Saturday, June 11, 2011

La Boca: A painters quarter

Benito Quinquela Martín
Just as Palermo can be regarded as a poets neighbourhood and Abasto as one of tangueros, La Boca is painters favourite venue. Together with Benito Quinquela Martín, the most popular name in the "Escuela de La Boca", a group of various artists assembled and in the 20´s made of this humble, sheet metal housed neigbourhood a little Montparnasse.

Alfredo Lazzari, Juan del Prete, Alfredo Guttero, Fortunato Lacámera, Benito Quinquela Martín, Eugenio Daneri, Miguel Diomede, Víctor Cúnsolo, José Luis Menghi, José Arcidiácono, and Miguel Carlos Victorica were some of the painters who live in La Boca at the time. Each of them portrayed on canvas in his own pictorical style: some, like Diomede, came from humble homes; others, like Victorica belonged to wealthy families; Lacámera and others never left the neighbourhood; Guttero arrived in glory from Europe... But all of them shared and enduring love of painting that went beyond the fads followed downtown. 
Benito Quinquela Martín
To understand the reason that led these artists to settle around the "Riachuelo" Victorica´s words may serve: "At this life loving place, everything unnecessary is held in contempt.  Everything is useful here. Instead of going to a bar downtown, I have a glass of wine at a "fonda" (inn), among thieves, and it is a marvellous experience, of unique and heart-rending notes". His art held no room for artifice: art was on those streets, among the brothels and their women of easy virtue, at the gin and "milonga" dives.The exquisite argentine writer Isidoro Blaisten best described this period: "And it is thus that what is known as the "Escuela de La Boca" is born, between lack of conventions and formal rigor: a sum of personalities that doesn´t result in a uniform whole. They all paint the same landscape, all look towards the same spot, but they all see different things.  La Boca artists were unique, they struggled against hostile surroundings and indifferent reviews. They were never slaves to fashion and always chose work over complaints. Some day someone will realise great part of Argentina´s best pictorial tradition stems from the "Escuela de La Boca", from those artists who live around the corner, those simple folks of dignified manners who inhabited a time both clean and gently paced".
Miguel Carlos Victorica

Accommodation: Buenos Aires Apartments , Hostel Buenos Aires , Residencia Universitaria Capital Federal

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