Live art’ among living streets

As profiled in the previous entry, Buenos Aires’ bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo becomes a pedestrian-only arts district (the Feria) on Sundays, and I thought I’d provide a photo of the crowd favorite wind-blown ‘live art’ couple I mentioned in that story.

It’s not like you see this kind of art in every neighborhood, but perhaps it’s worth looking at why San Telmo is a popular host for not only this weekly version of live art, but many others.

– The neighborhood-wide, half-mile long arts festival is every Sunday (as opposed to once a year like in most U.S. cities), so it’s worth investing in higher levels of art if you know you’ll have a vast audience every week.
– Other than the intimate square of Plaza Dorrego, people are constantly flowing like a river through the main pedestrian street. That’s a lot of potential customers for what constitutes a very brief art experience.
– The scale of the street (narrow and pedestrian scaled, not-wide, auto-scaled) and buildings (no higher than a few stories) make for a much more picturesque scene. Art and craftsmanship just plain look better in a human-scaled environment, and the ‘live art’ almost has a larger than life quality about them as a result. Again, heavy emphasis on the scale of the street width and building heights.
– The neighborhood, San Telmo, already has a city-wide reputation for being home to the city’s edgiest artists and musicians, so it’s not a stretch for them to display their work in their ‘front yard’. In fact, all artists should be so fortunate.

How many of these characteristics does your city have for an arts fair?

  • Chris L

    I saw a wind-blown guy in Rome, Italy a few years ago. Do these guys have a union or something?

  • They probably wouldn’t be able to stay in one place long enough to organize.

    The fact that you spotted another one in Rome fits the described setting though.