Yayoi Kusama at the MALBA

(Photo by swh)

The new MALBA exhibit, featuring renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work, kicks off this weekend promising a full house of art enthusiasts.

The artist, who is known for her ethereal light installations, sculptures, paintings a videos and more, is one of the most famous to come out of the New York avant-garde movement, and for good reason.  Her works deal with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual themes, and presents a unique world of color and infinite lights, influences by minimal, surrealist, expressionist and pop art.

The exhibit opens to the general public on Sunday and will showcase over 100 works from the 50’s to the present day. It will run throughout winter until the 16th of September.  Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo. 4808-6500.

Argentine Monuments: Saturnalia

(Photo by Mathieu Bertrand Struck)

The Botanical Gardens in Palermo are one of the neighborhood’s most popular attractions with its array of vegetation, greenhouses and cats to match. There are also over thirty beautiful sculptures to admire and amongst them is Saturnalia.

The original brass monument was created in 1900 by the Italian sculptor Ernest Biondi, and was acquired by Hernán Cullen Ayersa who suggested he make a copy for the city of Buenos Aires. Due to its risqué thematic, the sculpture was held in customs for two years until Ayerza finally placed it in his garden until the 1950’s when he passed away and the sculpture was donated to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.  It wasn’t until 1988 that it was finally placed in the Botanical Gardens.

The sculpture represents the pagan festivity dedicated to the Roman god Saturn (known for its orgiastic nature). It is composed of ten roman men and women in an inebriated and lustful attitude.

Argentine Talents: Quino

mafalda

One of the most emblematic characters of Argentine culture is a little girl named Mafalda.  Through her eyes, locals and foreigners alike have reflected on society and humanity’s many contradictions. Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known to us as Quino, created the popular character, which even has her own statue in San Telmo.

The famous comic strip, which catapulted the artist to fame, ran from 1964 to 1973 and was translated to over thirty languages. It is still read today, as are other of his comic strips that are published weekly in the Clarín newspaper. His works are known for depicting an affectionate yet cynical portrait of reality and everyday life.

The Museo del Humor in Puerto Madero is a great place to see both his, and other renowned Argentine comic artists’ work.

Coming Up: Chef Mun + Hernán Gipponi Flavor Feast

Renowned chefs Hernán Gipponi and Mun Kim will be pairing up in the following days to present a tasting menu inspired by both their culinary influences from both the East and West.  The event will take place on the 26th and 27th of June at Fierro Hotel‘s restaurant.

The menu will feature a medley of dishes, by each of the chefs.  Hernán Gipponi will break the ice with his signature Madryn prawns and Chef Mun will follow with a Brandsen Salad. Then, for the main course, Hernán will be spoiling his guests with the catch of the day including peas, string beans, beats and fried calamari (YUM!) and to follow, Chef Mun will start with salmon and tuna nigiri, and then a Korean style rib eye (mmm!). Finally, to seal the deal, Hernán will be presenting his famous yoghurt foam with passion fruit, lychees, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

The tasting menu costs 450 pesos and will include wine pairings by Bodega Casarena, mineral water and tea or coffee. Bookings must be made in advance at 3220-6820. Soler 5862, Palermo

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by jbstafford)

Stop by the MALBA and check out the latest modern Latin American art!  This Thursday the popular art museum will also be opening the Yayoi Kusama exhibit which will be on display until September. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta.

In the evening, Hernán Gipponi Restaurant will be setting eighteen places for the new One Table event in which 4 tapas, 5 courses, and 5 wines selected by Andrés Rosberg will be shared. Book your place at 3220-6820.

Tuesday

(Photo by benontherun.com)

Walk the cobblestone streets of San Telmo until you wind up in literary restaurant El Historico set in what allegedly used to be author Jose Hernandez house. Don’t leave without trying their historical dessert platter. Mexico 524, San Telmo. 4307-4832.

Later on, if you’re looking for a laugh, don’t miss the Grin Go! Stand Up comedy Show starting at 9pm at Café Rivas in San Telmo. Estados Unidos 302.

Wednesday

(Photo by iggykaser)

Head to the Dorrego Flea Market in Palermo, which is often overlooked and is the perfect place to go on a treasure hunt.  Antiques and curious finds are waiting to be dug up and claimed in this charming neighborhood market. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm.  Av.Dorrego and Conde.

In the evening, head to the Centro Cultural Recoleta and catch the stunning Fuerza Bruta show. Tickets here.

Thursday

(Photo by Veronika)

For an off the beaten path activity, don’t miss Fueguia in Palermo, a scent lab where you can sniff out nature, or aromatic blends reminiscent of writers such as Borges. For more unusual activities in Buenos Aires here. Cabello 3791, 2 floor, aparment J. 4806-5619.

No visitor to the city can leave without taking a tango lesson and the informal and friendly La Catedral is just the place for it. Sarmiento 4006, Almagro.

Friday

(Photo by kenjonbro)

Take a helicopter tour of the city with TANGOL and view Buenos Aires from above. The ride lasts 30-45 minutes and flies you over the city center and some of the outskirts of Buenos Aires including the Tigre delta.  More information and bookings here.

In the evening, head to the Rio Cafe and sip some cocktails before some porteño style partying. Honduras 4772, Palermo. 4832 2318.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by hugochisholm)

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

On Saturday, don’t miss the Luis Salinas show at Torcuato Tasso. More information here.

On Sunday, the Colón Theatre will be staging a new production of George Bizet´s ballet Carmen starting at 5 pm. Get tickets here.

Typical weekend activities in Buenos Aires include the San Telmo Antique Market and gaucho fun at Feria de Mataderos!

One Table with Hernán Gipponi

One Table reviewed by Allie from Pick Up The Fork, we couldn’t describe it better.

Pick Up The Fork

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Maybe I’m spoiled, hard to please, or just turning into one of those irritating food snobs, but rarely do I encounter a truly memorable restaurant dining experience. I’m talking about the big L, the big O, fireworks, a big brass band mind parade, the whole shabang. So imagine my delight when I found out that the capo in the kitchen, famed Argie chef Hernán Gipponi, began organizing a new way to dine on Monday nights at his restaurant in the Fierro Hotel: Hernán, one table, wine flowing like beer, and a feast inspired by seasonal market ingredients. Sign.Me.Up.Porfis. 

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Winter in Buenos Aires 2013

(Photo by whl.travel)

As the chill of Winter creeps up, top options for Buenos Aires touring include getting to know its booming art scene, stopping at traditional cafes for warm drinks in cozy settings, operas, concerts and ballets at the stunning Colón Theatre and feasting on the local culinary environment.

This winter there will also be a special exhibit of visual artist Yayoi Kusama’s work at the MALBA, many a festival and live music to keep the feet moving and the body warm.

Festivals

Caminos y Sabores Fair– 6th to the 9th of July 2013- Typical local cuisine and flavors from around the country are featured in this annual food and crafts fair.

Bafici Animado– 24th to the 26th of July 2013. A recent addition to the city’s festival scene, the Animated film festival is a great option for both children and adults.

Exposición Rural- 18th to the 30th of July2013- Truly a Buenos Aires classic. this annual agricultural event is proof of just how embeded the campo lifestyle is in Argie identity.

Tango Festival and World Championship– 13th to the 27th of August 2013- The annual tango event of the year, showcasing the best of the best, takes place during the chilly August month.

Buenos Aires Math Festival– 11th to the 15th of September 2013- A unique festival with solutions for every problem!

Live Music

6th of July- Diana Ross at the Luna Park. Tickets here.

17th of July- Paul Okenfold at Pacha Buenos Aires. Tickets not on sale yet.

28th of July- Morrissey at Tecnópolis. Tickets here.

12th of August- Papa Roach at Luna Park. Tickets here.

19th of August- Herbie Hancock at the Gran Rex Theatre. Tickets here.

17th of September-  John Mayer at Luna Park. Tickets here.

20th of September-  Caetano Veloso at the Gran Rex Theatre. Tickets here.

Sun is Shining on the Argentine Flag

(Photo by Hamner_Fotos)

National Flag Day is celebrated today in Argentina. Typical festivites including folklore peñas and asados, and local dishes including hearty locro and pastelitos, will be enjoyed around the country.

The national flag is attributed to General Manuel Belgrano who first raised the eye-catching light blue and white national symbol, inspired by the Argentine cockade, on The 27th of February of 1812 in Rosario during the independence war. Although the first triumvirate did not approve the flag, it was allowed as a war flag until 1816, when it was finally made official after the declaration of independence.

The sun symbol was a later addition to the initial flag design, and is inspired by the Inca symbol of the sun god Inti.  The flag’s sun symbol has 16 rays in clockwise position and 16 in counterclockwise position, and is the same as the sun on the first Argentine coin.  The designer was the Peruvian Juan de Dios Rivera.

The sun symbol has also been referred to as the May Sun as on the rainy 25th of May of 1810, an emblematic date in the Argentine independence process, the sun finally shone through.

 

Cuidad Emergente 2013

(Photo by El Matia)

The 2013 Ciudad Emergente festival kicks off today with three live shows at the Centro Cultural Recoleta starting at 6.15 pm. Throughout the long weekend, from Thursday the 20th of June to Sunday the 23rd, the event will take place starting at 2pm and will be featuring Argentine emerging art and music.

Some of the highlighted features of the festival include a photography exhibit on John Lennon by Bob Gruen, a Fuerza Bruta show on Thursday, film projections, hip hop battles, street art, stand up, fashion shows and more.

The festival is free of charge and takes place from 2pm to 11pm at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, next to the Recoleta cemetery. Find the full program here. Junín 1930, Recoleta.

Argentine Talents: Mercedes Sosa

(Photo by Wuniatu)

Mercedes Sosa, affectionately known as La Negra, was one of the greatest local folklore artists in Argentina. Her voice was known in all of Latin America and she performed in New York, London and Rome in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Coliseum, amongst others.

Her roots were typically Argentine, that is to say from mixed cultures, including Indigenous and French. She started singing at a young age and won a singing competition at 15 that would mark the beginning of a long and very prolific career in which she received national and international recognition and recorded forty albums.   During the military coup she was exiled and lived in both Paris and Madrid until she returned to Argentina in 1982.

In 2009, she passed away at the age of 74. A month later her album Cantora 1, was awarded with two Grammys. She is remembered for her powerful voice, and for one of her emblematic tunes Gracias a la Vida, which is part of a concept album from 1971 that was inspired by Chilean poet Violeta Parra.

La Negra’s brother, Orlando, has also graced us with some local culture but of the culinary kind. La Tucumanita, which specializes in regional empanadas and locro, has three venues in the city and is the perfect place to sample what Argentina is all about.