Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Argentina Cartoon Character Statues

One of things we have noticed are a number of statues of cartoon characters scattered around town. It turns out there are currently 16 of them.

Armed with a list and a map we set out on a cartoon character scavenger hunt.

We start in front of the Museum of Humor with a work by Guillermo Mordillo called La Girafa (the Giraffe). Mordillo was a famous cartoonist who works featured mostly long necked characters, hence the giraffe.




This guy is known as Don Nicola, a friendly landlord in the Italian immigrant neighborhood of La Boca. The character was created by Hector Torino in 1937.




Meet Indoro Pereyra with Mendieta, a talking dog, both enjoying a mate. Sadly, and true with a number of them, people have graffitied the art. This cartoon started in the 1970s.





Dating from 1945 this is Prawn (Langostino in Spanish) and his trusty, but very small ship Corina. The cartoonist was Eduardo Ferro.





This is Diogenes ( a ‘mutt’) and the Linyera (a vagrant). It has been published since 1977 in the newspaper Clarin, originally by an Uruguayan cartoonist named Tabare. After he passed away others have continued the strip.




These two characters also date originally from the 1970s. They are Negrazon and Chavella, who hail from the Argentine city of Cordoba. They are riding a locally made Puma motorbike. Meant the represent the challenges and life of middle class life in Cordoba, they were the work of the artist Cognigni. Sadly they too have graffiti on them, including an A with a circle around it – a symbol for Anarchy.




This nice lady is Aunt Vicenta, by the famed artist Landru’ – whose real name was Juan Carlos Colombres. He portrayed political and social life of Argentina for 60 years.




When we first arrived in Argentina I thought I kept seeing a Garfield the cat who had gone crazy. It turns out it is from 1993 and is called Gaturro, by Cristian Dwzonik. He has been accused of plagiarism numerous times with content, as well as the obvious look.




These too are Patoruzito and Isidorito. While graffiti free, they are in rough shape, hanging out under the trees in a park.

They are the work of Dante Quinterno, starting in the 1940s. Patoruzito is the childhood representation of the Chief Patoruzu – the last of the Tehuelches, whom Spanish conquerors saw as giants with amazing strenght. Living in the world of today he and Isidorito, a true Porteno, find adventures; but in this world Isidorito is the one with the stength.




Evoking the look of the 1950s, by Guillermo Divito, these two are simply known as The Divito Girls. Women of the 1950s took to mimicking the style shown in this weekly comic magainze ‘Rico Tipo’. Not represented, but equally influential were the male characters, with their double breasted suits.




Our friend below is Clemente. Without wings, but with very cool horizontal stripes, he became an interesting character during the military dictatorship.

The 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina during this period. One of the rules that they implemented was ‘no confetti’, in an effort to present a ‘good’ image of Argentina to the world. The artist (Caloni) had Clemente warn Argentinians of the real intentions of rules like this, and launched a ‘paper rain campaign’.

This became so popular that Clemente became the unofficial mascot of the Argentine National team. So I guess the anarchy symbol here might actually be appropriate, as in the final, broadcast around the world, confetti rained down as they won.

The cartoon from 1978, from a very interesting website detailing that period in Argentina. http://papelitos.com.ar/home




This is Don Fulgencio, dating originally from 1938. He is the man who had no childhood. This left him as a very ‘correct’ gentleman, but with childish customs. He was created by Lino Palacio.

In addition to the comics, in the 1950s he made it to the big screen.





Matis has been on the back cover of the newspaper Clarin for many years. He is the ‘boys boy’. The writer is known as ‘Sendra’.





These two characters are Laguirucho and Super Hijitus (on the right). Hijitus is a poor boy who, when putting on his hat becomes a super hero.





Another character from the 1930s is Isidoro Canones, a typical Argentine little rich playboy. He too was created by Dante Quinterno.




Meet Susanita – friend of Mafalda. She is the gossip specialist of the neighborhood.




And finally we meet Manolito and Mafalda. Easily the most recognized face throughout Argentina is Mafalda. This little girl is everywhere.

Somewhat backwards of most U.S. comic characters, Mafalda started out strictly as an advertising character who became so popular she was made into a comic strip. She represents the views of the educated middle class of Argentina.







Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Old Technology in the New Neighborhood

A day in the city took us to the newest neighborhood in town, Puerto Madero. Built in the area of the old docks, it has the newest and tallest buildings in town.

We were in the neighborhood searching for cartoon character sculptures (next post) and ended up finding something totally different.

First the neighborhood.

























Along the way we ran into, of all things, a blacksmith demonstration. There were ‘smithies’ from all over the world. They were making some very cool art.












































Tigre, Argentina – February 2020 – Art Museum of the Delta

The Art Museum of Tigre, Argentina is located in a fantastic building known as the Tigre Club. This club, completed in 1912 as a casino, was located next to a hotel that was torn down decades ago. It was for many years the meeting place for the movers and shakers of the area.

The casino was forced to close in the 1930s, and the building functioned as a restaurant for many years. Finally in the late 1970s it was identified as a National Historic Monument.

In 2006 it was restored and opened as the Tigre Art Museum. The building is magnificent.



























The art collection focuses on life on the delta and the Rio De La Plata.










































Buenos Aires – February 2020 – Latin American Art Museum

One of the newer museums in Buenos Aires is the Latin American Art Museum, in Spanish Museo de Arte Latinoamericao Buenos Aires – hence it’s acronym MALBA.

It has an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century avant garde art.




There were a number of works from Ernesto Neto, a contemporary sculpturist.














One of the main galleries had a large collection of mid century Latin American art.










































Easily the most interesting was the work called La Pileta by Leandro Erlich. This piece looked like a swimming pool, both above it as well as being ‘in’ it.





Another piece by Erlich were these boats, which appeared to be floating.

The MALBA is a very nice museum, well worth the visit in the city on a hot Saturday afternoon.






Buenos Aires – January 2020 – Teatro Colon

The Teatro Colon is considered by many as one of the best opera houses in the world.





The theater was completed in 1908, with a four year restoration finishing in 2010.





The entry hall and initial rooms have many artistic details.
























































The main hall has room for over 3000, including standing room. The acoustics in the hall are legendary, so perfect you can hear people on the stage having a normal conversation from anywhere in the hall.





















Buenos Aires – January 2020 – In This City Art Nouveau Is Looking Up

In the early part of the 1900s Buenos Aires had plenty of money, as it served as the meat and grain market for much of Europe. As a result there are many grand buildings from that era throughout the city, including numerous in the Art Nouveau style.

Much of the ornamentation of these buildings are on the upper floors, so when we went on a tour with the Art Nouveau club we spent much of the morning looking up – as did everyone who was walking by on the sidewalks.

Our tour met at the very cool Savoy Hotel on Callao. Before we started down the street we checked out the interior – including the bar (which was closed at the time!)





Across the street from the Savoy is a Louis Duboise classic apartment building. Duboise is considered one of the fathers of the movement in Buenos Aires.






The corner of Callao and Mitre have examples on all 4 corners.










Just down the street is the Palacio del Congresso Nacional Argentino, aka – The National Congress Building. While not Art Nouveau, it none the less has a lot of interesting detail.








The tour continued down Rivadavia.














The building at Rivadavia 2009 has a glass dome with more than 950 pieces of mirrored glass. In addition the terrace has iron replicas of the Dragon Gate in Barcelona.















Rivadavia has a number of great buildings.









Even some of the garages in this area are designed in the style.






On Hipolito Yrigoyen are two amazing buildings directly across from each other. At 2562 is Casa Calise, the work of Viginio Colombo.

With numerous statues from Ercole Pasina, it looks like a palace, but since it’s completion in 1911 it has always been an apartment building.





While across the street is another Colombo apartment building with amazing style.









As we returned to Rivadavia the area became far more commercial however there are still some Art Nouveau examples that have survived.





Once Train Station anchors the neighborhood. Built in the Renaissance style in the 1890s, it continues to serve tens of thousands of commuters each day.





We headed over to Corrientes for our final stops, passing by this classic Bank of Argentina building.





Our final stop is Abasto. For nearly 100 years buildings on this site, including this one, served as the main produce market for the city.

Today it is a shopping mall.




But an amazing architectural mall. The Art Nouveau tour was operated by the Art Nouveau Club of Buenos Aires – it was well done and thorough, showing us many places we likely would’ve never seen in the city.