The street art performances increase in a daily way all over the world. We do not only observe international brands using it, but we also spot small local shops which use professional graffiti art to increase their sales. For instance, Madrid’s urban art scene.
On one hand, we could point to Banksy. The undoubtedly most famous living contemporary art artist. The British achieved a $12.2 million sale at Sotheby’s a London auction house. The highest amount ever paid to a street art creator. On the other side, we will quote Renfe, the Spanish national railway system, which claimed to pay €77 million in 7.5 years to repair the damage caused by graffiti writers. That is to say, where does the limit between street art and graffiti lie?
Above all, art is completely biased. It will all depend on the observer to tag the artwork as a master piece or as vandalism. Whether you have one opinion or the other, today’s article will show the most relevant Madrid street art news.
1-. Where could you observe the best graffiti art in Madrid?
The Spanish capital city offers its visitors the opportunity to observe international artists and emergent talents around downtown and the suburbs. Moreover, there exists a great metro system which will grant you fast access to the different locations. Let’s see the most renowned areas for an art walk in Madrid.
Lavapiés, the most multicultural area
Embajadores is a district located next to Atocha Renfe Station. It’s home for the most diverse people: Moroccans, Senegalese, Indians, Spaniards… and it features the best street art in town.
By the time you get to Lavapies metro station, you’ll have to walk down to Calle Doctor Fourquet, full of contemporary art galleries and a unique urban garden called ‘Esta es una Plaza’. Blu and Roa decorated its interior walls with black & white animals, and city council workers promoting gentrification.
Next, you should head towards Calle Miguel Servet, where you’ll find a XIX century tobacco factory. The exterior walls are decorated every other year in a festival called Muros Tabacalera, while the interior remains as Madrid’s unfinished urban art museum. Did you know that artists paint here in a weekly way?
Last but not least, don’t forget to walk up the hill on Calle Embajadores until you reach el Rastro de Madrid, the most famous flea market in the city.
Malasaña, hipster and classy neighborhood at the same time
We would recommend you walking through Gran Via Street once you have finished visiting Madrid’s southern bounds, that is to say Lavapies. Continue your exploration around Tribunal metro station, and use Google maps to arrive to Plaza del dos de mayo.
If you wandered around Corredera Alta de San Pablo and Calle La Palma, you would discover many vintage clothing stores as well as metal shutters completely painted with street art. Furthermore, you should know that there is a famous event called PINTA Malasaña, which decorates over 50 store fronts every year.
Another location that you shouldn’t miss is Solar Antonio Grilo and Mercado de los Mostenses. The former is an urban garden next to San Bernardo metro station, whereas the latter is a traditional food market. Don’t miss them!
2-. Who are Madrid’s most famous artists?
Along the past 4 decades, Madrid’s streets have showcased tags and artworks from thousands, if not millions of people. They were majorly interested in becoming famous within the graffiti community. Moreover, some of them observed metro wagons as the most tentative canvas.
Muelle, a pioneer in the Madrid graffiti scene
Juan Carlos Argüello, also known as Muelle, is considered by many of his kind as the original writer in town. He spray painted a bouncy shape – coils- all around Carabanchel and the city center, next to a tag with his name ‘Muelle’. He became famous on the following years of La Movida Madrileña, a pioneering counter cultural movement which erupted in the city after Franco’s dictatorship.
Boa Mistura, urban landscape designers
The graffiti movement has changed a lot since it was first seen in the United States during the early 1970’s. It has evolved, and many writers now observe it as a way to monetize their talent. That is the case of Boa Mistura, Madrid’s current most famous street art crew.
They haven’t only painted in their home city, but they also performed overseas. Their style is unique, using letters to create words, either on huge buildings or overlapping characters using different colors.
3-. How could you enjoy Madrid’s street art and graffiti at its best?
International, national and local visitors interested in participating in an engaging activity while in town may now join urban art tours and workshops. They focus in the social & educational elements, thus offering a different approach to these artistic categories.
Street art tours around the city center
Javier is a local entrepreneur who founded Cooltourspain in 2016, Spain is Music partner program. He runs these guided visits in a daily way, offering travelers an alternative option to get to know Madrid city. There are several festivals photographed during the walking experience, although he offers the opportunity to do it by bike too. The street art tours take 2 hours to be completed and they’re led around Lavapiés and Malasaña districts.
Graffiti workshops with local artists
In the same vein, you could paint a wall at local artists’ studios. These experiences are offered to let visitors get in touch for the first time with a mural. You’ll perform the whole process, in which you will use stencil, spray paint and rollups. These graffiti workshops may be hired at the most exclusive spots.