Art is a means of expression of the human being. Through music, painting, photography, literature, feelings, emotions, ideas and ways of relating to the world are manifested.
“It is the possibility of transforming, with the power of images, the daily life of a neighborhood. Give the 10 de Diciembre neighborhood an identity through a comprehensive artistic intervention”, Rocío Toppetti, one of the artists involved and promoter of this action, told ANB.
Everything happened like that in an improvised way, without thinking or planning it. “We have been partners with Natalia for a few years and we wanted to go out and paint some designs that we have been working on for some time with the idea of continuing to become more professional. The objective was that it could be in a larger format than what we had been working on”, says Rocío.
They say out there that when a person wants or needs something, at some point, the planets align so that things happen. “One day I receive an Instagram message from a muralist named Wise Two (@wisetwo) to tell me that he was coming to Bariloche and that he would like us to meet to chat and organize a painting scene.”
“It is so, naturally, there were already three of us. So we told another colleague with whom we also worked and he told a friend who came from Buenos Aires and that was how, suddenly, we were 5 muralists with the intention of painting”, says the artist.
“On these 2023 vacations I decided to return to the city of Bariloche for the second time to enjoy a bit and meet my friend Alejandro, a great artist whom I admire and with whom I share a painting group (NMD’S Club – Nómades Club),” he said. Matías Alderete, an artist from the city of Temperley, in the south of Buenos Aires, has been painting on the street for 15 years.
Graffiti by Matías Alderete.
“With this group we have in common the habit of painting a little each place or destination through which we pass, and this return was not going to be the exception. Ale told me that her colleagues, Rocío and Natalia, were in charge of managing the facades to intervene in the 10 de Diciembre neighborhood, a neighborhood that she still did not know despite being located so close to the center of Bariloche. I thought it was a good opportunity, not only to paint, but also to meet the rest of the artists who were involved in the project”, declared the artist from Buenos Aires.
The choice of neighborhood to make these murals does not have a particular reason, “it’s because we live nearby,” Rocío clarified when asked about the reason for this place. Although she said “we like to think that the 10 de Diciembre neighborhood appears in the newspapers for beautiful news.”
Once they detected the possible walls where they could capture their art, Rocío and Natalia went to the house of each of the owners to propose their ideas and show them possible designs. And, when everyone had chosen theirs, they began to work.
“Upon arriving at December 10, I found a strong contrast with everything that the tourist center comprises, just by crossing an avenue. There is a certain marginality from one sector to the other, but it was enough to interact a little with the families and the neighbors to see that it is a neighborhood with history, with humble people who work hard to improve their quality of life,” Matías said.
“Suddenly, the neighbors opened their doors to us with great enthusiasm and more people began to join offering their walls and that is how we were not only able to finish these works very happily, but we also intend to continue and create a walk through a neighborhood full of artistic interventions”, Rocío told about the new project they have in mind.
Painting created and made by Natalia Gutiérrez.
“The neighbors were very willing to receive us and offered to us, this encouraged me even more when it came time to go to the place and be able to leave a little of what I do to collaborate with the artists to give color to the walls of the neighborhood and somehow, make it visible through murals and graffiti”, remarked the graffiti artist.
The presence of so many days and so many hours in the place gave Rocío and Natalia a lot to think about and project. Based on this work, where it was the artists themselves who put the paint, the tools and the hours of work out of their pockets, the idea now is to involve other actors who can manage all that they invested and achieve the donation of all the materials.
“We were able to talk with Marisa de Aguilar, the undersecretary of Culture of the municipality, so that she is aware of the project and she gave us the help she could in the little time we had; she put us insurance for those days working on the street and she got us some snacks ”.
“We also contacted people of culture in the province and it is likely that we can continue in better conditions with the support of officials such as Ariel Ávalos, Secretary of State for Culture of Río Negro.”
“It is our wish that all sectors can support this task that is so important for the community,” remarked the artist.
Why that woman?
“When I arrived in Bariloche I painted impressive women that I got to know. One of them was Isa González Puente who, at the time, at the age of 19, ran an organization of young and tremendous girls. They were called the wolves (wow they inspired me). The painting was a single Isa with a sprout, representing a planter because that’s how I saw it,” says Rocío.
“Today, having spent a few years, I gave myself the task, a personal challenge, of acknowledging this work of mine as a painter and not discarding it (something I always did systematically due to my exaggerated self-demand). So I brought that image, but flourished, looking inside, mirrored, meeting the magnolia that blooms every year, even if I don’t see it, in the house where I was born, observing the organic nature of the movement to always have better things to say and do”.
“And there I leave them, as a wish, to everyone. Always in the neighborhood, in the neighborhoods of the world because there I feel comfortable and I know how to be there,” concluded the muralist.
The Kenyan muralist
WiseTwo (Bhupendra Jethwa), born in Kenya, is an acclaimed street artist and muralist. He created works in public spaces around the world, including in Australia, Colombia, South Africa, and the United States. In addition, he is the author of two of the largest murals in East and Central Africa in the city of Nairobi.
Mural created by WiseTwo.
His work mainly focuses on the influence of the mask and its existence in ancient cultures, as well as hieroglyphs and their potential to represent the innate unity of all civilization. WiseTwo uses these themes as metaphors to explore history, knowledge, wisdom, mystery, ritual, and spirituality. Fueled by the energy of different eras and kingdoms, he combines graffiti with mural techniques to compose standout pieces steeped in myth and artistry.
If you are interested in learning about the work that these artists do, you can follow them on their Instagram pages: Rocío Toppetti @rociotoppetti, Natalia Gutiérrez @naty_boom_boom, Bhupendra Jethwa @wisetwo and Matías Alderete @mmatifree. (ANB)