It’s a fact that the XXI century’s urban art industry is mostly male dominated. However, contemporary art festivals and modern art fairs in Spain are empowering female street art artists. They are giving them the opportunity to exhibit their artworks with the rest of the world!
Not only governing bodies, but also private organizations should take them into account. That’s what we would call equity within the art scene. They should include them in their rosters while curating street art festivals.
Cooltourspain would also like contributing to a 50/50 ratio. Thus our post-graffiti experts wrote an article that only features women figures. These are some of the most important Spanish artists:
- Lula Goce, Galicia
- Marta Lapeña, Soria
- Nuria Mora, Madrid
- Elara Elvira, Vigo
- Aïda Gomez, Madrid
- Doa Oa, Lugo
- Marina Fernández, Cáceres
- Julieta XLF, Valencia
- Musa71, Barcelona
- Chincheta, Madrid
- Nuria Toll, Barcelona
- Amaia Arrazola, Vitoria
- Isabel Flores, Badajoz
- Nikita Rodriguez, Madrid
- Lily Brik, Lleida
- Irantzu Lekue, Vitoria- Gasteiz
- Mireia Ruiz, Barcelona
- Cinta Vidal, Barcelona
- BToy, Barcelona
- Ruca, Madrid
Who are some of the most important female muralists and street art artists in Spain?
Firstly, let’s start with street art artists who usually develop large walls. Whether in Spain or overseas, their talent has helped to spread color over worldwide cities and make people’s lives more pleasant.
How many of you have ever heard of the following artists?
1-. Lula Goce
Lula was born in Galicia, where she grew up influenced by the salty coastal air. By the age of 20, she moved to Salamanca in order to study Fine Arts. Later, she graduated in Graphic design & illustration, as well as finished a PhD in Barcelona.
It was in this period of time when she discovered the thrill of transplanting her work from a gallery setting onto walls. That allowed her to bring a fresh perspective to the graffiti scene, leaving iconic pieces in the streets and abandoned buildings.
According to her words, “there is an established dialogue between pedestrians and the wall. It is street art the one which alters community spaces and neighborhoods for the better.”
In which Spanish festivals has Lula exhibited/painted in these recent years? For instance,
- Urvanity Art, Madrid
- Polinizados festival, Valencia
- El Tercer Paisatje, Terrasa (Barcelona)
2-. Marta Lapeña
Marta is a plastic artist and muralist from Ólvega (Soria), although she currently lives and works in Madrid. She graduated as an interior designer, but her interest and passion for painting moved her from one industry to another.
Lapeña’s art is naturally influenced by her daily life experiences and the people and behaviors she meets. For instance, it was in 2017 when she participated in a festival called ‘Amazonia’ which talked about social issues, such as homelessness or the destruction of the Pacha Mama.
As you may be aware, the social component is a recurring theme in Marta Lapeña‘s artworks. She addresses topics such as
- Depopulation in rural areas,
- Gender-based violence.
3-. Nuria Mora
Nuria started painting in the streets in 1999. She was born in Madrid and every time she paints a wall, the momentum given is an attempt to create a dialogue with the public itself, a very diverse community.
Her minimalist & abstract paintings are created as a place for free thinking, as she defines her own artworks. Mrs. Mora uses an artistic language which is infinite and universal.
Whether a canvas produced for a gallery, a commissioned artwork for a private company, or a project in the streets, Nuria Mora re-creates her world within the context given.
Where could street art lovers observe her outdoor mural artworks?
- Granollers Cultura, Granollers (Barcelona)
- Urban skills Festival, Alcoy (Alicante)
- Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca
4-. Elara Elvira
Elara Elvira is a muralist from Vigo who searches for the aesthetic shapes and symbolic relations of the artwork and its context.
As a muralist she loves including the history of the area and their inhabitants, as well as the shapes and colors predominating in the landscape.
She often combines her personal work with other cooperative projects and it is not only common to observe her artworks as a muralist, but also as in the form of different materials & techniques. For instance,
- Silk screening,
- Sculpture & installation,
- Stop motion animation & graphic design
Female street art artists in the urban & rural contexts
Secondly, let’s talk about those women who create alternative concepts on either the country side or the most populated cities.
These street art artists have a particular point of view of interpreting contemporary and modern art. Their unique way of developing artistic projects is what really gets the attention of cultural curators.
5-. Aïda Gomez
Aïda Gomez defines herself as a street worker. What she doesn’t like about modern societies is that we do not longer open our eyes and recognize all the things that surround us.
She was born in Madrid and it is not only in this city, but everywhere else where she redefines urban surroundings. Gomez achieves that by playing around with common viewing habits and establishing her very own rules.
What kind of games does she include in her artworks?
- Poster boards & Tetris with missing pieces in a subway’s panelings,
- Word search games on billboards,
- Crossword puzzles with non-violent materials to reveal hidden treasures.
6-. Doa Oa
Doa Oa is one of those street art artists who doesn’t share that much of information about herself on the internet. Even though we couldn’t find her full biography, we love her always greenish decorations!
Her idea is to reforest abandoned spaces by painting autochthonous wild and medicinal plants found in the landscapes where she’s invited to illustrate her artworks.
For those of you interested in learning more about her, you should know that she was born in Lugo. Her name is directly related to reforestation, usually carried out in rural environments or natural areas.
7-. Marina Fernandez
Similarly to what happens with many other street art artists, Marina doesn’t come from the graffiti industry. She’s actually an architect from Valverde de La Vera, Cáceres and founder of Submarina Studio.
Consequently, which artistic currents does she work with?
- Urban planning,
- Socially responsible art,
- New genres in the public spaces.
‘Tejiendo la calle’ (weaving in the streets) is one of the most relevant collaborative projects she created. As you may have observed in the picture, she is interested in creating not only a net-work with either wool or recycled materials, but also in developing a connected society.
Street art artists who started in the graffiti scene
So far, we discovered the figure of some female street art artists. However, it’s necessary to differentiate between graffiti and urban art, as they aren’t the same category.
Firstly, graffiti is way older than street art. In addition, we could also observe different feelings related to each industry. The former is usually seeking the heartbeat, whereas the latter is usually more interested in the aesthetics (you should take into account that they normally count with the local authorities’ permission)
For example, we could emphasize the work of the following graffiti writers:
8-. Julieta XLF
Julia Silla (1982, Valencia) is a pioneer female graffiti writer who loves walking among narrow streets, observing walls and analyzing what do they tell her. She tags as Julieta XLF and always includes the image of a little girl when developing street art decorations.
Her professional career has taken her to paint all over the world for both graffiti and street art festivals. Julieta’s little girls are featured in several daily life situations, but always dreaming about transformation & renovation.
She’s member of the XLF crew in Valencia, and finds inspiration in nature. Mrs. Silla also likes including personal experiences in her artworks.
Maria is a graff writer from Barcelona who has been paiting since 1989. She loves travelling and making friends. Likewise, Musa71 is member of different worldwide crews:
- TFP & TDS, New York based group,
- FHJ from Nottingham, Den Bosch and Barcelona,
- Black Magic, a crew of Spanish graffiti veterans,
- Fours, writers and artists from all around the world.
According to her words, many things have changed recently in graffiti, although it still surprises her to hear “your artwork is good for being a lady”.
Barbara Butragueño, aka Chincheta is more than just a graffiti writer. She is a relevant figure & influencer in the graffiti art industry, a feminist who fights for equity, and also a lawyer.
She works in an office empowering women and the LGTB movement by daytime, and paints with other graffiti writers by night. Her illustrations are just like her poems, she finds the necessity to express her ideas in the streets.
Female illustrators in the contemporary art industry
After the first 10 street art artists introduced, we would also like to show you the artworks of other female illustrators. They are not only active members within the urban art industry, but they do also participate in galleries’ exhibitions.
11-. Nuria Toll
This graphic designer from Barcelona decided to try a 360º change in her professional career in 2014 when she became interested in spray paint. Consequently, she used this material to elaborate her artworks on walls.
Illustration and typography was the perfect combination for Nuria Toll. She uses geometry and colors, at well as natural elements like leaves or animals to create urban art.
What are the festivals where Nuria has participated in the past?
- Pinta Malasaña, Madrid
- Graffitea Cheste, Valencia
- Primavera Sound, Barcelona
12-. Amaia Arrazola
Amaia Arrazola‘s favourite colors are pink, blue and violet. Tired of working in an office as an illustrator in Madrid, she decided moving to Barcelona where she currently lives & works as a freelance.
She loves silk screening, ceramics and weaving. One of her last published books is “Things that you’ll never forget from your Erasmus experience”
25,000 people follow her on Facebook. Are you one of them?
13-. Isabel Flores
Do these patterns look similar to tile figures? Yes, they do! The reason for Isabel Flores (Hornachos, Badajoz) to include them in her artworks is a simple comparison with cultural evolution. She believes that ornaments are common aspects in every single culture around the world.
As many other contemporary street art artists, she is also interested in textiles and digital works. Despite that fact, her artworks have a clear influence from the tiles she observes in our daily life.
Isabel has painted abstract figures in different urban art festivals. For instance,
- Muro Critico, Cáceres
- Franqueados, Madrid
- CALLE Lavapies, Madrid
Other female street art artists to take into account in Spain
It should be clear by now that this article’s purpose is to give voice to women within the street art movement. As you may have seen, they create amazing artworks in both indoors and outdoors contexts.
Let’s pay attention to other street artists names that you should follow in Instagram
14-. Nikita Rodriguez
Cristina Llanos (1981, Madrid) graduated in Fine Arts at Complutense University and specializes in transforming photographs into drawn images.
What are the different concepts that Nikita Rodriguez works with?
- “Making something visible”,
- Cultural worship,
- Turning fiction into reality,
- The disappearance of public vs. private
Nikita Rodriguez is Cristina’s alter ego. It is with this alias that she combines identity development with social connections and the use of internet.
15-. Lily Brik
Mireia Serra Bernadó does not define herself as a designer, street art artist or graffiti writer. On the other hand, she considers herself as very creative individual who enjoys all kinds of graphic expression.
Differently to other artists, Lily Brik started painting at a very young age, but never quit! Drawing has been her favorite form of self-expression and a way to communicate what she couldn’t express with words.
Lily’s aim is not only an aesthetic one. She always tries to share her emotions and personal feelings. Above all, that’s what art is. Ain’t it?
16-. Irantzu Lekue
Ira is a contemporary Basque artist who tries to raise the viewers’ social awareness. She puts emphasis on social injustices and the importance of educating people based on multiple intelligence.
We may observe three main principles in Irantzu Lekue‘s artworks:
- Community art for social transformation,
- Human spaces’ revolution through art,
- Art, creation and social criticism.
Her installations are characterized by the reiteration of daily objects. That is to say, she aims to redefine those materials, inviting the general audience to interact and critically reflect about them.
17-. Mireia Ruiz
Mireia y sus cosas is a feminist artist who believes in the power of color. She is represented by CreatiBEty, teaches at IDEP Barcelona and belongs to an art crew called Cocolia.
What are her creative references?
- Iris Apfel (designer),
- Etel Adnan (poet),
- Yayoi Kusama (Japanese artist)
Apart from street art painting and illustration, there are two other obsessions in Mireia’s life: fashion and gardening. We have seen her murals at 12+1 festival and CALLE Lavapies.
18-. Cinta Vidal
Illustration, studio paintings and outdoor murals define this self-taught artist. Cinta Vidal started painting by the age of 16 as a hobby and by now she receives requests from international art galleries to exhibit her artworks.
She creates incredible drawings with brushes on the floor, but she rarely uses spray paint. Another important aspect to mention about Cinta is that she founded Estaquirots crew along with Uriginal, another street art artist from Barcelona.
Btoy is another internationally renowded artist from Barcelona. She’s one of the most famous Spanish artists within the stencil technique. Btoy usually creates small paper based layers and spray paints faces of random & famous people around the city.
Andrea Michaelson believes in feminism as a way to fight for social justice and equity in every single aspect of life. Therefore, she usually includes relevant women who became pioneers in the past centuries.
She works with Gallery + Art management, and her artworks have been exhibited at different contemporary art fairs and street art events.
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the female street art artists
The majority of the artists featured in this article do have a website, although not all of them offer an online shop to buy their products. We’d recommend them to work on this part as if you are interested in creating a career in the industry, you should have one.
To sum up, we believe that female street art artists should create an organization in order to fight for their rights, similarly to what RENFE does when exhibiting wagon doors as to represent an issue in the current society.
20-. Our addition in Madrid, Ruca
Ruca is a graffiti writer and tattoo artist based in Madrid. Her unconditional love for Japanese anime is clear on the Asian-like characters & lettering she creates. Do you support her ‘bitch power’?