Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Photo: Ricardo Darín for Etiqueta Negra

One of the reasons why I like Psychology is that after years of studying it and practicing, you develop this ability to stop, contemplate and start again; to alter reality in a way that is suitable to yourself. I realize not everyone can acquire these skills nor is courageous enough to face his or her own limitations, but what happens when one accepts reality as it comes, without questioning it?

Let's take the concept of manhood, for example, and examine it. Although roles have changed somewhat in Argentina, in the popular imaginary men are taught to act tough, to be like "machos".

Traditionally, boys are educated by their mothers. Although in modern times, fathers are more active when it comes to child care, most fathers continue to be busy working and trying to be successful while most mothers stay home. This shortage of contact between sons and fathers creates an emotional gap between them in which there is perhaps not enough room for bonding, for closeness. This is why, it is in childhood, that boys often develop difficulties in learning what relating to other men is like.

They turn to their mothers with whom they talk, share their problems, their successes and failures, their everyday life. Boys see their father's through their mother's eyes. Boys are taught to "be strong" and to "put up" with things. What later happens when these boys become men is that they want to overcome the pain this has caused them without really dealing with it.

Facing that pain means accepting and talking about their father's failures and also dealing with change.

We like the work of Guillermo Vilaseca, who has thought about some of these issues deeply and has developed a program for men. They meet to think about themselves, their masculine condition and their relationship with the world, their fathers, their sons, women and work.

Men are used to having power, being tough, feeling important, proud and sure of themselves. But things are changing and the world is moving to a more feminine, communicative, empathetic, intuitive style.

Some men are receptive to this change, they understand that it’s not always about power, strength, dominance, etc. Mr. Vilaseca's work, along with various studies in Psychology show that when distances in bonds are shorter, individuals are likely to better off in their relationships.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas
Editor: Mich Cameron

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Eduardo Stupía's work is based on the spectators’ fantasy in relation to his images. Also known as "the artist that paints poetry" Stupía's work fluctuates from a poetic level to a materialistic one.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1951, Stupía's first works were comic strips. It was during the 80's that he ventured into new lands and started to paint pale landscapes, architecture, and weird objects. Later on, his paintings evolved - he took drawing to a new level, incorporated ink, texture, and color, etc. creating more complex, ambiguous, risky and beautiful images.

For over 30 years, the artist has explored new terrains creating fascinating images where disorder and instability often projected in his work, exude poetry. Perhaps it is because of his mental activity - he is also a novel and poetry translator, that his work speaks to us.

What is interesting about Stupía’s Collages - "Cortes de Inventario" (Stock clippings) on view at CCR til September 25, is that we are standing in front of various images which can be perceived as bits or as a whole. It's up to us: we can focus on the entire work, we can focus on each part of it or we can focus on just one part. We are as free as Eduardo.

CCR: Junín 1930 Buenos Aires

Monday, August 29, 2011

you and i

Good, healthy love feels relaxed and comfortable. This does not mean there will not be differences or arguments. One can argue comfortably because there is respect, and when you are reaching a war zone you realize it is better to stop before you hurt your partner. You both know that it’s not a matter of winning or losing. It’s not a competition.

Communication, as we know, is one of the most important factors in a relationship. Being able to communicate and to pass on to your partner a message without interference is key in a healthy relationship. When there is love between two people who are responsible for their words or their acts, no one is afraid of being misunderstood and communication is clear, even when what is being said may be painful or irritating.

Good communication does not leave doubts or double meanings, and it never tries to get a speculative advantage of the other. Arguments are used in a positive way, arguments are used to build agreements.

In love, the other one is always on the same side of the street, although his or her thinking may be different because caring is what is most important in the relationship. As you see, true love is the one that has gone past the barriers of being in love and the narcissistic period of the relationship.

In love, there is happiness for the other's happiness. His or her own existence produces happiness; this is only possible with people who feel free, sure of themselves, independent and satisfied with their own lives.

People with the capacity to love are generous and thankful. They value their present and don't cry over what they never had or think they should have had. They have a great capacity to learn and a hopeful outlook on life.

In your opinion, what other points make a relationship healthy?

Patricia Faur - Estres conyugal, Ediciones B, Bs. As., 2011.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas

Friday, August 26, 2011

University of Buenos Aires.

The pictures you see are not of an art exhibition. They show what the
University of Buenos Aires looks like today.

The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) was created between 1861 and 1873. The founders thought that education, science and technology were the keys to national progress and autonomy. This was the golden era of Argentina. Education was one of the government's top priorities, particularly, elementary school. The government provided free, public, non religious education and adapted school programs with the aim of facilitating
entrance to university.

Unfortunately, the evolution of public education has been parallel to that of Argentina itself. Education has become disorganized, politicized. Administrative jobs are assigned politically, budgets are permanently short and faculty strikes are common.

There has been a lively public debate in recent years on how to change UBA
and improve its funding, but not much has been achieved. Because the university is free, chaotic and looks surreal, it remains a mystery how great minds come out of there. Here is a list of some of its students, researchers and graduates' recent achievements:

A team from the Law School won the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot
Court Competition, 2007-2008 edition.

In 2007 a doctor from the University of Buenos Aires won the L Oreal prize
for Unesco for Women in Science. A doctor in Physics, from the same
University had previously obtained it in 2003.

The Program for Climatic Change created by UBA researchers has been recognized worldwide and some of its members make up the Intergovernmental Panel for Climatic Change, project that contributed to making Al Gore win the Peace Nobel Price in 2007.

Dr. Mónica Pinto, President of Eudeba (UBA's publishing company), was awarded the National Order of Merit from the Embassy of France for her outstanding work in Public International Law.

2006 Konnex prizes to the best figures in Argentine humanities were awarded to 17 members of UBA, members of the faculty, researchers and graduates.

UBA research teams work on subjects such as biodiesel, nanotechnology, advances in breast cancer and climatic change.

UBA Graduates won prizes at the International Research Scholars (2007-2011), Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Prize Young Animal Scientist (2007).

A student from the School of Natural Sciences is the creator of Google Sky, a tool that lets you see images of the sky.

Going back in time, out of five Nobel Prize Winners that Argentina has, 4 graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and one from the National University of La Plata.

UBA, is another metaphor that well describes our country: so contradictory, so terrible, so marvelous.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas
Editor: Michelle Cameron
Photos by: Michelle Cameron

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Ricardo Garabito "El Banquete" pencil, tempera and watercolor.
Courtesy Malba, Buenos Aires.

Ricardo Garabito's art is not frequently seen in Buenos Aires. He cannot exhibit his work every year because it takes him more than that to evolve. He is not the type of artist who would hang his work anywhere just to be "in" the artistic scene of Buenos Aires. It is only after working on numerous paintings that he feels he can choose the best ones and show them to the public. Born in 1930, he has exhibited his work only 11 times. That's why Malba's exhibition of his oil paintings, drawings and watercolors until August 29 is special.

Critics say he is a realist. He paints human figures and still life but uses color as the Fauvists did, chooses subject matters as the surrealists did, puts 3-d figures in 2-dimensional backgrounds and has a peculiar way of using light. Fitting him only into the category of realism would simply not be enough.

His topic is ordinary life. He depicts men, women, still life and a lot of plastic: bottles of bleach, bathroom cleaner, buckets, milk bottles and food cans. His most interesting characters fit into the category of "mersas", an Argentinism used in the 60's and 70's referring to people that did not take care of their own manners or personal appearance.

Some of his models have unfashionable hair cuts from neighborhood's beauty salons, men appear wearing white under t-shirts and women wear fashion items in their chubby bodies and in the most unfashionable way possible. Garabito's characters are anti heroes! His painting is ironic, borders on vulgarity and funny. He has seriously managed to laugh at the aesthetics of every day life.

Garabito studied painting for three years until his teacher - Horacio Butler - told him it was time to move on. He realized that if he was going to paint, he could not copy what other colleagues were doing in an attempt to fit in. He decided to be authentic, to be himself, and that, he achieved indeed.

On view at MALBA: Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mr. Right

Some say that Mr. Right does not exist, but I think that there is a Mr. Right for every girl out there. I also think that finding someone to love and be loved by may not always be easy, but if you keep your heart open, love will come knockin' on your door.

We’ve put together a small list of clues that will help you to read between the lines and see what a guy is (or may be) like. Pay attention to these little tips:

He likes to eat
If a guy has an enthusiastic and sensuous interest in good food and wine, if he takes his time to seriously enjoy a good meal, he is likely to enjoy other pleasures in life. Watch him eat.

He has a dog
If a guy has a dog, this simply means that he’s a loving, caring and patient person. It also means that he’s able to attend to other’s needs. If the dog is too small, disregard this point! Lol just kidding, but you know what I mean.

He loves his job
This does not mean he’s married to it and has no time for anything else (example: YOU) It just means that if he’s happy and passionate about his job, he’ll be relaxed and confident, not stressed and unsatisfied.

He has good friends.
If he has good friends, he’s likely to be the type of person that is able to maintain relationships that last. The fact that he’s a good friend, speaks highly of him. This does not mean that he’s always with his buddies and can’t make a move without them. It doesn’t mean that he’s at the pub with them everyday or that he is inevitably one of a crowd.

He’s funny
If he makes you laugh, he’s a keeper. There’s not much too say about this point.

He’s not Ryan Gosling
I know. I love him too. But do you really want to be with a man who has like 100 girls at his feet at every moment? If you’re ok with that, go for it, but just remember that saying “I deal with temptation by yielding to it” cause that could very well be his philosophy, or not.

He’s good to people
If a guy is a sweet heart to you, nice and loving and all, but an ass to the waiter or the cleaning lady, then think twice. Kind people are kind to everyone, no matter who they are or what their job is.

He likes to travel
If a guy likes to travel. It means that he’s open to new places, cultures, people, languages and experiences. It also means that he’s likely to go with you on trips, which will be great if you end up with him, as you'll experience new places together and won’t be stuck in a routine.

He stands tall
Believe or not, posture can give away a guy’s character. Studies show that men who stand straight, are likely to be successful and confident. That’s something quite attractive, don’t you think?

He likes sports
Most men do. But some practice a sport more than others and that’s a healthy thing which translates into a healthy, fit man.

Hope this helps all you single ladies out there! We would love to hear your comments regarding what qualities would make a man Mr. Right for you.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Italian Piece

During this little trip to Punta del Este, I discovered L'Incanto in the heart of Punta's Gourmet hub. It’s about a year old. Joining La Bourgogne and Le Table de Jean Paul - among other prestigious restaurants in this part of the peninsula, L'Incanto definitely lives up to its name: the charm

L'Incanto integrates warm, intimate interiors with gorgeous gardens, water, stone and wood. The outdoor area is ideal for alfresco eating on a nice summer night. Or, you can go to a semi-covered area during winter, good for an after dinner cocktail- with a heater that is! like my friends in the photo above.

check out the bar (it's empty cause we were the last ones to leave, lol)

The menu includes pasta, risotto, meat, fish and a good wine list. We tried their salmon gravlax, steak, pizza and a chocolate volcano with berries, sprinkled with mint. It was all good.

I'm happy to see that Punta del Este is expanding its cuisine options.

We liked L’Incanto and will be going back for more. We hope you like it too. xx

Address: Pedragosa Sierra Esquina La Paloma.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

dia del niño

Paintng by Milo Lockett

Argentina celebrates a peculiar holiday this coming Sunday. We call it "Children's day" and I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about childhood.

Childhood is the stage where it all begins. There is a lot of potential in that stage that develops over time. Much has been said about raising children but I think it has to do, foremost, with having a loving/positive relationship with them and your partner. You have to be encouraging and respectful at the same time. That simple, that hard.

To me, teaching/helping children to become INDEPENDENT is key. Once they achieve that at home and feel confident about themselves they will be able to use that confidence as a resource in life. Independence should not be imposed, it should be taught as something to conquer.

When I think of childhood, I think of these words: play, fun, games, friends, treats, toys, swimming, affection, sports, feelings, proximity, assurance, trust, simplicity, creation, fights, hardships, learning, laughter. Francoise Dolto, a famous French psychoanalyst, once said in her book The Cause of Children: "The sources of knowledge are found in children. They are metaphysical. They are beings that ask themselves true questions. As metaphysicists, they look for answers."

In Childhood, playing is the way to independence, a way to find one's own answers. Playing is natural and universal. It is the space we use to develop our potential. It is where children learn to control what they couldn't handle before, it is a creative experience in which their inner world, their own subjectivity is projected, it is a basic way of life. Playing helps us develop, it makes us feel omnipotent, gives us great pleasure and satisfaction, it surprises us, it is where we learn to trust ourselves, where we develop our self esteem.

Unfortunately, some of the spontaneity of childhood fades away in adulthood. We get too taken up by, as The Little Prince would say, "the adult world". I can think of someone that has not lost that freshness, Argentine painter Milo Lockett. He became famous a few years ago when he won ArteBA's most important prize. Everyone in Argentina has heard of him, and his works are purchased massively. He lives in the province of Chaco, he paints images of children, women, men and animals the same way a 4-5 year old would. His style, critics say, fits the category of "art brut". Milo has taught himself the skill, he learned to paint in childhood, he was passionate about it. His art is uncontaminated by artistic conventions, his work is spontaneous and his images, simple. Milo defines himself as an adult that never stopped being a child. I think Milo's case illustrates what childhood is and how it often continues, creatively, later on in life. Perhaps it is this that drives the masses to consume his work.

Happy Children's Day to your kids and to your inner child!

Post by: Valeria Mendez Canas

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Matter of Faith

Photo: Gustavo Cerati

The former lead singer and guitarist of Soda Estereo, Gustavo Cerati, icon of Argentinian pop culture, has been in a coma for a year and three months now.

Explaining Argentinian culture to English speakers can be complicated at times, because, just as some feelings are often hard to explain, so are some terms or expressions in Spanish. However, referring to visual or auditory aids such as art or music helps a person to get a better understanding of things or events.

There are other things that are hard to express, as well, in any culture: whatever isn't working right, illnesses that come to us as a surprise and the way we are confronted with someone’s departure. Explaining Gustavo Cerati combines all of these ingredients. Cerati's songs defined a great part of the 80's generation in Argentina and so did the band's look and identity. Maybe you've heard a Soda Estereo song? songs such as "Signos," "Persiana Americana," "Lo que sangra," "Doble vida," “Cuando pase el temblor” and "Ella uso mi cabeza como un revolver" were popular on MTV even when it didn't have a Latin American Music section. I hope you've heard some of these songs and perhaps understood the strength they have. If you haven't you can just click on the links above.

Gustavo suffered an cerebral vascular accident while performing during a concert in Caracas, Venezuela in May of 2010. Although he’s been in a coma for a very long time, we continue to hope and pray for him to get better.

¡Fuerza Cerati!

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas
Photo: Cosas de autos

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Film city

Photos by: Mich
Film Location: Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Only Prague, Paris and New York rank higher than Buenos Aires as a destination of choice for film, photo shooting and television production.
National and international production companies are increasingly choosing Buenos Aires for the affordability, abundance of creative talent and the diversity of backdrops.

Source: Calrin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

long and fluid

As seen so far at Buenos Aires Fashion week, this summer will be all about long and colorful dresses, maxi skirts and sexy jumpsuits. Heels seem to be taking a step down and loafers and flats on the rise. Of course, we all love our heels, but feel free to wear that sexy dress with flats if you want.... and remember... comfort is king!

Photos from left to right: first three, Chocolate. Last: Maria Cher.

Buenos Aires Tango Festival and World Dance Competition

In this photo: Client of Curiocity Travel

Tango will be the star this month as the Buenos Aires Tango Festival and World Championship begins, on August 16. It will take place at the "Centro de Exposiciones", located at Av. Figeroa Alcorta and Pueyrredon, but there are also performances scheduled at 25 de Mayo Theater and de la Ribera Theater.

If you've already seen a tango performance or if you've been to a "milonga" and feel passionate about tango you can choose from a variety of events organized by the Ministry of Culture of Buenos Aires: dances or "milongas," tango classes for different levels, workshops, conferences, fairs, tango films, shows and concerts.

This festival is interesting because it gathers tango dancers of different ages and places. This generational mix as well as the background diversity, allow you to appreciate different tango styles. In "milongas," the music that will be played will vary: in some cases an orchestra will perform live, in others there will be recorded music or sometimes electronic tango. It will be tango's Tower of Babel!

Don't miss the finals of the Tango Championship at Lunapark Theater. August 29th will be the finals for tango salon category and August 30th will be stage tango's turn. All tickets are free, but you need to plan ahead to obtain them in advance. You can check for more information.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finding happiness

Photo: Lucian Pellat Finet

A trait that applies generally to the people of Argentina is Pessimism; Argentines tend to see the negative side of everything. One explanation for this is that our country was originally made up of foreigners who missed their homelands and who were sad because of this. That sadness and the resulting negative outlook passed on from
one generation to the next.

Paul Watzlawick has a book called "How Real is Real?," in which he discusses the influence people have on reality. What is real, I think, is what we make out of life. As children, we are mainly influenced by what goes on inside our families, and that sticks to us, so if you have suffered a negative event and given it a certain amount of relevance, it tends to add some grey to your life, to make it sadder. The more space you give it, the busier your head will be, in a negative way. What we are not always taught while we are growing up is a positive way to deal with situations.

We are often taught single sided answers to situations when there are many. We are taught one person is the leader, the other the disciple; one person is the victim, the other the offender; one has a passive role, the other has an active role, and this isn't always the case. Whoever plays the victim likes to play that role, and has probably contributed to the situation. Perhaps it's necessary to find an offender to be upset with. Is acting the victim a good position in life, or is playing the role of offender better?

I think some currents of Psychology focus too much on a person's traumatic events. However, due to the fact that most psychologists need to remain neutral during the course of a treatment, they don't guide patients enough on their way towards happiness. They say that is up to the patient. I think a lot of psychologists can't do that because they themselves are searching for happiness. Freud said that a psychoanalytical treatment offers relief but does not guarantee happiness. I believe that the key to happiness lies inside our own heads. I think a good way to be at ease with ourselves is to take time to learn about ourselves and our issues, knowing that there is not only one solution to a problem but many and that it is up to us to stretch our minds so as to search for those answers.

When a child is diagnosed with ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, what can his parents do? Can they just give medications? The words in the diagnosis itself are indicating the problem: deficit, lack of attention. Aren't parents capable of realizing that their child is acting strangely as a way of demanding more attention? Perhaps children diagnosed with ADD are just bored. Does anyone ever think about that? Medication in such cases does not necessarily solve the problem. It just suppresses a child's feelings.

When someone is diagnosed with "Depression", is it necessary to accept the diagnosis, or is it better to decide to overcome that state of mind?

Martin Seligman, the founder of a movement in Psychology called Positive Psychology, says we shouldn't get stuck on the issues that bother us, or the mistakes we have made. We shouldn't ask ourselves in regards to those events, "Why was I such a fool?".

I think happiness has more to do with being positive, forgiving, with having good expectations and most of all, with being active and pushing things so that they go the way you want them to go, not thinking that reality has already been determined and that you have to accept it.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas

Monday, August 8, 2011


The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.
- Arnold Toynbee

Photo: Tati Cotiliar for Urban Outfitters.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Fazenda São Francisco do Corumbau

Need a break? This remote boutique resort surrounded by untouched nature and white sand beaches is an ideal place to enjoy nature, peace and sunshine.

Aside from ocean views, hammocks, and access to the lagoon-style pool, Fazenda São Francisco provides organic produce and fresh fish daily.

How do I get there?

Fly from Buenos Aires to any major Brazilian city and from there into Porto Seguro. Then, drive, fly, or helicopter into Ponta do Corumbau. By car, this trip will take just under three hours.

Enjoy! xx

Thursday, August 4, 2011

winter food

It’s not easy to define authentic Argentinean food because there is a lot of influence from European immigrants, but, if one could get close, a dish called "Puchero" would certainly be it. Yes, we all know that beef is a very Argentinian dish but except for places like India, beef is quite common everywhere in the world, really.

Puchero on the other hand, although also an adaptation of a Spanish dish, is a typical Argentinian meal, not consumed (at least not the way it's made here), in other parts of the world.

The meal consists of serving various boiled meats and vegetables that are served separately plus a soup plate.

Argentines relate this meal to their families. It is a popular, "homey" winter-ish meal, used as an excuse to get together, to talk and enjoy. There are restaurants that prepare it, although it is not very common. The Plaza hotel makes a good one, it is served on Sundays. El Globo and El Imparcial are other well known and traditional places that serve it, or you could try Jose Luis'.

How do I make Puchero?

Put some music on and serve yourself and who ever else is in the kitchen with you some wine.

Boil 5 liters of water with a little thick salt, an onion cut in 4 pieces and leek. When it boils, add 2 kilos of beef and let it slowly cook for 45 minutes.

Add two breasts of chicken, 400gr of bacon and 6 chorizos (like a kind of sausage); 5 potatoes cut in half, 5 carrots, pumpkin cut in half, 5 sweet potatoes and celery.

When you consider that there are about 7 minutes left for it to cook, boil 5 corns. In a separate pot boil chickpea which sat in water since the night before. Serve everything in a big bowl, and the broth in a separate recipient as a starter. Add angel hair pasta or rice to it and voila! you have your Puchero.

Hope you like it, and please let us know if you have tried something similar, or what is your favorite dish on a cold winter day!


El Globo: Hipólito Yrigoyen 1199, Bs.As.
El Imparcial: Hipólito Yrigoyen 1201, Bs. As.
José Luis: Quintana, Av. 456, Bs. As.

Via gourmet recipe and photo.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Jardín Tropical

Antonio Seguí says he got interested in painting when he was 8 years old. He lived in Villa Allende, Córdoba, Argentina, in a rural area in the mountains. It was the 40's and there wasn't much going on in his town.
He grew up with his parents, sister, twin brothers and grandmother who was the one that urged him to pursue a career in art.
When he turned 18, his grandmother became his sponsor. With the money he got from her, he traveled to Paris to study but he wasn't a steady student in any academy, he only took courses on the topics of his interest and visited a lot of museums to learn.

When his grandmother, Ana, passed away, he quickly became an adult and decided that he was going to be an artist and he was going to live from his art work. He started traveling through Latin America and producing art and participating in exhibitions. He had a talent for connecting with other people, artists of all sorts and intellectuals. He set up his own workshop in the 60's in Paris and became famous by age 30.

What is most representative of Segui's work, a hallmark of his creations that helps us identify him, is a little country man with a black hat on his head that he often draws. He says he paints that little man all the time because it reminds him of his childhood in Cordoba. He uses the little man's figure in different ways, because, of course, he has evolved with him, so you see him in varied subject matters.

Women didn't use to be out in the streets so much back in those times, they were expected to be at home, with the family, that’s why he rarely paints them. He paints little men, preoccupied, minding their own business, staying in their own way, showing little concern for others. Antonio Seguí has never seen his grandfathers nor his father without a hat.

Seguí is 77 years old now, and works every day, from 7 am, even the weekends. What drives him to do that? 7 am is the time his little men in a hat wake up and come out for a walk on the streets of fragmented chaos and alienation, the same chaos he felt as a child, the same feeling he wonders about today. Those little men, he says, will help him paint his perfect picture. He feels that this has not yet happened for him, which is his reason to work and to hope everyday.

Check out his work at Mamba.


Learn more about Seguí: Una charla con I. Schuliaquer. Ed. Capital Intelectual.

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

wish list

Sneaked myself in the middle cause I'm actually wearing something from mywish list: my new lupe t-shirt, one of my lovely birthday gifts.

See more of Lupe's beautiful Spring-Summer collection at Lupeba.

Monday, August 1, 2011

when the sun shines again

Summmer preview, Maria Cher.

I'm so getting the shoes above!! like right now...


Gustavo Santaolalla

"No city is like Buenos Aires" is the expression Gustavo Santaolalla uses to refer to our hometown.

I didn't know much about Gustavo Santaolalla until he won his first Oscar for "Original Soundtrack" for the film Brokeback Mountain. It was then that I became more curious and started to look into his work. We are from different generations and although Santaolalla has repeatedly said that he has two loves - Rock 'n' Roll and Latin Culture, his music was at first very influenced by Argentine "folk". Perhaps that explains why I was never going to listen to it... because as a teenager, I found it was "uncool".

His electrotango band "Bajo Fondo" however, got me interested in the way he had integrated his "loves" into his music introducing technology to make tango sound different, to bring it closer to other generations. I thought his was a unique idea.

Today, I read that he was from a neighborhood called "Ciudad Jardín". A very small and humble town in the Western section of the greater Buenos Aires area. And, though I still don't know that much about him, this article made me think about his dreams. There is a long way between Ciudad Jardin and Hollywood, California, to name a place he made it to. I can assure you this cause I know how far Ciudad Jardín is, even from Buenos Aires city.

He mentioned in this article that the streets in his hometown were made out of dirt and that services were very limited. He remembers coming to the city was a great, long, and exciting trip and that a common expression in his neighborhood was "I am going to the capital", meaning the city of Buenos Aires. The distance he had to travel and the means of transportation he used to get to town were, at that time, far from convenient and it was a long trip indeed, but he remembers that every time that he arrived he thought: "this is everything they say about a great city, so many avenues! so many different people!"

I see his trip to the city as a metaphor for his later achievements. The trip was probably a little complicated and long, yes, but, in his head he knew the way and in his heart he had passion. He knew, also, how to let himself be surprised and how to surprise others with the ingenuity (the same ingenuity with which he discovered the city) that of the child that lives inside of him.

For your music and talent, thank you Mr. Santaolalla!

Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas