Folf Art, Tramp Art and Popular Art in Argentina
Topic: Carriages & Horses
Folk Art and Horse drawn Carriages.
The recent years of economic turmoil resulted in the rebirth of ancient traditions and crafts. A clear example to this statement is the proliferation of horse pulled carriages throughout Buenos Aires.
This is not a tourism attraction strategy; on the contrary, it’s the cheapest means of transportation for the poor, who in these days of high unemployment and poverty rates have reinvented recycling.
They come out early in the mornings from their houses atop their old carriages, pulled by tired and old horses, and head towards the city to collect all sort of garbage and disposable carton, paper, tin, glass… in many cases in order to get to the heart of all this potential recycling they have to leave their horses and carriages in the outskirts and head into the city with a smaller cart pulled by their own strength for the city’s legislation forbids the use of animal pulled vehicles within the streets of the modern city. The debate around this matter has been rich and in some cases controversial, due to the fact that on one hand they are earning a living while helping the city recycle what in other situation would have been burnt together with the rest of the organic and plastic garbage. On the other hand, this is not an organized work form, hence, after they search for recycling items, there’s a leftover mess that is somewhat uncomfortable. But this debate is not the matter that has raised the need of writing about this matter.
What has raised our attention is the fact that around and together with this alternative mean of subsistence, an artistic form has developed in parallel.
A similar expression of cultural and artistic motives we had found while researching the history of toys, in which the poor margins of society developed true and unique artistic forms of toys made out of handy chips and bits of all sort of materials.
Alike this clever outcome to the fact that these families are enabled to purchase toys –in fact they live in the margins of poverty- horse drawn carriages have been reinvented and styled upon the new times that run. What during the early days of the 20th was the liveliest artistic and decorative expression, fileteado porte?o, in recent days has mutated into a mixture of this lively color contrast and image impact to a new form.
This can be described as a specific type of folk art very close to what was christened as tramp art without being the exact same thing. This kind of folk art is now to be seen in several of these vintage carriages that have been adapted to the needs of the moment. Unlike tramps, the Argentine version of this specific art form is not society outcasts by choice, but impoverished members of what once was a broad working class.
Taking this in account, it appears even more valuable the fact that while working to earn a living taking advantage of anything they can before falling out of society, and even in this terrible case scenario, they take strength in whatever they can to foresee a bright future, even if it’s just through means of these artistic expressions.
See also book on Fileteado Porteno Image Gallery,is a specific kind of decorative art from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in the early days of the 20th century the origins of this particular aesthetic form can be traced to the old continent specially among the Gypsies.
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Posted by bob frassinetti
at 2:30 PM
Updated: Saturday, 4 June 2005 2:38 PM