Ok, not an ode, per se: this isn’t exactly a lyrical stanza, but it does celebrate one of the things that sparked my love of photography and of things gritty, “real,” and beautiful in their imperfection and decay. Buenos Aires is the perfect place for such inspiration, and its murals beg to be photographed.

These photos were taken from my little point-and-shoot during a six-month period between late 2010 and early 2011. Most were taken within walking distance of my house in Palermo, but some were in Caminito and in parts of the city now forgotten, but chanced upon during one of our many long walks exploring the city of tango, entraña, and tasty Malbec.

What I love most about the murals of Buenos Aires is that they often lack political agenda, which, if you’ve been to Argentina, you know is a pretty tough thing to avoid. Many of the murals are incredibly imaginative, playful, and fun in both color and form.

Seeing “good” street art does one thing to you: it makes you forever abhor “bad” street art and senseless graffiti. Why make something so ugly, when it could be so much more beautiful? I’m not sure when graffiti “artists” cross the line from being vandals to being artists, but I’ll stick with a Banksy quote on the subject, and leave it at that.

“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”

– Banksy

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Seen on a sunny day, while walking in San Ysidro.

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How’s your Spanish?

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Palermo

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Hug!

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So much randomness

Sedimentality

One of my favorites

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SciFi

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Even the elementary schools get in on the fun.

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Quite the juxtaposition between “good” and “bad” graffiti. . .

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Outside one of my favorite markets

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COLOR.

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Very Kandinsky

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80s