Curiosity is one of the greatest desires that humans have. The more you learn, the more critical thinker you become. In that sense, visitors and online readers may find our solutions to the questions that people ask us about the graffiti in Madrid. That’s the spirit that we’re willing to promote, curious travellers who want to get insider information about our community. We love it too!
Whether you are interested in discovering about the underground scene in town, or you’re surfing the net to find prices about a decorative service, this is your article! Let us introduce you some of the most famous names, those continuously ‘bombing’ the city with their tags and throw-ups, or the street artists painting over murals. The panorama is that huge, that we even promote it through guided visits and workshops.
These are some of the questions that we’ll try to answer you along the following paragraphs:
- Are there any hidden laws or code of ethics in the movement?
- What happens if somebody covers your artwork in the streets?
- How risky is it to paint ‘wholecars’ (train wagons)?
1-. What do our visitors want to know about the local community of graffiti in Madrid?
There are many questions that our guests frequently repeat. It seems as if somebody who is an outsider from our world would like to get inside, but doesn’t know how to do it. That’s the reason why we receive over 3,000 bookings per year. People who are willing to discover the graffiti in Madrid, contact us to explore the city in an alternative way. At the same time, they discover how the local lifestyle is like.
The facts that we will mention during any of our related services will let you come closer to the movement. It’s been since we were teenagers that we entered into the field, but it was in 2016 when we decided to move from a hobbie, into a professional business. As a matter of fact, the information that we feature during the street art tours, come from the source. This means that our friends tell us about the artworks’ meaning.
Apart from that, the coolest part is that our activity leaders are either professional or amateur graffiti writers. They will offer you an insider perspective about the local underground scene. Despite the fact that artists are very concerned about offering public information of what they paint and where they do it, they will introduce you to the techniques and characteristics that are shared among the spray cans lovers.
2-. How much money will you pay if the police ever gets you painting ilegally?
One of the most repeated questions is related to the fear of being caught. Moreover, visitors’ worries are not about the fact that local enforcement authorities could take your materials to the police station, but about the money that you could end up paying if they ever get you while painting graffiti in Madrid. However, laws are made to be broken and artists always find their ways to paint withouth being punished.
The current city major is effortlessly trying to prevent political graffiti on the streets, even committing to their cleaning in less than 3 hours, but according to our oppinion they’re not working in the right direction. They prefer to fine people with offenses between 600€ and 3,000€ per action, rather than educating teenagers and young adults. The debate here is to host legal walls and murals all across the city, in each district, so that people can paint without taking risks.
What do artists do in order to not being caught and have their letters and figures lasting longer?
- Paint over places that are for rent or for sale
- Developing the piece in several times, not all at once.
- Doing it as if you pretended to be a professional artist or someone who has the permission to paint.
3-. Where could you find the best graffiti in Madrid?
We will always suggest you visiting the outskirts of the city if you wanted to investigate about the local artist community and its atmosphere. However, we understand that people who are visiting the graffiti in Madrid, might be here for a limited perior of time. Consequently, we’ll inform you about the places that you shouldn’t miss if you are visiting our country for just a long weekend. Ready?
- CSOA Tabacalera. This is a former tobacco factory from the XIX century. Its underground tunnels are all covered with street art and graffiti. Please be aware the the spot is just opened to the public audience during the weekends.
- Chamartin railway station. Do not miss walking over the parking lot if you’re commuting here. Its exterior walls are all taken by an international event known as ‘Meeting of styles‘.
On the other hand, the city centered districts will always feature the highest number of paintings. Why is that? Similarly to what happens in other European capital cities, the most active writers will show their interest in these specific areas because of their visibility. Could you imagine how many people would see your artwork if you painted in Gran Via or close to Plaza Mayor/ Puerta del Sol?
4-. Which neighborhoods showcase the best street art murals in town?
Thanks to the effort and commitment of other projects in town such as MSAP, Urvanity or Swinton & Grant, among others, the urban landscaping is changing. You will now be able to observe several faccades in the city center which were decorated in the context of street art festivals and contemporary art fairs. On the contrary, how do these kind of events relate with the graffiti in Madrid? Quite simply, a decent amount of post-graffiti artists started painted illegally.
In that sense, Lavapiés is considered by many as one of the most colored neighborhoods in town. It features two of the most important events, called CALLE and Muros Tabacalera. Over 50 artists decorate over metal shutters, windows, concrete walls and other permitted surfaces. It is also a multicultural district, with different communities from all over the world: Indian, Moroccan, Senegalese, South-American, Spaniards…
Later, you should get to know the story about Malasaña. This centrally located district is popularly known because of its hipster artmosphere and young adults vibes. The walls around Calle Palma, Corredera Baja de San Pablo and Plaza dos de Mayo are all painted with tags. Furthermore, the street art festival celebrated in the area, became a ‘fighting point’ for the local graffiti movement.
5-. When was the time that graffiti in Madrid became popular?
The truth is that the graffiti in Madrid is not a movement created in Spain. It all started in the United States during the late 1960s, beginning of the 1970s. It was in cities such as New York and Philadelphia, where young writers started painting in train wagons. They did it because of the visibility that it produced, since train cars commuted around the city in a short period of time. However, they also painted in walls and metal shutters.
The local movement was born years later, during the 1980s. It was during the countercultural movement called La Movida Madrileña, when young artists started painting in walls. At the beginning, they did it without purporse, but during the 1990s the city centered shops were painted with tags, short of a territorial mark. In that sense, we should mention an important figure, MUELLE, considered by many as one of the pioneers for the local graffiti scene.
Many years passed by, but the most important question is still open to debate. Is graffiti art or should we consider it as vandalism? Whatever your answer is, you should know that there are thousands, if not millions of people, who love this particular approach to contemporary art. Should it be exposed in museums and modern art fairs, or should it stay away from capitalism?
6-. Are there any workshops where emergent urban would artists teach you?
Yes, we collaborate with local artists who offer that opportunity. They do not only open their studios to talk about their career as artists, but they will also show you the techniques used while shaking the spray cans and the different caps available in the market. Before joining any of them, take into consideration that there are many purposes to start practicing graffiti in Madrid. Are you interested in it as a hobbie or would you like to become professional at it to offer your decorative services?
People who ask us about these ateliers are usually over 18 years old. They request these activities for groups of coworkers, friends or relatives. However, the street art industry is becoming that popular in our country that we receive more often the interest of teenagers. Quite interestingly, it’s their parents who call us. They prefer to contact somebody who could teach them in a legal way, rather than letting them paint under their own risk.
Thanks to the artists’ experience, we could offer these workshops in several languages. Including, but not limiting to English, Spanish and French. If groups are larger than 15-20 people, we usually rent venues where we can addapt to the group’s requirements. So far, the largest workshop we’ve ever hosted counted with 120 participants painting all at the same time. Incredible, huh?
7-. What’s the cost for a professional graffiti in Madrid?
It was in 2019 when Covid started hitting hard in our country. The majority of international and domestic flights were cancelled, thus we did not receive any visitors for a while. It was a hard time for the graffiti in Madrid. However, we took advantage of the situation and started offering professional services through our twin website cooltourspain.es Since then, we have received dozens of requests from people who are interested in decorating their shop/office or home.
Pricing will vary according to different characteristics. First of them, is the size of the surface where to paint. It’s not the same, painting over a 3 sq. meters wall, than doing it over a 400 square meters faccade. The bigger the surface, the lesser the price. Next, you should take into account what’s the quality that you would like to pay for.
Basic designs include a logo or slogan in the simplest form. Quotes usually start at 43€ per square meter. Later, Cooltourspain team members offer an intermediate range. The design will be more artistic, rather than commercial, and its price starts at 63€/sq. meter. Lastly, if you are willing to change radically the aspect of your home/business, we would suggest you to hire our most hiperrealistic service. Price starts at 83€. Are you interested on any of these budgets? Send us a message or contact us via telephone/whatsapp at +34638399784
8-. Where are the most underground shops in Madrid?
Here is a list of stores where to purchase graffiti cans in Madrid. They are all located within the city center. You should know that depending on the amount of paint that you would like to purchase, it might be cheaper to buy them through their main distribuitor. We even take advantage of their shipping service. If you spend over 100€, they may have free delivery service:
- Montana Shop – Calle del Caballero de Gracia, 9. Gran Via metro station.
- Writers Madrid – Calle de la Luna, 19. Specialized in Belton and Molotow.
- Ghetto Shop streetwear– Calle Embajadores, 13
In this sense, not that many people know the following trick. If you are purchasing a spray can, a cap will be included. Furthermore, if it’s not of your taste, you can request to have it changed for another. Why is that? The regular tool is of a medium size, and if you’re going ‘bombing’ you may need a fat cap.
9-. Who are some of the most active writers in the Spanish capital city?
It’s true that the older you become, the more experience you have. That’s the reason why you could see artists who are over 40 years old, painting at the same level than they did when they were on their 20’s. Still, the graffiti in Madrid is observing how some of those original writers are substituted by a younger generation.
Here is a brief list of the most active artists:
- NTR crew: nich, sero, burako…
- Fighter pussies: chixa, chica, hipie…
- TDP crew: kiler & ruka
10-. What’s the opinion that Cooltourspain team members have about the graffiti in Madrid?
We love what we do, but we don’t agree with some of the terms featured by the graffiti in Madrid. For instance, we don’t like when certain writers paint over someone else’s artworks. Another thing that we hate is how police treat us. Listen carefully, WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS!
Lastly, we would like to take advantage and demand the city council the opening of legal walls in each district. We are interested in painting without risking our money and time.