Fileteado Porteno

I came across an incredible art form known as Fileteado Porteno in the Caminito in La Boca barrio of Buenos Aires during my honeymoon there. In the same way Tango serves to define the region musically, Fileteado brilliantly describes Buenos Aires iconographically and I think it’s fascinating!  It emerged as an art form in the cart factories of the city in the early 20th century and is found on pretty much all the street signs in this area that was the place that Italian immigrants first settled in, these intrepid folk were mostly Italian and it’s said that they decided to brighten up their gloomy slum dwellings by daubing their walls with bright clashing colours, Fileteado seems to emanate from a similar sentiment. Outrageously it fell out of favour during the 1970s and was actually banned during this period by the military government who were responsible for the disappearances favouring a more futurist, cleaner more angular style. Luckily, it didn’t completely die out and is now fairly widespread and has of late enjoyed something of a renaissance now that a new generation of artists have started to rediscover it and use it in new ways.  I decided to photograph as many different examples of Fileteado as I could find in the couple of hours we were exploring La Boca so here you are…

As a style it is characterised by gorgeous billowy lettering and an intense riot of colour. It is rich, loud, and downright brilliantly indulgent in its portrayal of colourful flowers and leaves, ribbons and scrolls in the Argentine colours, sayings and even portraits of popular characters from the region.

 

 

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