Following on from the last Barcelona street art tour post, I took to the streets of the amazing (but polar opposite) Gracia and el Raval. While having slightly more of an idea of my route this time compared to the maze of el Born, this map is still only indicative, at least within Raval!
Gracia (Carrer de La Legalitat to Mercat de L’Abaceria)
Having journeyed down from Park Guell, and ensured the morning’s sophisticated culture stop was taken care of, I made my way for what probably turned out to be my favourite part of Barcelona, thanks in part to the laid back indie vibe and artistic atmosphere.
Barcelona’s El Pez has his fish spread across the city, including an amazing piece off Avinguda de Parallel (more on that in part 3…) but this old shutter from ’08 caught my eye, having deteriorated at the same pace as the building it’s part of. It fits the scene perfectly.
Buoyed by this first find of the day, I criss-crossed the neighbourhood, ducking down side streets and gathering quizzical and concerned looks from local workers as I crouched to take pictures at odd angles of obscure bits of wall.
This doorway I passed had another poster from Ozzy, who was rapidly becoming a new favourite of mine with his bright and vivid poster designs. Not sure who or what Utah Ether is, but he/she/they definitely pissed someone off in these parts as nearly all the stickers bearing the name had been scratched, torn or painted over.
Francisco de Pajaro whose work ‘Art is Trash’ I covered in my recent trip to London, had a small piece near a café by Plaça Revolució de Setembre 1868 that had all but disappeared. I took the opportunity to slap a sticker above it too.
For newer examples of his work, check out my recent blog from the anti-art master.
Further down towards central Barcelona I came across these pieces from C215, who would appear to have as much work in the city as native El Pez! These pieces are of different ages it would seem, but all great examples of his stencil artwork. As you can probably tell, I’m an unashamed fanboy.
The last stop of the day in Gracia was at Mercat L’Abaceria. Over an Almogaver Clasica I was told by a waiter at a local café that the shutters of this lively market dropped around 2pm effectively revealing an awesome open air street art exhibit while the locals head home for some early afternoon shut-eye. Pieces from Inkgravity, Nada and Konair stood out here. Incidentally Konair’s half eaten ice-lollies were spotted far and wide – bit of a local legend it would seem!
El Raval (Rambla de Raval, Carrer de la Vistalegre to Riereta)
From the sedate and chilled Gracia to the rawer, electric and exhilarating El Raval. I dropped into this exciting neighbourhood at the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum before diving in head first at the buzzing and frenetic Rambla el Raval.
This mosaic piece at nearby Carrer de Vistalegre by Olae Olae, and another sign intervention from Frenchman Clet Abraham caught my eye before visiting the community led pieces along Carrer de l’Aurora.
Although maybe not the most particularly outstanding pieces of artwork from a technical point of view, I found these to be some of the most interesting and revealing in terms of gauging the dynamic of el Raval.
As an area that houses several squats, it felt like there might be quite a lot of resentment towards the police or authorities. The pupil of this eye, one of a number of heavily politicised artworks, represents the residents of the area keeping watch. Really very interesting stuff.
On my way to check out the enormous Joan Miro tribute (“Ciutat Bella”) at the foot of Carrer de la Riereta (an amazing, colourful homage, definitely worth seeking out!), I took a few detours and found this work from Tony Depew and politically charged stencil from Icy and Sot, the Brooklyn-based Iranian street art duo.
Originally, I’d said I would post all snaps from Barcelona over two posts, but there’s still a number of great work left from the Avinguda de Parallel and surrounding area, so these will follow in the, now final, part 3. As always, love to hear your thoughts on these, so keep them coming via Facebook and on the comments section below.