‘Proper’ art at MALBA

After my amazing street art tour, it was time to get to MALBA at last and look at some ‘real’ art.

My housemate Petra met me there after her morning Spanish school class (the gallery is open from noon onwards) and we  proceeded to tour the floors methodically, starting at the top with a temporary exhibition of 30 works by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes.

I could try to use artsy jargon, but you know I’d never do that to you. So, here’s my expert verdict: we absolutely loved her stuff. It made us happy to look at. Her paintings seem to be lit from within, the way some people look when they are in love. They’re full of crazy colours, textures and details, and layers upon layers over layers that create an oddly 3-D 2-D effect. Which doesn’t make sense, but you’d see what I meant if you saw them in real life.

We also came across a couple of benches that made us laugh out loud.

The lower floors housed the permanent displays, including a Botero featuring a crying dog, and a Frida featuring the famous eyebrow, a monkey, some maize and a parrot. Petra and I were particularly delighted by a sculpture that looked like two Venus flytraps.

But after 90 minutes spent looking at ‘proper’ art, we were both exhausted and ready to fall asleep on the museum steps. So, we had some very expensive coffee and ice-cream (Palermo café prices emulate Paris), and I showed Petra El Rosedal.

Petra studied architecture for four years and wanted to see the Planetarium, which is apparently quite a famous building. Fortunately for our aching feet, it was a short walk past the hordes of rollerbladers, just behind the park.

Afterwards, we walked through another park, past a pair of guapos practising Capoeira moves:

Petra showed me where the Subte station was (I’d been bussing and walking exclusively) and, when we caught our second Subte train, it turned out to be one of the original, wooden subway trains. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a photograph of it because I’d been warned by a nice little old lady not to wave my camera and iPhone around so much on the subway. (Little old ladies keep warning me about this. I can’t imagine why.)

A few blocks from Mi Casa en BA, Petra stopped to buy vegetables from a stall in which the wares had been stacked so beautifully that I ached to paint it. Instead I had to settle for photographing it. In fact, I couldn’t help noticing that there was as much to see that was delightful and intriguing outside MALBA as in it.

Ah, Buenos Aires! What a beautiful city you are…

Visiting MALBA

Opening hours:

Entry: A$30 (about ZAR60)

Allow at least 90 minutes for your visit.

Bargains:

  • On Wednesdays entry is half price.
  • Excellent quality post cards of the artworks on display are only A$5 each and make a great souvenir/gift.
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