While travelling the world we came across with amazing people, and participated in several guided experiences. It’s thanks to those moments that we decided in 2016 to create a project which runs daily graffiti walking tours in Madrid, Spain.
Cooltourspain became the first project in town offering day to day services, and our team has collected guests’ opinions about our services.
1-. Guests were impressed by the emergent talent shown in our graffiti walking tours.
Madrid city offers the opportunity to observe classic paintings at El Prado or Reina Sofia Museums. Goya, Picasso, Velazquez are some of the most important names in Spanish Art, but it’s our effort to promote the upcoming artists in town.
– Different artistic perceptions, but only one way.
Explore the artists’ deepest secrets and discover what is going on in the local artistic panorama. Join our graffiti walking tours, and compare your experience with other alternative guided visits that you joined in the past.
- European cities are multicultural in many levels. All of them have emergent areas for creation that unite people from different ethnicities & countries.
- There are common trends in art, specially in the techniques. One artwork might be observed in Paris, but then there is a local artist from Madrid performing similarly.
- There’s no right or wrong. All topics are addressed and everyone gets to speak up.
– The influence from Spanish Art classics.
It is very interesting to observe how artists are influenced by Spanish master classics. They somehow go back to the basics, and produce their artworks in very similar ways (with hundred years of difference)
That’s what happens with Madrid based artist YKSUHC Juan, for example. An urban art performer whose work may resemble Goya’s famous Black Paintings.
2-. Reviews revealed the unique opportunity to observe an unfinished & open air Modern art Museum in Madrid.
The street art in Madrid might be observed in a costless way or through any of the graffiti walking tours available for all audiences.
– Profit vs. non profit experiences
Fellow artists mention during our graffiti walking tours that one the reasons why they perform in the streets is to make art closer to people.
Cooltourspain differentiates between groups of travellers who are visiting the city for pleasure, and those low socio-economic groups who may not afford to participate in our experiences.
Free access to culture is important in times of economic difficulties, precarious situations or the lack for an artistic education. There shouldn’t exist a reason to leave anyone behind in matters of enjoying contemporary art creations. That’s why we offer Free graffiti tours and street art workshops to NGO and other non-lucrative associations.
– Freedom of Speech in Madrid graffiti walls.
An important aspect to take into account when talking about the modern art in Madrid, is the free speech on spaces in which artists may represent whatever they feel like painting.
Some of the topics you can find during our graffiti walking tours in Madrid are
- Artists’ worries about politics
- Climate change and environmental crisis
- Concerns about discrimination.
3-. Customers analyzed the urban landscape to understand the whole panorama.
A great aspect about participating in street art experiences and graffiti walking tours is that you may get the whole story of what’s going on in each place you walk by.
– What are the society’s common concerns covered in graffiti walking tours?
Graffiti artists, especially in Madrid city tackle different realities & social disadvantages. Some of the most powerful ones created by the local community are:
- The sad reality of people living undocumented.
- Political prisoners.
- Racism and homophobia.
– Let’s hear everybody’s opinions
We are used to hear the narrative of dominant parts of society: white, male, straight, European… and sadly most of the times we don’t get to hear the other’s voices in such a powerful way.
In certain areas within the city center, people criticize our job because they believe we are gentrification promoters. Conservative minds will never agree with us that our work is developed within a social perspective.
4-. Participants in the graffiti walking tours felt the local sense of community.
We love the idea of responsible tourism, and not surprisingly we feel empathy when we hear about problematics and the natural response from the society.
Our visitors frequently ask us about what they can do to help out with some of the things we talk about during the graffiti walking tours and we really value these sense of solidarity.
– Support local businesses
Cooltourspain supports madrid-no frills bars, modern cuisine restaurants hidden in local food markets and shops where to buy emergent art.
There are several key spots that you shouldn’t miss if in the area:
- Hola Coffee, 2013 world champion Baristas. Best coffees in Lavapiés (Calle Doctor Fourquet, 33)
- El Brote, French style bar recognized because of its wild-mushrooms plates (Calle de la Ruda, 14)
- Tuuuu Libreia (Calle Embajadores, 11), exchange & dation book store. Great concept, place and owners!
– Social centers where you could volunteer:
La Tabacalera (Calle Embajadores) is a self-sustained center which hosts several workshops where volunteers and visitors could participate and be part of the community:
- Bike repair center, where to learn how to fix your own bicycle.
- Street art workshops to create your own stencils.
- DIY warehouse to collaborate with the handcraft community.
Esta es una Plaza is an urban garden located in Calle Doctor Fourquet, where you’ll be able to participate in gardening projects, and put your hand into the restoration of the area.
Free access is granted to both venues.
5-. Cooltourspain’s opinion about the graffiti walking tours
All the team members present at Cooltourspain in 2020 believe that Madrid city is becoming an important city in the European art circuit.
Several modern art fairs, post-graffiti events and graffiti walking tours are offered in town, thus making the touristic opportunities bigger and more relevant.
We look forward to seeing you soon in Lavapies or Malasaña districts.
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