La Boca was like nowhere I’d seen before. Walk down El Caminito and you’ll see how years of culture collison between the European and Argentine people have meshed together to make something completely unique.
Brightly coloured buildings pile on top of eachother and artisans cram their stalls into the gaps between.
Within this surreal intermixing of Italian pizza, dogs dressed as humans, tango bars and Argentine empanadas, it’s no surprise that artists have taken inspiration from the area, incorporating all La Boca’s character into their work.
Guillermo Alio: the dancing Picasso
One particular artisan caught my eye, and as I began chatting with him I knew I wanted him to be my first interviewee as his story was certainly worth repeating.
20 years ago, Guillermo Alio, a keen artist and tango dancer decided to combine both modes of expression to create a unique ‘tango múltiple’.
“I do the tango whilst painting with my hands or feet at the same time.”
Guillermo explained that the intricacy and precision of the tango’s steps allows him to create a sharp mess of lines on the paper beneath him as he dances.
“I can also use my hands and dance with a partner. This way I get to bring the dancer I painted on paper to life in front of the audience.”
Guillermo told me that his Tango Múltiple has taken him far and wide; performing in many countries across Europe and the US. Unsurpringly Guillermo’s innovative conception has been well received around the world – he has been featured in many papers such as the Miami Herald and was interviewed by the BBC in London.
Guillermo now enjoys slower life in La Boca, sketching his surroundings and running a small coffee shop called ‘Fundicion Popa’.
“Now you can take a picture with me if you’d like!”
La Boca’s magical charm and character attracts thousands of visitors everyday. Some may call it a tourist trap, but I happily fell under its spell.
*If you want to see Guillermo in action head to YouTube.