Artists from all over the world use urban art as a social tool. Consequently, popular street art messages appear written/painted on walls. Do they create a positive impact in our societies? Most importantly, is everybody happy with that?
Some of these words make interesting statements about life. Some others speak up against capitalism. Overall, artists use these graffiti to share a message with the rest of the world.
These are some of the most captivating artists/crews observed over the past decade in Madrid city:
- Boa Mistura
- Farlopa crew
- El Rey de la Ruina
Boa Mistura, Madrid’s most popular street art crew
What it all started as a group of friends painting for fun, turned into tool to transform the streets and to create bonds between people. Such a responsibility with the city and the times we are living in.
‘Boa Mistura’ is a multidisciplinary team with roots in graffiti art born in late 2001 in Alameda de Osuna, Madrid. Its name comes from the portuguese “good mixture”, referring to the diversity of backgrounds and points of view from each member.
Their trendiest urban art performance
‘Versos al paso’ (verses to the sidewalks) is a cultural project curated by Madrid city council and executed by Boa Mistura. It allowed an urban art performance in the whole city, with over 1,400 poems painted in zebra crosses.
In addition, the project counted with over 20,000 citizens artistic submissions from the region and other cities.
Such a poetic act to promote reading among the society, specially the youngest ones in the family. At the same time, it encouraged the population to think critically in an innovative way. Have you seen any of them?
What’s Boa Mistura philosophy like?
They have a social way of thinking, painting messages that could easily make ones day up. Some of their popular street art quotes include the following words:
- Orgullo (pride) in Cali, Colombia
- La vida es movimiento (life is action) in Madrid, Spain
- Somos lo que hacemos para cambiar lo que somos, (“Be the change you wanna see in the world”), in Lavapiés, Madrid.
La Tabacalera, local artists’ favourite spot for urban art
There exists a unique venue in town which is widely known by the artistic community in Madrid. It is a 16,000 square meters building located next to Embajadores square.
At first, La Tabacalera was used as a tobacco factory during the XIX century, but it is now used as a self-sustained cultural center. We could affirm that it has evolved into the mecca for any graffiti lover in town.
Artists from all over the world have contributed to its embellishment, turning its interior and outdoor walls in an unfinished museum for urban art in Madrid.
El Keller, graffiti workshop in Madrid
Above all the different workshops based in La Tabacalera, there is one which focuses only in urban art, and other street art/graffiti related artworks.
El Keller is a group of friends with different artistic approaches. Its term German language means ‘underground’. As a result, they clearly represent the emergent local scene! Host artists organize street art jam sessions, open talks and art markets in Calle Embajadores, 51.
For example, you will have the opportunity to learn and put into practice several street art techniques every Tuesday in their workshop.
NSN997, Neo-Napolitano street art crew
Michelangelo is an Italian artist, now based in Lavapiés (Madrid), whose studio is located at EK. Similarly to what Boa Mistura does, this professional graphic designer & urban artist also includes social messages in his artworks.
As a result, he has received over the past years many awards in the Spanish modern art circuit. His patterns feature the silhouettes of local neighbors! If you are interested in following him on instagram, check NSN997. It is the name of the crew that he founded in Napoli, Italy!
Let’s call it street art guerrilla!
At the beginning, the majority of artists work for the love of art. In other words, they do not start selling their artworks until they acquire certain fame.
The street art community in Madrid is huge, and they all belong in some way or another to the shades:
El Rey de la Ruina’s popular street art hearts & quotes
Ruina is a professional urban art artist who creates colorful patterns. He does it now for events & graffiti workshops in Madrid, but he started in the streets in a not-so-legal way. Therefore he still hides his identity as much as possible.
His translated name would be ‘The ruin’s king’ and his most popular street art identity is a big heart. These human internal organs are always followed by a quote. He certainly desires to create an impact in the society!
Let’s see some examples of his quoted artworks:
- Mujeres cambiando las reglas del juego (women changing the game’s rules)
- Lo llaman amor, cuando quieren decir odio (they call it love, when they want to say hate)
- Back to nature & Rent in peace
Farlopa crew, Robin Hood style
Last but not least graffiti crew that we wanted to pay tribute to is Farlopa. A classic among national writers, and familiar to the majority of Madrid pedestrians and public transport commuters.
Which members, among others, do belong to FRLP crew?
Our opinion about the popular street art in Madrid
Despite the fact that we just mentioned few names, the list continues as the graffiti community in Madrid is alive!
Thanks to popular street art artists and to the ‘not that known yet’ ones, the walls and metal shutters from the city center have changed from boring to art pieces!
Let’s continue spreading the color all around the Spanish capital!