As it happens in every European capital, you can also find a bunch of different artists and styles through the street art Madrid.
Cooltourspain always recommends you to “get lost” while exploring the cities, but not in the exact figurative sense of the word.
If you are planning a visit to the Spanish capital, don’t worry, we got your back! Here’s a quick guide to Madrid Street Art trends.
What special features can we find in the Street art Madrid?
Madrid is a very mixed city.
People from different parts of the world live here, but overall Madrid is a place where fellow Spaniards from smaller towns around the country move to pursue a career.
Our city is a place full of opportunities, including within the art industry.
One way or another, we have noticed that the street art community is politically involved. This has always been a characteristics of Spanish art, literature, music, etc…
It’s no surprise that we could find a certain level of commitment towards the street performances.
– Talking about the revolution: narrative of the urban art movement.
- Spanish political situation.
- Women’s empowerment and their presence in the streets.
- Exploration of the pre-columbine heritage, the indigenous pride and defense of South America’s natural resources.
- The “Ley Mordaza” limitations. Does it really exist the freedom of Speech?
– The support to the local & national art scene
The artist community in town is very innovative and creative. You may find:
- Little men sculptures created by Isaac’s Cordal.
- Secret plastic vinyls pasted in traffic signs by yipi yipi yeah.
- Street poetry created by Neorrabioso.
Which are the techniques used in the urban art in Madrid?
– Stencils, plastic or paper layers
It consists of an acetate or any hard plastic surface which is cut creating a specific shape (any given image, slogan, logo…)
You can then spray over it, or use wet paint, to obtain the final result in the streets.
Madrid is full of them. Por Favor is one of those members who collaborate with El Keller, a street art workshop in town.
– Rolling-on the paste ups
Collage & posters use the same technique that billboards do! In order to develop it, you need a piece of paper and a homemade mix of glue and water.
It’s one of the simplest because of the amount of time that you save.
– Sticker community in town
The egg-shell lovers are quite active in Madrid. Where do they use this organic ingredient?
- public transports,
- traffic signs
They collaborate with other sticker artists from different parts of the world, so you will be able to see the artworks of your fellow local artists!
– The classic spray paint
Even though we still have a lot of “taggers” in the city, we have observed an evolution of avatar-like images that are related to artists.
The city’s most active artists have flirted with the different techniques explained within this article, but most likely you will find their ‘throw-ups’.
– Sculptures & 3D street art Madrid
Sculptures are part of the city’s urban landscape.
They are regularly found attached to buildings, and made from different materials and with different meanings and messages of protests.
- Cassandra’s women made of silicon, demanding the collective’s rights.
- Dosjotas hardware components.
- Bordalo‘s recycled car parts.
– Tile art (similar to Space Invader)
Street art Madrid prodigy and basketball enthusiast Nean has been experimenting with this technique for a while now.
You can find his tiles in different neighborhoods around the city center:
– Mural art, the most famous ones in town!
Whether commissioned or done without permission, one thing we can’t complain about not having in Madrid is murals.
We have a wide collection of paint-based murals made with spray paint or regular home paint recycled from the trash containers.
These are the list of street art festivals in Madrid that we would recommend you to check:
- MOS, Meeting of Styles
- Pinta Malasaña
- Calle Lavapiés
Who are the big names of the street art Madrid scene?
We feel a lot of admiration for local artists every time we check out new stuff in the streets. It is not only because of the brilliant compositions they make, but also for how they risk their time & money.
You have to think that some of them paint without permission.
1-. Gviiie, illustrating on the streets with a unique style.
Madrid’s native Gviiie is one the most praised names. Not only we can see his artworks within the street art community in town, but also in the galleries panorama.
Malasaña-based La Causa gallery (Calle Jesús del Valle, 27) is one of them.
This emergent location hosted a solo show by Guillermo, whose art has really became a must see in the street art Madrid.
His murals talk about the problems that young generations and the society’s underprivileged groups go through just to survive in the modern age world.
Gviiie’s style is very unique. He combines masterful skills in spray paint with the human anatomy. We’d say that they are very powerful compositions.
2-. Maz and his ‘green’ world
Mazilax or Maz is one of those artists who give value to the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
We know very little about Maz, just that he’s from Galicia, North Spain and that his works seem to worry and speak against many different causes.
His images show a very rich creative world, where we can find dreamy figures looking like a mix between animals and humans.
What does a plastic bag do wandering in the desert?
Animal rights, homelessness and other social topics are part of Maz’s imagination. An endless world of colorful apocalyptic meaning!
3-. Ze Carrion, from Carabanchel with love.
Have you ever heard of the term “Guerrilla Art”?
It is a powerful tool of protest & activism that Ze has used in different places of the Spanish capital.
Carrion’s artworks approach a whole bunch of different topics that need to be talked about (especially by young Spanish people):
- Freedom of speech,
- The sacredness of Catholic religion and its weight on Spanish civil Institutions,
- Transgender people’s rights,
- Police brutality.
There are very little political claims that Ze hasn’t represented with his fine arts sketches and a unique mixed style.
4-. Should YKSUHC Juan be in a modern art museum Madrid?
YKSUHC or Chusky, as you read the name backwards, is one of the Madrid graffiti veterans, whose evolution has proven to be natural consequences of different acts.
He started as a graffiti writer (one of those who tags everywhere around the city) and moved towards the modern art Madrid.
Chusky opened his style to new techniques and creative formats.
You can find ‘Yksuhc’ pieces around the city center:
- Critical artistic messages to Madrileños lifes’ reality (‘madrileño’ refers to a person born and raised in Madrid).
- Representations of the transformation of old school Spanish bars into “brunch” cafés (term defined as Gentrification).
- The Mediterranean Sea’s harsh, where thousands of people died looking for a better life.
Are there any international artist you should check out in the Street art Madrid?
Lucky visitors not only have the amazing opportunity to explore local artists’ works, but also the chance to observe a good collection of international artists who painted in the city.
- Ben Eine (England, UK)
- Roa (Belgium)
- Pro172 (France)
5-. All in for Ben Eine’s bubble letters.
London based artist visited us last 2017 in the frame of the yearly celebrated Urvanity street art Madrid festival.
Mr. Eine has a large number of pieces in London city. He paints lettering on different supports such as metal shutters or walls.
It was in Madrid where he spelt the “wild wild west meets pop art” in the beloved neighborhood of Lavapies.
You can find these big letters at Casino de la Reina park, next to Embajadores roundabout.
6-. 3ttman, wild style human figures
You may know him as Louis Lambert or trois tete man. Spanish based and French author of one of the most impressive murals in the city.
If you want to check it out, you will have to head out the city centre, and get off in Plaza Eliptica square.
The city council commissioned this gigantic mural with the French artist.
It is inevitable to feel the vertigo that pushed him during the process. It led him to create falling figures, even naming it La chute (“the Fall” in English language).
7-. Blu, representing the Italian activism.
If there’s an artist who hides information about his biography, it’s definitely Blu.
He’s an Italian based painter whose art turned him into a key figure in the XXI century street art movement.
He has kept his identity hidden for over 20 years, and sometimes has even destroyed his own art so this won’t be a victim of capitalism.
We have two murals in town since 2010.
One of them can be found in our favourite location, a neighbors-run garden called Esta es una Plaza. This piece talks about the hard reality of the real estate bubble, which was one of the factors that caused the 2009 economic crisis in Spain.
The other amazing mural can be found on the Manzanares river bank, next to a shopping mall Plaza Río 2 (which was built years after Blu’s performance).
8-. Roa’s black & white animals.
Belgian artist Roa became famous because of his brilliant black and white nature representatives.
He’s spread these supposedly native little creatures in different parts of the world.
You can find Roa’s famous piglets at Esta es una Plaza urban garden, one of the most beautiful hidden parks in the city center, but also in the inside of La Tabacalera, a former tobacco factory from the XIX century.
These are the address to find those two spots:
- Calle Doctor Fourquet
- Calle Embajadores
What neighborhoods do feature the best street art Madrid?
There are different areas worth checking, but these are the three ones where we would start our street art exploration in town.
– Malasaña, hipster district.
This area was the cradle of a counter-cultural movement in town known as La Movida Madrileña.
To explore this area head to the following metro stations,
- San Bernardo
- Plaza España
You’ll find both illegal and illegal pieces on your way, and many trendy vintage shops and cafés worth checking.
– Lavapiés, probably Madrid’s most multicultural neighborhood.
Our daily walking tour Madrid will take you around these streets, but there is something you need to know before joining us.
There is always something new that catches our eye & attention.
This politically involved neighborhood features:
- Local/national/international artists,
- Street art festivals in Madrid
- Urban gardens & community projects
– Tetuán, an off the beaten part of the city.
Heading a bit north, but still within the M30 highway limits, there is an unknown but also very colourful neighborhood.
We understand that getting outside the city map’s limits might be intimidating so to help you out a little, we would recommend you to check the official’s Madrid city council street art project.
Enjoy the urban scenery of this great city!
Our opinion about the street art Madrid
If you would have to choose only one street art Madrid related place to check out during your placement because of lack of time, we would recommend you to go to La Tabacalera.
To get there, you can get off at Lavapies or Embajadores metro stations.
Then head towards Calle Embajadores, 53 and look for a metal gate full of stickers.
Welcome to the paradise of street art lovers. Trust us!
PS. Thanks to Oscar Guerra, aka Sr. Irregular for the pictures.