The boxes of lint for 4 pesos ($1.25) and boxes of mini black holes for 6 pesos ($2) were what caught my eye.
Lint for 4 pesos? I'm kind of on a budget. Didn't lint used to be less expensive? Still, the sign promised it was the "best lint" and I suppose 4 pesos is a steal if we're talking lint of a certain ...
Wait a minute.
The lint was displayed in a handsome package on a shelf facing the street. I spotted it through a window. I had stumbled across a fantastic art exhibit. Works by Miguel Brieva were on display at the stark white gallery space of the Spanish Cultural Center of Buenos Aires (Paraná 1159).
Had I known about it beforehand, I don't know if it would have sounded appealing. But I'm really glad I found it, because I got a big kick out of it. In a city full of surprises, this was easily the best one since . . . the puppet museum.
Miguel Brieva is from Seville, Spain, and the exhibit is at one of two cultural centers in Buenos Aires funded by the government of Spain.
Besides being brilliantly drawn in bold colors, Brieva's stuff has a sense of humor that I appreciated. The comic book-style art is critical of consumerism and mass media (wide and easy targets, granted).
The piece at the top of this entry was several meters long by at least a meter high and occupied the most prominent spot in the gallery. One of the women in the center of the piece says, "The great thing about the dictatorship of the market is that it has all the good parts of that other fascism before it, but without all the marches and military parades and crap!" To the right is a woman filming her husband and child. The husband asks, "Do you think we're happy, dear?" to which the woman responds: "Yes! It says so right here in the camera viewfinder!"
Below are links to two more examples of his work gleaned from the web, with translations. (The text of the second one is a tiny bit crude.)
The exhibit is free and on until Dec. 21.
"Wow, that's weird! What do you think that is, dear?"
"Who knows. ... Well, we'll find out later on TV."
"Look, dear. Look what I've got! It's the latest in balls of excrement, covered by a fine layer of organic refuse carefully chosen by the most well-regarded professionals. Its interior is comprised of an exquisite and varied mixture of deposits gathered from the most refined . . . "
"Yes, yes. Come on! Once again, they've sold you the same shit as always."