Who are the 2020 throw up graffiti kings and queens in Madrid, Spain?

Madrid throw up graffiti

According to Borja Carabante, Madrid’s urban environment & mobility head officer, the local city council spends 2.645.000€ a year cleaning throw up graffiti in buildings and roads. Moreover, it approximately costs 10.780€ a day to hire a team of 28 cleaners and 24 vans, but the amount varies according to the city’s demands.

Similarly to what happens in other Spanish & European capital cities, there exists a countless number of writers who paint on walls around Madrid. Consequently, these city council workers need to erase the black, silver or gold colors that others painted illegally. Despite we have observed real master pieces created in just a matter of 15 to 20 minutes, fines increased for those who were caught.

  • From 500€ to 1000€ if you painted metal shutters or any commercial store.
  • If you damaged any public urban element, fines increased from 300€ to 600€.
  • Those throw up graffiti created on historical landmarks or buildings will receive an economic fine too. Whether you receive 2,000€ or 3,000€ will depend on if the illegal action was bigger than a palm or not.

Before we continue offering you information about the most talented & active members in the graffiti community in town, it should be important to decriminalize the movement. We are not criminals or vandals, artists are educated people with clear interests in modern art.

Where does the ‘throw up graffiti’ movement come from?

graffiti removal madrid
City council workers removing a throw up graffiti in Madrid’s M30 highway

Firstly, we should investigate a little further into the throw up graffiti origins. Who were the godfathers of a movement which has now captivated millions of followers worldwide?

Art historians define New York and Philadelphia (United States) as the epicenter. Teenagers started tagging (painting with spray cans) their names on walls in the late 1960’s, beginning of 1970’s. It’s popularity made that artists became interested in bigger surfaces.

They soon started painting metro wagons, as it offered them the opportunity to reach a bigger audience. These actions are still known as ‘whole cars’, with wagons travelling to different neighborhoods/cities within hours.

Street art vs. graffiti. A never-ending dispute.

two sides of an artistic coin
Graffiti letters and a street art artwork

As the throw up graffiti movement evolved, it soon moved from a street level to a commercial approach. As a consequence of it, private art gallery owners and public city councils hired urban artists to develop commissioned artworks at contemporary art fairs and street art festivals.

However, the rivalry is still existent. While some old school writers still believe in the community ritual & crew leadership, others are working hard to exhibit their canvas and graffiti murals for people’s joy.

The best example of its evolution might be observed in the graffiti workshops and street art tours that we organize in Madrid. The best way to learn about tags and urban art in town.

The importance of staying active

Monch Madrid
Graffiti letters observed in a metal shutter

Above all, hard work pays off! Only those artists who have been present in the movement since they were teenagers, are renowned within the underground community. Some of them, older than 45 years old. Can you believe it?

Furthermore, artists share ethical codes and values such as respect and effort. For instance, you shouldn’t paint over a throw up graffiti which spot was previously used by somebody else. Staying active will grant you with the opportunity of observing your name all over the city. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Being caught is not an option. You’ve got to move fast, plan your actions, never go alone and find the spots which nobody have used yet. That’s how your name will create a visual impact in the general audience. Don’t you think so?

Who are the most active throw up graffiti artists in Madrid city center?

Firstly, it would be interesting to point out the importance of painting a throw up graffiti inside the M30 bounds (the circular road around the city center). The more crowded the area, the more visible your name will be! Haven’t you recently observed any new names after the Coronavirus?

Even though the article 20 from 3/2007 law regulates the amount of money to be paid by the prosecuted ones, colorful decorations decorate metal shutters in down town districts. Whether artists paint at day or night time, their message will be present until a city cleaner removes it from the walls.

We followed several graffiti writers in their journey to fame through the years. For example, we wanted to introduce you to some of the most active members within the graffiti Madrid community.

Top 5 female graffiti writers

Despite the fact that most throw up graffiti writers would reject to answer a public interview, their contribution is still available on the streets for anybody interested in the movement. Whether you use a mobile phone or a digital camera, we would suggest you to follow any of these active members:

1-. Chincheta

2-. Ruca

3-. Asia RNW (Run aways crew)

4-. Hipie

5-. Shyna

6-. Chica

chica graffiti madrid

What about the guys who paint throw up graffiti?

In the same vein, male graffiti writers stay active too! They don’t care whether to paint at day or night time. Throw up artists do always carry a spray can, or two, in their bags. Moreover, you should know that they will always photograph their actions for a personal collection.

1-. Kiler aka Lucifer TDP (Todos Presxs)

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Todos presos loko 1

A post shared by @ lucifero.666 on

2-. Kans 115 HDA (Hartos de Arte)

3-. Spen

Spen graffiti next to the train tracks

4-. Last but not least throw up graffiti artist, Hielo

Cooltourspain’s opinion about the throw up graffiti.

We love to see our cities decorated. For example, we would appreciate if Madrid city council planned a project in which every neighborhood counted with a protected wall for throw up graffiti writers.

What’s more, we collaborate with artists who speak English and French. Our graffiti workshops are led by local professional artists who use art as educational tool.

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