual physical landscape leaves something to be desired.

Long called the 'Paris of South America', Buenos Aires truly seems like a city trying to join Europe and falling just short in the process. The beautiful buildings of Argentina's golden age smack of European elegance and lofty global aspirations, while the buildings of today's trendy neighborhoods are cookie-cutter and thoroughly uninteresting. I have often wondered where the homegrown style was, where the recognition of an inherent aesthetic came into its own and I haven't found a compelling answer.

Perhaps this is only natural in a country where the vast majority of the population traces its lineage to Europe. Perhaps this is natural in a city that has experienced massive waves of immigration and intermittent periods of ruinous financial speculation and collapse. Buenos Aires is undoubtedly a melting pot, but one that has not formed a dominant, coherent perspective of its own. After all, when you take the nickname as the closest approximation of a famous city on another continent, how can you develop your own style?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Best Graffiti

Of all of the things you could rail against or stand behind, this has to be the least likely to appear in graffiti. The ancien regime is making a comeback.

Friday, July 24, 2009


If you are in Buenos Aires now or are coming down in the future, a necessary stop would certainly be the Fundacion PROA, a great gallery in La Boca. Set right on the old city port, PROA is a large converted warehouse, with soaring ceilings and massive windows, perfect for exhibiting an artist like Andreas Gursky. He's long been a favorite a mine and now I've found a favorite place to see his work.

Neighborhood Personalities

A few of the colorful characters you might see on a walk around our neighborhood. Its always good to see a new face brighten up a blighted wall.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Keeping A Theme

Two more storefronts, one from San Telmo and one from Villa Crespo. The first is a rather strangely named laundromat and the second is a rag tag shoe repair shop. Its really the lettering more than anything else that does it for me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Storefront Return

Three different styles. The first image is rather typical of downtown Buenos Aires, where small, sparsely decorated cafes dominate.

The second image is of another ubiquitous site in this city, the kiosco. What the bodega is to the Bronx, the kiosco is to Buenos Aires.

And the final image is of yet another common city site. Hardware stores, as well as tire and paint shops abound, all helping to support the Argentine do-it-yourself attitude.

While all of these storefronts are of a common type, I think that these three have something special, whether they know it or not.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brokedown Update

Two more views of some brokedown favorites.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Brokedown and No Way Home

These sort of scenes are incredibly prevalent both in our neighborhood and throughout Buenos Aires. Its not as though these cars are being work on, its as if they were originally set aside for that purpose but were forgotten. This seems to fit right in line with the Argentine reluctance to buy any kind of new automobile, though this sentiment only applies to the older generation. Just fix it up until the wheels fall off.

Two Views (La Boca)

Two views of the port of La Boca in Buenos Aires. The neighborhood is the long neglected former entry point of the city and feels a cross between a backwater port and an elegant shanty town. The stairway plunging into the fetid water seems a sort or analogy for the entire area. When the Europeans were streaming off the boat, this area was vibrant with multiculturalism and was a welcome sight after a long sea journey. Now it has been reduced to a second rate barrio in the city it helped create, where the history has been replaced by innumerable stalls selling Boca Juniors memorabilia.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Proper Celebration

Its the 4th of July and in Argentina that means nothing more than a few happy hour parties at a few expat bars scattered around the city. Certainly no backyard bbqs, days at the beach or coolers full of beer. And I stopped hoping long ago for a chance of fireworks.

This pile of oyster shells represents, in a way, a lot of what we're missing on a day like today. So if you're in the States, enjoy it for me.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Telltale Signs

This is a selection of photographs from my latest album, Telltale Signs. I am going to continue to shoot, but this might be the last full album for a while. This is my last month in Buenos Aires, and I'm going to be spending a good amount of time trying to photograph areas that I have yet to visit. Enjoy.