Site Specific

In Concrete
Rafael Trelles

10.08.07 30.08.07

Dedicated to Julio Cortázar and to the city of Buenos Aires, who present a unique and special setting for this project, with deep thanks to all who made this residence and interventions possible and to the people who called on the radio to offer their walls and sidewalks to the artist.

In Concrete, urban graphics is an experimental graphic work that the Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles has been working on since the summer of 2004,  when he started it on the walls, sidewalks and posts of the cities of San Juan, Mayagüez, Ponce and the island municipality of Vieques in Puerto Rico. Originally designed to integrate into the poor and abandoned sectors of Puerto Rican cities, it later spread to other neighborhoods as well as to other cities. Starting from the concrete darkened by the fungus and dirt from the street, the “prints” are achieved using a high pressure washing machine on polycarbonate stencils. The relatively ephemeral designs are outlined on the dirty surface when washed through the cut holes in the template, exposing the original color of the wall.

Within this framework, Proyecto ´ace invited the artist to make an edition in the city of Buenos Aires as a guest artist-in-residence. Trelles was working during the month of August on mural interventions and on the sidewalks of Caballito, Colegiales and San Telmo neighborhoods. He visited an elementary school and carried out interventions on public streets. Within the educational field, there were meetings between the students and the artist as well as the artist and the public. In addition, through the collaboration of Rock&Pop Radio and the program False Impostor, conducted by musician and radio speaker Marcelo Rodríguez (Gillespi), an interview was carried out with the artist and summoned the public to offer their walls, facades and sidewalks to be intervened. In this way, the project involved the entire community of the city of Buenos Aires.

Thematically, En Concreto in Buenos Aires presented images that propose metaphorically synthesizing some of Cortázar’s short stories: The Southern Highway, Whats Up López ?, Season of the Hand and The Night Face Up, in addition to the great Hopscotch. The pieces were accompanied by a quote from Cortazar´s written that served as a complement to the image, as well as offering a clue to the viewer about the nature of the work. With the integration of the image and the word, Trelles joins the long tradition of art and communications that begins with the origin of language, the use of pre-Columbian ideograms and codices, and ends today with contemporary advertising media. This also rescues the strong Puerto Rican tradition of the cartel that began in the 1950s and continues to the present.

Puerto Rican documentary filmmaker Roberto Otero accompanied the artist to record the creation process of the work. The video was ready and edited for the opening of the exhibition “Tying Up Stories” in the Políglota Room at Proyecto´ace on August 30th, 2007. Later on, in ´ace print studio, a portfolio in an edition of 30 copies, rescued the images that the artist left onto the walls.

Related artists

Rafael Trelles

Direction, camera and edition
Roberto “Tito” Otero

Production in Puerto Rico
Galería Sin Título | Dennis Rodríguez Román

Production in Buenos Aires
Proyecto´ace | Alicia Candiani and ´ace team

Special acknowledges
In Puerto Rico: Dr. José Luis Vega, Sra. Elaine Delgado, Sr. Juan Lugo, Sra. Anailda Ortiz
In Argentina: Cultural Affairs Minister Silvia Farjaj

Thanks to
Rock&Pop: Gillespi, Laura Salles, Enrique López Goñi, Camila Gandía, Antonella Quercia
Visual production: Darío Marcón, Ricardo Seco
Hidrolavadora: Gustavo and his team
Dv-arts: Dis.Gustavo Pavesi y Dis.Verónica Cassata
Community Management and Participation Center # 06 – Caballito: Dora Nocera, Alejandra López Ferré, Susana Torchia
Community Management and Participation Center #13- Colegiales: Arq. Fernando Boffi Lissin
Community Management and Participation Center # 01 – San Telmo: Alejandro Amicarelli
Buenos Aires Trains (TBA): Ing. Luis López
Nuevo Central Argentino (NCA): Cecilia Mariezcurrena
Presidente Uriburu #17 Elementary School: Marita Perez (Director), Beatriz Kantorovich, Laura Pelazzo (Fine Arts teacher), Maria Luna, Claudia Gattuso, Viviana Russo
Tanghetto: Sr Javier Masri

Press reviews

La Nación, La Nación Sunday Magazine, Clarín Arquitectura, Página 12 newspapers

Urban Interventions
Various authors


Artist-in-Residence International Program

View map

International Airport

Ministro Pistarini- Ezeiza (EZE)
Buenos Aires
45' to 60' trip

Domestic Airport

Aeroparque Jorge Newbery
Buenos Aires


38, 39, 41, 42, 59, 63, 65, 67, 68, 151, 152, 161, 184, 194 and 168 (stop in the front door)


D Line (Green)
Olleros Station (4 blocks, 4')


Mitre Line (either to Leon Suarez or Mitre)
Colegiales Station (1 block, 1')

The Latin America's Paris

Buenos Aires is Argentine Republic's capital city. With 15,000,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in Latin America and one of the 10 most populous urban centers in the world. Its cosmopolitan and urban character vibrates to the rhythm of a great cultural offer that includes monuments, churches, museums, art galleries, opera, music and theaters; squares, parks and gardens with old groves; characteristic neighborhoods; large shopping centers and fairs. Here we also find a very good lodging facilities, with accommodation ranging from hostels to five-star hotels of the main international chains. Buenos Aires also show off about its variety of restaurants with all the cuisines of the world, as well as to have cafes and flower kiosks on every corner.

A neighborhood founded on the Jesuit farms in the 17th century

We are located in Colegiales neighborhood where the tree-lined streets, some of which still have their original cobblestones, invite you to walk. Although the apartment buildings advance, low houses still predominate. It is a district of the city where about 20 TV production companies, design studios, artist workshops and the Rock&Pop radio have been located. The neighborhood also has six squares, one of which pays homage to Mafalda, the Flea Market, shops, restaurants and cafes like its neighboring Barrios de Palermo and Belgrano, with which it limits.

Artist-in-Residence International Program

2024 Open Call #3
Residencies 2024

July 31st, 2024

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