Barcelona is renowned for it’s art and had long been celebrated in artistic circles for its gaudi architecture, it Joan-Miro sculptures and let’s not forget the world-renowned Picasso museum. However, in recent times Barcelona has also developed itself into a world-leading centre for graffiti and street art.
Here are a few graffiti artists we think you should be on the lookout for when visiting this amazing city:
Btoy is a Barcelona-born graffiti artist whose detailed stencil work has earned her international acclaim. However her adult life began differently she began by studying law for four years, before pursuing her passion for photography. Her keen eye for photography has transcended into her street artistry. Btoy’s stunningly detailed stencils – often depicting female singers, activists and actresses – gain texture and depth from the decrepit surfaces on which she deliberately chooses to work. Having started her career with humble artistic experimentation on the streets of Raval in 2002, Btoy has now exhibited her work in installations and galleries in Morocco, Bosnia, Greece and Mexico. She is also a keen philanthropist, who offers her skills to children in the form of international educational projects and charitable work.
El Pez, is a world-renowned graffiti artist from the Barcelona suburb of Sant Adriá, where he practiced his trade on the streets since 1999. Now a global figure, his trademark is smiling fish (pez meaning fish in Spanish). These pez can found adorning urban spaces as far afield as Miami and London. These instantly recognizable grinning characters were created by Pez as a means of transmitting positive vibes to all those who see his work, and the artist often scribes ‘Happy Style’ beside his pieces as a nod to the unique moniker that he gave to his approach. Through his ‘Happy Style’ Pez is (unlike other more serious graffiti artists) simply trying to portray his own love of painting and creativity, rather than any pervasive political or societal critique. And it is the fun-loving, carefree aspect of his work that has led him to earning global acclaim and, in 2010, a feature in the Oscar-nominated Banksy film, Exit Through The Gift Shop.
Arzy is a new artist however is quickly rising in prominence among street artists not only in Barcelona, but across the world. His massive murals decorate buildings from Granollers to San Francisco and from Puerto Rico to Ukraine. He has a distinctive style – dramatic, intricately designed human and animalistic forms setting him apart from other artists. Using a combination of spray painting and brushwork, Aryz combines the realistic with more abstract, cartoon-like details to create emotionally charged works that are arresting to even the least interested of passers-by.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Don-Spanish‘s favourite graffiti and street artists – come back next week for more.