7 Political street art figures and controversial artworks observed globally.

political street art and graffiti

One of the greatest values of contemporary art is the interpretation it could receive. While one person may analyze a post-graffiti mural artwork with good eyes, another observer may interpret the political street art as an insult.

According to INE, the National Institute for Statistics, there were 47.329.981 inhabitants in Spain (2019 census). Consequently, there may exist all those different points of view. Who is on the right side and who is in the wrong one?What’s the political street situation in the country?

Despite one’s opinion, we should always dig into the artists’ personal thoughts for a better reference. Who better than him/her to explain what’s the message hidden in the artwork? Still, that’s where the amazement relies on!

Today’s article will highlight the most relevant urban artworks related to politics. Somehow, they created controversy in the local communities where they were painted and we wanted to share them with you.

What’s the most common political street art statement in Spain?

Similarly to what happens in many other countries around the world, the Spanish street art community fights against corruption and injustice. Moreover, local artists develop political street art decorations to illustrate how tired the society is from different unfortunate situations.

For instance, we have seen paste-up artworks, modern art walls and even stencils. The creativity and opportunism made some of these artists notorious in our country. They used the image of famous politicians, aristocrats and dictators to create a hidden message.

Who are some of the most renowned artists based in Spain using not-politically correct artworks? For example, we could find:

  • TV Boy
  • Ze Carrion
  • Dos Jotas

1-. Catalonia’s Independence. Spanish Constitutional conflict

catalonia's political street art conflict
Paste-up artwork created by TV Boy in Barcelona

The Spanish democracy tottered by the time Catalonian regions demanded independence from Spain in the ballots. Currently, the whole process is under investigation in the Supreme Court. In addition, some politicians have been incarcerated because of fraud and other related causes.

In the same vein, we observed a paper based artwork in Barcelona in which two people are kissing each other. The curious fact about the image is that one wears a Spanish flag while the other uses a Catalonian one.

The author of this political street art artwork is TVBoy, an Italian artist who currently lives in Barcelona. His idea behind the artwork was to create an impact in to the viewers’ minds. A satirical piece which questions preconceived ideas.

2-. The figure of a dictator, Francisco Franco

Franco street art Madrid
Beheaded image of Franco as painted by ZeCarrion in Madrid

Second discussion in the political street art situation belongs to the most important tragedy in the Spanish history. We refer to the Spanish dictatorship established by Francisco Franco, which lasted from 1939 to 1975.

Thousands of victims spread all over the country because of their political points of view. In this illustration, Madrid based artist Ze Carrion painted a controversial artwork using Franco’s head.

In other words, his style alligns with not politically correct artworks. Could you imagine what’s the artist idea about the dictator? The artwork is located inside La Tabacalera, Madrid’s graffiti mecca.

3-. Who are the most painted political street art characters?

M. Rajoy political street art
Former Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy

Likewise, members of the Spanish Parliament are often caricatured in political street art paintings. Artists either draw them free hand or use digital tools to reproduce them.

San Spiga is a Chilean artist who used the hashtag #rajoyfacho to edit the former Spanish president image with a Hitler-like figure. Moreover, the technique he used to feature the picture in front of an open audience was the paste-up.

Not only you will be able to observe paper based artworks in the streets, but also spray painted characters on walls. It’s a common practice among artists to create their murals even without permission from local authorities/private building owners.

4-. The Spanish monarchy

Spanish king street art mural
Felipe VI as painted by Cacerolo Art

Last but not least topic among the political street art images observed in our country is the Spanish monarchy. Both the former king Juan Carlos I and the current one Felipe VI are frequently addressed in artists’ artworks.

Caceloro painted Spain’s king welcoming refugees. The mural was painted in a black colored background, using a red tone to draw the mouth similarly to the one featured by Joker in the 2019 film.

As you may have observed, there exists a social value in urban art. Artists represent part of the population’s feelings on controversial issues. The only problem here is that in some cases, they have been prosecuted because of their drawings.

International political street art

Next, we will address the global political street art situation. Not only we will analyze countries within the G7 group, but we will also extend to other international political leaders.

Artists from Europe and America usually use politicians in order to moke about their projects towards the society. That is to say, a deep analysis of any given country developed through modern art in the streets.

Thanks to anonymous graffiti writers we could also observe political graffiti around the world. However, today we only showcase urban art related representations.

5-. Donald Trump, US political street art representative

D. Trump street art
Stencil artwork created with Donald Trump’s face and the Nazi symbol

No doubt that there exists citizens around the world who hate US president Donald Trump. It is clear that they don’t like his politics and that’s the reason why artists use his image as a reaction to Mr. Trump’s manners.

He is one of the most common figures when talking about political street art. Not only you will observe painted artworks referring to him in the United States, but also in other in countries. His hair and facial expressions are often used as inspiration for global artists.

Donald Trump uses twitter in a daily way in order to criticize those who are against him, including but not limiting to press. No wonder why there exists hundreds of artworks photographed and shared on social media channels. For example, facebook or instagram.

6-. Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s dictator

Jong-Un street art
Kim Jong-un playing with dangerous toys

A dictatorship is probably the worst way of leading a country. People are oppressed and the information available always highlights the figure of its dictator. North Korea is just an example of a modern militarized power.

Are you familiar with Kim Jong-Un? It is the same kind of opressor than those who we refer within this article about political street art. That’s why artists across the world are using this militar to represent injustice and fear to what could happen in the future.

In the picture used to illustrate him, our readers could observe how this child version of Kim Jong-Un is playing with toys creating a modified version of the word ‘Domination’. The artists represents it with Dom- Un- Nation, alongside it army men, trucks, a globe and a spaceship.

7-. Vladimir Putin. Russian political street art

Trump Putin Jong-Un street art
The pshychos, as painted by street art artist

Loretto in a London based artist who uses political street art to represent important figures in the global governmental scene. He usually refers to Prime Ministers, although he/she has also painted the British Monarky.

The artists painted Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation in black & white stencils. We currently cannot offer you insider information about the artist because there doesn’t exist any public profiles related to Loretto.

Cooltourspain opinion about political street art

Cooltourspain team members believe that it’s necessary that artists use their skills in order to represent what a big majority of the people thinks. Above all, they help rising up the voice against injustice and negative consequences for the global population.

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