Gualicho: “Hexagonario” in Tiny Argentinian Barrio, Isla Maciel

Today we have a few simple images of a new piece in a very modest neighborhood on Isla Maciel in Buenos Aires by Gualicho called “Hexagonario”. Gualicho tells us that he was inspired to do a public painting here because a local school teacher organized an art festival here with almost no money or support from the government as a way to improve the living situation here. The island that was once known principally for its brothels because of its proximity to the ships and sailors arriving to Buenos Aires, and the area hasn’t quite shaken itself from those negative associations in the minds of many.

 

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Pablo Harymbat AKA Gualicho “Hexagonario” Isla Maciel, Argentina. Nov, 2014. (photo © Gerardo Montes de Oca)

“Nowadays there are no more brothels, but it is still a very dangerous place,” says Gualicho, “Most of the people are workers and a lot of families live here. Every day at the end of the day when I came back from painting I saw all the people on the streets, sitting in the front door of their houses, under the shadow of the trees, drinking mate and watching the people passing by.

There is no such thing as a Street Art “scene” here, but Gualicho liked the friendly environment where he put up his piece that mimics the repetition of decorative pattern on the walls insides some peoples homes. “I thought this work as a big wallpaper; an organic pattern of Elodeas (an algae very common on the Río de la Plata). I mixed it with other organic / abstract shapes organized over a hexagonic structure. I left the background as it was, because I love the colors that the passing of time leaves on the wall.”

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Pablo Harymbat AKA Gualicho “Hexagonario” Isla Maciel, Argentina. Nov, 2014. (photo © Gualicho)

Gualicho says he believes that this is a good “first step” toward encouraging people to take pride in the neighborhood and he has seen some positive developments in folks disposition since he started to paint. He also gives a lot of credit to that teacher.

“Gerardo Montes de Oca is an art teacher at the high school, which is a job that is not easy to do at all because of poverty, violence or difficult family situations and a high rate of absenteeism,” explains Gualicho. “In this context he decided to do something to change the place and organize an art festival “Pintó la isla” to bring life and beauty to this part of the city which is long forgotten by governments and politicians.”

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Pablo Harymbat AKA Gualicho. The port. Isla Maciel, Argentina. Nov, 2014. (photo © Gualicho)

Even though he says that Mr. Montes de Oca is not familiar with much of the “fancy urban art world” he was glad to participate and may come back to do another wall. “For me this was very inspiring because I found myself again with the roots of mural art: common people trying to do something to change their own environment.”

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Pablo Harymbat AKA Gualicho “Hexagonario” Isla Maciel, Argentina. Nov, 2014. (photo © Gualicho)

 

 

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