Almost everyone is probably aware of Barcelona’s most talented artists; Gaudi, Miró, Picasso, etc. These artists demonstrate inspiring pieces related to architecture, cubism, surrealism, and more. Although there is art on the city’s streets that is able to demonstrate qualities that even the most famous artists’ creations don’t possess.
Street art or graffiti in Barcelona has a history dating back to 1975 and really thrived from 2000-2005. Street art actually started to become so abundant in the city, that the Spanish government decided to intervene. Now, graffiti is illegal in many public spaces and artists can be fined large amounts for expressing themselves on the streets in prohibited areas. Also, in an attempt to clean up the city, the city council began to whitewash areas with graffiti, ruining some areas with beloved street art. Even with these restrictions, there is no shortage of street art in Barcelona.
Walking down any street in the city you are guaranteed to come across street art. Local shops, markets, alleyways, walls, and doors are covered in street art giving the streets the most colorful and creative personalities that I have ever seen. Since I live in Barcelona, I have been able to find my favorite pieces of art within different neighborhoods. Poblenou, Gracia, Raval, and Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies are some of my favorite areas to view unique street art. Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies is actually a really interesting skate/graffiti park that allows artists to legally express themselves in the area. If you get a chance to visit Barcelona, you must get lost in the streets and take in some of the most unique art that the city has to offer.
Overall, street art is an incredibly unique form of self expression and is one of the only forms of art that is available to the entire public. No matter who you are, street art is available for you and meant to be seen by you. Street art is made up of the people’s real thoughts, ideas, emotions, and opinions, and that is why I think it is so special.
If you would like to learn more about street art in Barcelona, Las Calles Hablan is an excellent documentary that explains the history behind graffiti in Barcelona! Streetartbcn.com is also an amazing website with lots of information about artists, creations, and events!
Sophie Vradelis is a student at North Carolina State University and an ISA Photo Blogger. She studied with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.