There’s a very cozy little place at a gallery in Barrio Norte, in Buenos Aires. It is called Purr and its owner is poet and photographer Marina Alessio.
There we can find the most rare books about art, design, illustration and photography.
And what’s more important, we can touch and peep at everything as if we were in our own houses. It is indeed a delightful and unique experience.
What is Purr?
Purr is a small contemporary art, photography, design and fashion bookstore. We sell art books, magazines and fanzines from here and other parts of the world. What´s different about Purr is that we focus especially in the selection of the material. We specially choose every book or fanzine by the quality of its content and we always intend to bring things from other parts of the world, things that don’t usually come to Latin America. We could say Purr is a “consciously curated” art bookstore.
How was this idea born? Why do it?
A few months before opening Purr I began co-directing art gallery that faces Purr in the gallery, which name is Mite. Now every store in this gallery is occupied by new art galleries, art studios and stuff. But at that time all of them were empty. The gallery was abandoned, among ruins, so it held a very particular charm. I always watched the empty stores and thought: “we have to do something here”. On the other hand, I always dreamed about a gallery of my own. And I liked the idea of people walking through this very gray building to get to Purr’s contrast, a bookstore full of colorful beauty.
Why this neighborhood?
The place came before the idea so I didn’t have to look for it. The location is definitely something positive though. It is very accessible and comfortable for a lot of people. You can get lost inside the gallery but not outside of it.
What are the repercussions on people?
When I was younger I worked at some design and bookstores, and it never happened to me that people told me how much they loved the place. It happens all the time here. I guess the self-managed project generates empathy on people, and also the main comment from all of them is “what a great book selection!” People leave happy to find books they had never seen anywhere else, at affordable prices. There are also people that come to Purr to find out about stuff, because they know here they can find interesting books or artists they didn’t know before.
What do you like most about the place?
The contrast between the content of the bookstore and the building in which it is located. Also, a nice patio where we can make any kind of event, like invite DJs, little parties, readings and so on surround us.
Address: 2729 Santa Fe Av., Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires
Opening Hours: 12:00-20:00 (Saturday from 14:00)
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Tel: +54 11 4822 9433
Text: Gisella Lifchitz