It's a gorgeous spring afternoon in Buenos Aires and one of our favorite things to do is simply walk through the streets. And it's not hard to see why: This is a city that lives and breathes art. Muralists use blank walls as massive canvases, boutique hotels and restaurants are stuffed full of sleek designs, galleries on the street and hidden away in private residences wait to be discovered, and stores offer an oasis for casual collectors. There's only one problem for the art aficionado: In such a big city, it can be hard to find the right path. Thankfully, we've done the work for you. Just follow the splotches of paint.


The new vanguard is headed to Chacarita

Sábanas Frescas via Website

Things are happening in Chacarita. The neighborhood just south of glossy Palermo Hollywood is a budding barrio where new bars, restaurants, galleries and design studios are cropping up. SlyZmud is the brainchild of young curators Natalia Sly and Larisa Zmud, who were among the city’s first gallerists to make the move to the neighborhood. Heavy on participatory installation works, the gallery often invites two different artists to interact together in the stripped-down, minimalist space. This weekend is your last chance to catch Composition #29, with works by local painter and photographer Pablo Ziccarello, before the next show goes up. 

Where: Bonpland 721
When: Tues.-Sat., 2-7 p.m.


A Shrine to Homer Simpson

Argentina’s collective obsession

Photo by Kevin Vaughn

This small triangular block on the corner of Castillo and Fitz Roy is a cement fortress that houses the 176 bus line. The walls along its perimeter have for years been home to a rotating crew of mural and graffiti artists, in an area known locally as the "street art zone." In Buenos Aires, graffiti is ubiquitious (it’s legal, and in many cases encouraged), and this particular enclosure features some members of Argentina’s first family of street artists. Besides the various renditions of "Homero" — because you aren’t truly a local unless you can fit a Simpsons reference into all conversations — there is a three-way collaboration between Jaz, Ever and Other that has beaten the odds and remained untouched for a few years now.

Where: Castillo & Fitz Roy


El Mercado de las Pulgas

A haven for the midcentury-modern obsessed

While the San Telmo area is mostly filled with gaudy antiques and silver, the old shops that surround the Mercado de las Pulgas — a fancier-sounding "flea market" — are full of midcentury modern pieces for the Mad Men obsessed. It’s here that you’ll likely find that clean box sofa or rich wood dresser set (and maybe a bar while you’re at it). If your tastes are a bit more contemporary, you’re also likely to find vintage '70s and '80s pieces all the way to artisan designs circa right now.

Where: Dorrego & Niceto Vega
When: Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Guaraní Porã

A taste of the North

Fabrica de estampas via Facebook

It sounds like a dream job: traveling through the rich red and green forests of northeast Argentina and Paraguay in search of handmade artisan goods. Once back in Buenos Aires, you set up a cute little shop to preserve and sell all your findings. This is just what Caro Urresti did. A fashion editor by trade, the BA native wanted to escape the world of model castings and make up tests to lose herself in the streets of Asunción surrounded by the Guaraní people. Tucked away on a quiet little street, Guaraní Porã sells a curated selection of ceramics, leather goods, furniture and art prints. Mixed in are some local pieces, too, including a new collection of North-inspired screen prints by Buenos Aires artist collective Fabrica de Estampas

Where: Emilio Ravignani 1441
When: Weds.-Sat., 3-8 p.m.


Home Hotel

Who knew wallpaper could be this cool?

via Website

While the midcentury finds at the Mercado de las Pulgas may just be wishful window-shopping for some, Patricia O’Shea and Tom Rixton of Home Hotel actually followed through. But they didn’t decorate just one room — they decorated 18, and you may want to pack your bags and move in for good. An overnight stay isn’t necessary to take in the couple’s keen eye for art and design, though, as the lush garden houses a bar and restaurant open to the public. Grab one of dozens of art books to enjoy with that Bloody Mary and be sure to take in the extensive collection of wallpapers from around the world framed beautifully and displayed in the open first floor. 

Where: Honduras 5860
When: Daily, 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.


Parbo Mural

Paint us in pink and pastels

Photo by Kevin Vaughn

Parbo is one of those artists you know of without even realizing it. Lucas Lasnier is a graphic designer, visual artist and founding member of KidGaucho, a design and arts studio. His work is everywhere: on walls across BA, on T-shirts and scarves, and framed and hung in hotels and galleries. This particular mural on the facade of the Fierro Hotel is emblematic of his style, with wild shades of pink and blue in swirling surreal patterns and detailed flora. Pro tip: Prints by Parbo are available at nearby Galeria Union

Where: Soler 5862 


Galeria Mar Dulce

Our favorite little gallery

via Website

When she had her baby girl, Linda Neilson set off on a search across the city for art prints to decorate the nursery but came away mostly empty-handed. So she decided to do something about it, and Galeria Mar Dulce was born. The space used to be the home of two friends, with the gallery itself serving as a living room where Linda and her husband, poet and co-owner Ral Veroni, attended dinner parties. Together the duo curates small-format pieces with a taste for whimsical watercolors. Right now you can catch Maria Elina’s solo show, a collection of paintings of female bodies morphing into flora and fauna. You can also see relics of the previous exhibits, including the work of María Luque, whose paintings reimagine recognized museums and the studios of famous artists.

Where: Uriarte 1490
When: Tues.-Sat., 3-8 p.m.


Hollywood in Cambodia

Art and a beer

© Cuore's No Title via Website

What’s our favorite thing to do after a long walk on a gorgeous spring afternoon? Lounge on an open terrace with a cold beer. Post Street Bar is a dark grunge bar covered from ceiling to floor in tags and stencils. Head across the bar and through the kitchen and you’ll find Hollywood in Cambodia, a tiny gallery space and print shop that specializes in mural art and graffiti. Shows change out every month, and the artist-run space challenges street artists to transfer their work to canvas and paper mediums. This month you can see Cuore's oil, watercolor and pencil renderings of serene and surreal landscapes. Upstairs and out the back door you’ll find a spacious terrace whose high walls have been taken over by friends of the gallery — a great spot to get a crash course on the who’s-who of BA street artists while winding down with popcorn and a drink. 

Where: Thames 1885
When: Tues.-Sun., 5-9 p.m.

By Kevin Vaughn

When Kevin isn't writing about Buenos Aires food and culture, he's guiding travelers to Buenos Aires with his intimate arts and lifestyle tours via Buenos Aires Art Tours. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.