In the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Barracas, tucked off the usual tourist track, you’ll find a short street where the owners turned their houses into works of art. Stripes and squiggles cover the facades, the pops of primary colors adding a wonderfully electric atmosphere to the neighborhood.
The bright array of public art is the work of local artist Marino Santa María. During the spring of 2001, he worked with his neighbors to transform three blocks into a colorful display of public art.
Now, 34 houses spanning three blocks boast vivid mosaics. Walking the narrow, winding streets reveals humble homes decorated with unique works of art, forming what’s essentially an open-air gallery that still bustles with day-to-day city life.
Each abode maintains its own identity, and some homeowners even cleaned up the areas around their houses to highlight the art. The artist worked with his neighbors to design mosaics that fit both his aesthetics and their own, tailoring each design to fit that of each individual houses.
Know Before You Go
You can walk around the area at any time. The artist still lives there, and you can usually get in touch with him to arrange a quick meeting or even a tour of his work.