Fileteado Porteño
Traditional art from Buenos Aires
Fileteado Porteño
The fileteado porteño was born in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the 20th century as a popular decorative practice. It originated in wagon factories, where the first teachers of the trade developed it spontaneously until it was fully matured with shapes and color. For many years, the city's cars and wagons had an original decoration which was embraced by buses and trucks.
At that time, several guilds were working on the wagon construction within the same shop; the carpenters assembled the box and the wheels with hardwood; the blacksmiths melted and nickeled the metallic elements, and the painters prepared the background colors. Finally, it was the filete artist's turn: they decorated the wagons to the owner's preferences, within the constraints of time and money. Generally, the work could be divided into two styles: "more full" or "less full" and typically, each wagon was an elaborated piece, a product of the work of different craftsmen.
The filete quickly developed into higher levels of complexity and severals techniques and decorative elements started to form a collection that made filete a unique genre different from anything anyone had ever seen. Regarding motifs, most of them were taken from architectural elements of the time, as well as some ornamentation sold in local paint shops. The most recognized style is the neoclassic or "grotesque", which is known for an elaborate development of spirals, and not Art Noveau, since this last style is characterized by the "whip line", absent from the first filete works.
Fileteado Porteño
Traditional art from Argentina began as a simple decoration on the trade carts of bread, milk or vegetable sellers in the early 20th century. Later expanded to the decoration of buses and truck. Today it can be found all over the city of Buenos Aires, in shop windows, bars and restaurants, murals and signs. Fileteado mixes letters and ornaments, working with different layers of shadows and lights, in order to create a sense of volume and deepness. Flowers, acanthus leaves, ribbons, birds and pearls are among the most traditional elements. This vernacular style of Fileteado led to it being declared a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2015.
Tango and Fileteado
Bars and shop windows
Dragons in Fileteado
Cloth and shoes
Learning Fileteado
Our goal is to make fileteado spread to the world and help our students to learn about this craft