What’s the scene for the graffiti in Barcelona like? Check it out now

spray cans in a store of graffiti in Barcelona

Whether you think it’s art or vandalism, there are some facts that you should know about the graffiti in Barcelona. First of all, it’s followed by thousands of teenagers and young adults in the country, as well as enthusiasts from all ages, from 6 to up to 75 years old. Secondly, that it represents a lifestyle and a way of living for many, being considered as a social movement by itself. Similarly to what happens with Hip Hop or any other street culture.

That’s the reason why we’ll investigate today what’s the panorama in town like, who are the most active writers, both downtown and the outskirts, and any other relevant information that will help you analize it with an insiders’ point of view. Follow us on your journey.

Street art vs. graffiti in Barcelona. How would you describe their differences?

To start with, it should be important to remark that street art and graffiti in Barcelona are not the same. They are different in several ways, but the truth is that it also shares some similarities. In any case, the legal context should be a great way to start. As long as it doesn’t count with permission, it will be considered vandalism.

Next, we should take into consideration the purpose of the artist/writer. Is it pure ego? Does he/she do it to observe his/her name everywhere the person goes? Or in the other hand, does the street artist perform with an embellishment idea, trying to get the attention of all citizens, not just a closed circle of people? FYI, this is where all the importance relays.

Lastly, we would like to mention the time spent on the developing process. For instance, the adrenaline you invest on painting over a train wagon, it’s not the same than doing it under a bridge/tunell, or while performing in the middle of any given night. Thus the streets turn into a live canvas, which frequently changes.

Where is the best street art in town?

best street art and graffiti in Barcelona
Brenkee/ Pixabay shared a street art image with us

There is no right direction to where could you find the best urban art and graffiti in Barcelona. It’s everywhere! Just get your sight away from your cellphone in order to discover it. You will be able to photograph stickers, paste-ups and other forms of recycled street art created with plastic, clay, metal or wood. For instance, just check the soda cans that the art collective called @melata use.

However, taking into account that we run street art tours, there will be always a suggestion to make:

  • La Nau Bostik, Carrer Ferran Turné, 1-11,
  • Plaça de Terenci Moix
  • Les 3 Xemeneies, Av. del Paral·lel, 53,

Even if you’re considering painting while you visit Catalunya, don’t miss to check the spots beforehand. There are huge walls where artists from all backgrounds and nationalities paint. Moreover, the mentioned square is right next to MACBA, which is the skaters community most famous meeting point.

Open walls available for the graffiti in Barcelona

Graffiti writers in Barcelona, Spain
Frank (Pixabay) took a picture of two graffiti writers in town

Differently to what happens in Madrid, just to mention another Spanish capital city, there’s something that writers should thank for. That’s to say, the numerous open walls available for the graffiti community in Barcelona. Did you know that thanks to a leading project, you could paint in the streets without being prosecuted by police forces? Even at night time!

Of course, that would only happen at designed spots. Here you will find more information about where you could develop your artistic skills, open air, and visible to anyone who passes by.

  • Mundet tunnel @ Ronda de dalt (velodrom)
  • Rambla Guipúscoa @ Carrer Aragó, 368
  • Passeig Taulat, 116
  • Av. de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat
  • Camí­ de Can Mora, 2

Stores where you can find the best products

explanation about silver nights
Talking about the graffiti scene in town

Later, it might be of your interest getting to know where are the places to purchase products related to graffiti in Barcelona. From chrome burners (600ml spray cans), to acrylic/water-based markers for tagging purposes. Furthermore, as you may see on the image above, you may check the exhibitions that are on display at the given moment.

There are two spots where the biggest majority of artists and graffiti writers get their packs. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no other places, but these are specialized on the field.

  • Montana Shop Gràcia, Carrer de les Guilleries, 28
  • Montana Gallery, C/ del Comerç, 6 
  • Molotow Barcelona, C/ de Lluís el Piadós, 2

Please note that this article has not been sponsored anyhow. Consequently, this is just an informative blog post, not a commercial one.

What are the most commonly painted styles related to the graffiti in Barcelona?

In terms of elements, a high amount of artists repeat the same patterns. That’s to say, arrows, characters and powerlines, directly represented at whatever the surface is. In this sense, the most painted canvas is usually a metal shutter, whether it’s flat, or uneven, the more city center located, the better. Why is that the graffiti in Barcelona is usually related to silver colors?

For your information, writers use this pigment to benefit from night visibility. In other words, what would highlight more when cars’ bean lights point directly or indirectly to them? Any given color such as blue, or the metallic grey? The difference is the the silver color will stand out of the rest of colors, receiving more attention than others.

Here you will find a brief 3 paragraphs description for each of the styles that we frequently see when walking on the streets. Have you seen any of them around…?

  • Ciutat Vella
  • L’Eixample
  • Sants- Montjuïc
  • Les Corts
  • Sarrià- Sant Gervasi. 
  • Gràcia
  • Horta-Guinardó 
  • Nou Barris.

Throw-ups all around the city center: El Born & Gotic districts

Picture by Gwen Fran/Flickr

According to the most active writers, painting a throw-up graffiti in Barcelona should take no longer than 5-8 minutes, but depending on the spot, you might need to use several days to cover it all up with paint, or even the use of an umbrella on a light rainy day if you don’t wanna be seen. Another important characteristic is to never go on your own.

Fines depend on each Autonomous Community, and Catalunya just passed a new law by which citizens who are caught vandalizing on private/public properties may face a penal trial. Apart from that, they will have to cover the expenses of restoring what damaged (civil responsability) and of course, a fine. It may vary from 600€ to 3,000€.

These are some of the most famous names in town for all times, as well as the most emergent ones:

  • Musa71
  • Yubia
  • Bunes / Weirdo
  • Xupet Negre
  • Pez Bcn

Are tags important? The graffiti in Barcelona communities’ veredict

graffiti tag barcelona marker
Just Filip/ Pixabay captured these tags in a basketball court

Yes, they are. More importantly, we could summarize that everything that relates to the graffiti in Barcelona should be sumed up to a tag. Similarly to what happens with grammar and languaje, there exists a minimum part in this cultural/ social performance. If a phoneme could be identified with a tag, then a letter to a throwup, and a syllable/ word with a whole piece.

Tags might be performed with almost any material, even with H2O drops. What could happen to you if a police officer catches you painting a graffiti with water on a public wall? Basically nothing! Other common products are markers, crayons, chalks, and obviously, spray paint.

Every single writer started painting tags on blackbooks at middle or high school age, which were probably followed by more complex painting on walls. Some of these writers even made a professional career in the professional modern art circuit. That fact has been catalogued by some old-school writers as “selling their souls to devil”.

Whole cars & train painting as an attraction to other European writers

painted train. Pure graffiti in Barcelona
Peter Void (Unsplash) fotographed a train painted with Graffiti in Barcelona

For many years, visiting train parking lots have been a common mission for writers who visit Spain during their holidays. They meet local graffiti crews in Barcelona, even using cammuflage tactics to stay unseen, while painting. Just as an example, TMB and Rodalies are their preferred spots. As you may imagine, they perform at night, not using a single flashlight, and avoiding camera surveillance.

This is something that the majority of train commuters hate. Mainly because the system suffers delays, or trains are taken away from the tracks in order to be cleaned. Did you know that RENFE, the public Spanish railway operator, even sold at ARCO a door painted with a throw-up. It made visible the problem that exists within the system.

So the question again should be, is graffiti art or vandalism? What are the possibilities that the society offers to young adults in order to develop an artistic/professional career, instead of prosecuting them?

Cooltourspain’s graffiti workshop in Barcelona

graffiti masterclass in Barcelona

Last but not least, we would like to end up this article by recommending you our services to participate in a graffiti workshop in Barcelona. Would this be the first time that you get a spray can on your hands and develop a mural with your relatives/friends?

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