The Spanish capital is well known because of its architecture and history, but would you be able to mention some of the graffiti writers who best represent street art in Madrid?
Table of contents: ()
- Who are the most famous Street Artists in Madrid?
- Local and Emerging Street art in Madrid
- Female Street Artists in Madrid
- What are the best spots to find street art in Madrid?
- Are there any street art galleries worth visiting?
- Graffiti and street art festivals in Madrid
We curated a small guide to help you identify who these people are.
- Ze Carrion
- El Rey de la Ruina
Who are the most famous Street Artists in Madrid?
It’s here where we should start talking and writing about graffiti’s history. Ever heard of “La Movida Madrileña” (The Madrid Scene)? This countercultural movement appeared right after Franco’s dictatorship, in the 1980s. People started using new clothing, listening to punk rock music and graffiti was also observed.
Muelle, a pioneer in style
Juan Carlos Argüello was influenced by New York’s graffiti and he soon started to contribute to the street art in Madrid. You can identify his work by the arrow he drew at the bottom of his signature, denoting a style entitled “los flecheros” (the ones with the arrows), as well as a coil (muelle). Old-school writers consider him as a pioneer and although he passed away at a very young age, you can still find some of his artwork in the city. You can see his artwork in Calle Montera, 32.
Suso33, art is not a crime
Our readers should also acknowledge one of the biggest names not only for the Street art in Madrid but also for the rest of the country/world. Suso33 is an urban artist/muralist born in 1973 who is currently exhibiting at the Bronx Museum, New York City. His exhibition entitled “Art Vs Transit 1977-1987” is a present to all artists who painted in NYC back then, as photographed by Henry Chalfant, photographer, filmmaker, and top ambassador of graffiti culture across the world. His splashed watered figures were famous in Castilla La Mancha and we can nowadays observe his faded phantom figures all around the world.
Okudart, the most famous Spanish Street artist at the moment
If we would have to mention a Spanish artist who is continuously traveling around the world to paint walls and canvas for public and private collections, that would be Okudart. He wasn’t born in Madrid (he comes from Santander), but both his home and studio are located in the Spanish capital city. Ink and Movement is the artistic agency that takes him on a weekly basis from one side of the world to the other.
His colorful geometric patterns and human and animal figures are easy to recognize. Have you seen the “mixed chimp” he painted in Calle Embajadores with his fellow artist Bordalo II? It is probably one of the most Instagrammed pictures of street art in Madrid.
Local and Emerging Street art in Madrid
Any local artist who is anonymously contributing to the best Street art in Madrid should be encouraged and supported by a project like ours. Let us introduce the following artists to you. Please check their Instagram channels.
Sabek, black and colored animals
This young artist is quickly moving from the Street graffiti towards the canvas style in private art galleries.?He has already been exhibited by Adda Gallery in Ibiza and Urvanity Art in Madrid, among other events.? A wide range of animals and zodiac symbols are either painted or sculpted by a member of the Super Rancios crew in Madrid.
Ze Carrion, not politically correct Street art in Madrid
Whether you like it or not urban art may act as a social agent of change in all forms, whether created legally or illegally.
Ze Carrion, an artist who collaborates with a Street art workshop in Madrid called El Keller (La Tabacalera, Calle Embajadores), believes that art has different interpretations.
These are some examples of the incredible artworks he has painted in the streets:
- Franco’s beheaded figure
- A weaver sewing the Catalonian and Spanish flag
- A bullfighter being hit by a bull
- The transgender figures from the Last Supper.
El Rey de la Ruina, hearts all around the city
What would you do if you were diagnosed with an enlarged heart?
Ruina’s answer to this unfortunate life disorder was exemplary; he started painted big hearts with a social message inside them.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in a graffiti workshop in Madrid with him, as this urban artist collaborates with a local project which promotes street art in town. People now have the chance to learn the different techniques used in Street art: sketching, cutting, stenciling, spray painting…
Female Street Artists in Madrid
Last but not least, we should focus on those female artists who fight for their rights and work towards equity within the urban art industry.
There are a great number of girls who belong to the graffiti community in Madrid. We would recommend you to check the book “Ellas” written and edited by Jeosm.
Chincheta, a stylish “paper pin”
Barbara is one of those Instagrammers / graffiti writers who continuously feed us with a clear social impact.? She is a local activist integrated with the LGTBQ community and the migrant social class.
We have seen her work at:
- Muros Tabacalera festival
- Urvanity art fair
- Pinta Malasaña
“Ellas” a book which represents them
JEOSM published the past summer a book which talks and offer a discussion over the female graffiti community in Madrid. ‘Ellas’ (they, girls) is the title of a hard work curated by José J. Clemente. Many writers gave their opinion about tagging, including Chicha, Yubia, or Evil76.
“What really matters is your name everywhere”.
What are the best spots to find street art in Madrid?
You will find the best urban and street art in Madrid at three XIX century buildings, located within the city center, a walkable distance between them all.
La Neomudejar, Avant-garde Art Center
La Neomudejar, a former railway factory from the MZA company, currently hosts a contemporary art center next to Atocha RENFE Station, the most famous Spanish railway station.?? The place its self is a bit odd; open warehouses featuring triangle-shaped roofs.
La Neomudejar has two levels exhibit a mix of visual arts, street art, and 3D installations. The first floor has monthly exhibitions. The second floor has a workshop and gallery. La Neomudejar is located in Calle Antonio Nebrija.
Tabacalera, the spot for street art in Madrid
“What would you do if you only have a day to visit Madrid? I’d go to this local community center called La Tabacalera, to spend the afternoon visiting their artistic and music workshops: street art, DIY, yoga, dub station…” Access to La Tabacalera through the metal gate in front of Cervantes High School in Calle Embajadores, 53 after 6.00 PM
Some of people’s favorite places are:
- El Keller, street art workshop in Madrid
- Recicletos, a bike restoration workshop
You will be able to observe more female artists’ paintings.
Matadero de Madrid
Matadero de Madrid is an old slaughterhouse currently hosts one of Madrid’s most important contemporary art centers. It has 183K square meters to promote urban planning, contemporary performances, quirky exhibitions, and street food events. It is managed by Madrid city council and there is a nice foot and bike path that will take you along Manzanares River.
La Ingobernable and La Traba
The emerging art scene usually meets around social/community centers. ??La Ingobernale and La Traba are two squats (occupied spaces) located in Calle del Gobernador, 39 and Paseo Delicias, 47.
The workshop’s walls are decorated by local graffiti artists/writers. It’s in those public locations where you will be able to participate in political debates, feminist activities, local meetups, and street art jam sessions.
Are there any street art galleries worth visiting?
There are two contemporary art galleries in town which focus on urban art and post-graffiti art. The curators schedule monthly exhibitions that don’t only focus on international and well-known artists, but they also feature the emerging art scene.??
Delimbo gallery (Calle del Doctor Fourquet, 30)
The first of these galleries is located in Calle Doctor Fourquet, a narrow street with architecture from the XIX century. Seleka Muñoz and Yosoymiami bring graffiti writers from all over Europe to exhibit their artworks at this chic location. ??If you are around, you should also visit:
- HOLA Coffee, best espressos and cappuccino around Lavapies district
- Esta es una Plaza, Madrid’s most beautiful community urban garden
Swinton and Grant (Calle Miguel Servet, 21)
This graffiti related art gallery is located right in front of the Muros Tabacalera festival. Goyo and Sergio are the owners, who will kindly help you with your purchases.
S & G is divided into two sections:
- Upper floor, selling a wide variety of adult and children literature, local artists’ designs, prints and clothing
- Bottom floor, contemporary art gallery, and events’ space
La Causa and Los Artistas del Barrio
Two art galleries focus on more affordable products.?? La causa specializes in prints from emerging national and international artists. It serves as a meeting point for young contemporary art in Madrid. It focuses on urban art, illustration, and drawing.
Los Artistas del Barrio (the artists from the neighborhood) is an art shop/gallery which just focuses on the local art scene. You will find artwork for sale for between 10€ and 25€, which is a great deal for an original and limited edition print.
Graffiti and street art festivals in Madrid
Spain’s capital city hosts several events focused on the modern art industry. These festivals are spread all around the city. They are celebrated in working-class neighborhoods. The festivals offer the opportunity to observe artists creating their art, to learn about street art and in some cases to participate in the creation process.
The most famous festival, PINTA Malasaña, is celebrated in the University district. Thousands of visitors participate in this annual street art festival. Business owners allow artists to decorate metal shutters, windows, and facades around Calle La Palma, Plaza dos de mayo, Calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo, and other locations. The festival is family-friendly as artists sign a contract guaranteeing their art will not feature violence, sex, or drugs-related topics.
PINTA Malasaña is usually celebrated on a Sunday between April and June. Pinta Malasaña will celebrate its 5th edition in 2020.
Artists do not receive a wage for their work, but obtain for free the materials to paint with:
- Regular paint
- Water-based spray cans
- Masking tape
- Brushes and ladders
The avenues and streets of one of Madrid’s most multicultural neighborhoods host an event that works towards the promotion of emerging local and national artists. As with Pinta Malasaña, Calle Lavapies is sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.
This is a list of Madrid born artists who have participated in previous festivals:
- Mark Zimmerman
- ‘Boa Mistura’ crew
- RBN Kunst
- Antoñito aka MAX501
MOS, Meeting of Styles
One of the biggest old-school graffiti meetups in Europe, MOS, is also celebrated yearly in Madrid. The best graffiti writers and crews from all over the country (and far beyond) gather for two days to chat, to paint, to enjoy life, to make new friends, and to drum up business.
The outdoors Chamartin railway station’s parking lot is first covered with black paint and then covered with art by the same graffiti writers who create massive graffiti walls in Madrid.
2019’s edition featured the following artists and groups:
The exterior walls of a former tobacco factory from the XIX century host an event celebrated every other year.
24 artists are invited each year to create their artwork on Calle Miguel Servet, next to the Embajadores metro station.
There is a specific theme for the artists to work with, but every person will interpret that theme with his/her own personal style.
The artists use a variety of different materials including tiles, spray paint, regular paint, clothing, wood, metal, and paper