Barcelona is one of the best places in Spain to see street art. It’s a city with a vibrant artistic culture. Everywhere you go, art jumps out at you. From a urban art point of view there is certainly more to the city than Gaudi and Miro. Barcelona also boasts some of the best street artists in the world.
So for this trip we’ve joined up with the travel website ebookers as part of their ‘My Barcelona‘ series which aims to give different perspectives of the same city. The experience you can have of a city such as Barcelona can after all be very different each time you visit so there’s a whole bunch of bloggers heading out there to give their own take on the city.
Street Art in Barcelona
Of course street art by its very nature is ever changing with most cities having a core of artists who regularly refresh the work. This runs alongside the odd visitor who may come from outside the area to paint every now and again. Cities with the best street art culture have a mixture of both and that’s what gives Barcelona such a vibrant scene. It’s also a scene with deep roots, one that tends to mix the artistic legacy of the city with a more edgier graffiti culture imported from elsewhere.
So for this post we thought we’d feature some of the local street art and artists to look out for it you are ever visiting Barcelona. But before you read on, here’s a bit of a health warning because we’ve edited this post a fair bit. You see when it was originally written all we knew about the Barcelona street art scene was what we picked up from the internet and blogs but actually visiting the city gives a whole new dimension to who is who in city.
As a result we have a mixture of large scale muralists, fine artists who paint the odd wall, graffiti writers, character artists and stencil artists who make our list. This is the combination that gives Barcelona such a creative vibe and represents both the permissioned and the more underground scene. Although needless to say there are many and even despite our best efforts we’ve only chosen to feature twenty in this post but then that’s the whole point of ‘My Barcelona’ you’ll probably see something different everytime you go.
Barcelona Street Art and Artists
1. Pez – instagram
Possibly the most famous street artist of the lot, Pez’s fish can be seen not only in Barcelona but the world over and there are certainly a whole bunch of his works still dotted around London. He now spends his time between the city and Colombia but his style is very much associated with the city and his happy fish are all about bringing smiles to people’s faces.
2. Aryz – instagram
Aryz paints large scales murals and does so around the world. Undoubtedly he is one of Spains top street art talents and he comes from Barcelona. We’ve seen lots of his work in London as he’s visited a few times and there’s also a long standing iconic piece in Bristol. He is known for his large character murals and by all accounts just paints for the sake of painting. A huge talent.
3. Kenor – instagram
Starting out as a graffiti artist back in 1989 Kenor begun by painting trains prior to honing his abstract style and painting his colourful geometric, abstract murals on the sides of buildings around the world. His work is striking and colourful and actually based a lot on electronic music with the English band Autechre in particular used as the inspiration for a lot of his work.
4. Sixe Parades / Sixeart – instagram
Another artist who has his roots in the graffiti culture of the 80’s and early 90’s. Sixeart finds influences from a number of places but specifically drawing on both his Catalan heritage and an affinity with Peru. The resulting works on the street are again abstract and colourful with a major coup coming in 2008 when he painted the front of the Tate Modern in London.
5. Konair – instagram
Highly prolific Konair has become known for his popsicle tags and his popsicle character can be seen everywhere with particular prominence around the gothic quarter of the city. He does other stuff too and you can also see his work in shows around the city but mainly it’s on shutters down hidden alleys.
6. El Xupet Negre – instagram
On the streets since 1989 Xupet Negre is another street artist whose iconic character can be seen everywhere in Barcelona. His tag (or logo) of choice is his black dummy and his motto is peace, love, equality and freedom. Negre’s work is absolutely recognisable in Barcelona and in the same vain as Konair in terms of the prolific nature of his work.
7. Manu Twice – instagram
A street artist whose pallette and style you would expect to see more in a fine art gallery, his murals are big, impactful and eye-catching. Painting since the 90’s his paintings of the human form have become recognisable around the city and highly photogenic.
8. Francisco de Pajaro aka. Art Is Trash – instagram
Bursting onto the scene about five years ago now. De Pajaro made his name as ‘Art is Trash’ by converting rubbish left over on the street into mini pieces of art which will then be collected and disposed of by the local authorities. Carrying with him tape and marker pens he creates his temporary artworks in all of five minutes doing whatever springs to mind. He created a number of pieces during a six month stint in London in 2013 and you can see those here.
9. Btoy – instagram
A stencil artist Andrea Michaelsson otherwise known as Btoy learned her trade alongside the Frenchman C215 as early innovators of the stencil technique and their works have a complimentary feel to each other. She uses a variety of techniques in order to create her works and can blend a number of them together in order to create the finished product. Her portraits be seen dotted around the doorways of the gothic quarter.
10. Zosen and Mina Hamada – Zosen instagram & Mina instagram
Zosen and Mina are an Argentinian / Japanese street artist couple who are based in Barcelona and whose styles merged from around 2012 where their complementary styles found themselves gelling more and more. As with other artists in this list, their work is colourful and abstract. Both still do their own work and exhibitions but in terms of the work they are currently best known for, it is their collective pieces as a duo.
11. Aleix Gordo
A recent visitor to London, Gordo is another Barcelona based artist whose work has travelled the globe. Painting from a young age Gordo has been around the world of graffiti and street art for a long time but only got into the scene after contacting graffiti artists to see if they would collaborate with him on a comic. It got him hooked and the rest is history.
12. H101 – instagram
More abstraction and more colour. H101 or otherwise known as hachecientouno is an artist originally from Madrid but who now bases himself out of Barcelona. His work is inspired by ancient cultures and their mystic beliefs. His work is about energy and who can feel it coming out of the walls with his eclectic patterns never failing to grab attention.
13. Rombillos – instagram
A street artist in the tradition of Pez, Rombillos is himself an eager follower of the scene who works in different mediums. His character ‘El Rombo‘ has become well known and can be found all around Barcelona you’ve just got to look out for his clever little stickers dotted around the place as well as his street paintings.
14. Seclestyle – instagram
Street art mixed with childhood illustration is how Secle describes her work. Secle is an Italian artist living in Barcelona, she is self taught and her delicate characters can be seen dotted around the city. Her mission is to promote positive thinking when someone sees her works.
15. Zems Oner – instagram
A street artist and renowned tattoo artist, Zems work can often be seen around the neighbourhood of Poblenou where the array of legal walls often play host to his work. It is as a world renowned tattooist however that Zems is better known, tattooing under his real name of Ivan de Castres. His street work is rooted in the graffiti scene with elegant and dynamic characters, lines and shapes interweaving with each other to make colourful and dramatic scenes.
16. Mali Mowcka – instagram
Originally from Argentina, Mali Mowcka moved to Barcelona five years ago and has since set about displaying her mainly paste up art around the city. Her work consists mainly of female characters drawn in the abstract. Mali is well travelled and her work can be seen dotted around cities across the world even visiting London last year.
A stencil artist, SM172’s stencil art can be seen dotted around the city sometimes by themselves and sometimes in collaborations with other artists. Using his friends as inspiration for his works his evolution into stencil art is born out of a background in street art and graffiti.
18. Bl2A – instagram
Bl2A is a stencil artist who works mainly with found tiles although also does paste ups with both mediums able to be seen dotted around the city. His is a multi layered technique and the resultant pieces are delicate to look at and meant to brighten up the city by hiding away so that the unsuspecting passer by is able to have a short lived interaction with it.
19. Bronik – instagram
Bronik’s green women can be found hidden in doorways around the city where she places her characters although she also will paint larger murals and even left one in London earlier this year. Influenced by the culture of her native Peru this can be seen in her art both in the colours she uses and the dress and patterns of the characters.
20. Sebastien Waknine – instagram
Waknine’s fascination with ancient cultures shows in the use of colour and pattern in his work channeling those cultures into his work and thinking of them as the true pioneers of graffiti. His work can be seen in the gallery and on the street and he paints realism just as well as he paints the abstract.
This post is the first in a series of Barcelona based street art posts in association with the ebookers ‘My Barcelona” project featuring different perspectives of the city.