Amsterdam Street Art (ASA) recently held their 1st Exhibition in Barcelona. The show was held in a newly opened bar/event space named “Delabuela” in the city’s Sant Antoni Barrio. The bar is an excellent space for art events with it’s high ceilings, mezzanine second floor and ample wall space for hanging frames and canvases.
ASA’s first show in the city, organised by their founder, Dutch artist Ives one showcased some of Barcelona’s brightest street art talents who’s work on canvas, print and skateboard somehow surpasses their pieces on the streets.
Artists involved included Nogreywalls favourites Tim Marsh, Mexican artist Berol377 and Axe Colours. That being said, I think the majority of us all agreed that out favourite piece of the night was the work of Croatian artist Kresimir Buden otherwise known as 2Fast. 2Fast’s unique 3D empty spray can sculptures really caught the eye and now all I know is that I really want a bunch of them lined up on my living room wall!
The show still has a few more days to run so if anyone reading this is in Barcelona then I would definitely recommend checking the show out. Fingers crossed ASA decide to do some more shows in Barcelona in the future as this one was a great evening showcasing some great artists.
Sorry for the photo quality by the way… the lighting wasn’t the best that night 🙂
For any regular readers here you will know by now that one of my favourite artists not just in Barcelona but in general is the French artist that goes by the name of Manumanutwice
I don’t know a great deal about Manu the person, which, I’m pretty ok with. I’m more than happy just to look and admire his pieces that fill the streets of the Poblenou barrio in Barcelona. Manu has a very different technique and style to other artists in Barcelona and is an expert in creating textures, scenes and shadows that make his murals come to life.
Here are a few shots from his newest piece, completed with just a roller and a few spray cans in a ludicrously short time over two mornings last week.
It’s Monday so that can only mean one thing on this here blog, it’s weekly round up time!! I am actually able to say this as for once I’m actually going to publish it on time.
As per usual this post is the eight most liked pictures from my Nogreywalls Instagram page and the header photo is always my favourite of the week. In this week’s case I’m not sure if I can even really class it as graffiti since the piece was created for an art show in the downstairs area of a bar but as I’ve said repeatedly, my blog, my rules! Oh and the piece is by Dourone by the way.
If any of the work really takes your eye then be sure to check out the artists work further, I always tag their IG page under the pictures.
For anyone looking to visit Barcelona in the future I’ve decided to do a little guide to finding street art and graffiti throughout the city. I’m going to focus first on the suburb of Poblenou.
Poblenou is a mix between residential and industrial with a huge amount of abandoned factories slowly being converted to plush new apartments for people looking to live on the edge of town but still close to the beach. Although there are a lot of abandoned buildings there is still a slew of activity going on in specific areas, especially in what is known as the Poblenou Urban district. This area close to the city’s famous Encants market is full of co-working spaces, vibrant cafes, art galleries and independent traders.
Poblenou is a popular spot for anyone looking to paint or find graffiti due to the amount of legal walls in the area. The Urban feel to the area definitely suits this type of art and with the local authorities being so quick to remove graffiti from non-legal walls in the city it’s definitely an area that artists can paint in peace without having to look over their shoulder for any unwelcome attention.
The zone itself is fairly large so it’s probably best to rent a bike if you are going to visit all the walls as it can be a bit of a trek to go from wall to wall on foot. I know this all to well as I do it 3-4 times a week to try and keep up with the very fluid scene in the area. Definitely helps keep off all the chocolate pastries I eat!
I’m going to explain the route as I do it as it’s a fairly easy loop without having to change direction too often!
First up is a three sided wall on Carrer Pallars on the junction of Carrer de La Ciutat Granada. This wall is slap bang in the middle of the aforementioned Urban District just a few minutes walk from Llacuna metro and surrounded by cafe’s and restaurants. This wall is one I rarely visited up until a few months ago as it changed so infrequently but in recent months it’s been visited by a huge amount of great artists and is changing on an almost daily basis. Hard going for these feet! As with the majority of these walls it’s run by the Wallspot organisation and artists are able to book spots on the wall to paint through their website or mobile app.
From there it’s a 15-20 minute walk in a straight line down Carrer Pallars through the heart of Poblenou and across the vibrant Rambla de Poblenou all the way to four sided wall at the other end of Pallars. This wall, in my opinion, is probably the most popular wall in the city and on almost every visit there is either a new piece or an artist spraying away or most likely, both. The walls are on the corner of the aforementioned Carrer Pallars, Carrer Agricultura, Carrer Josep Pla and Carrer Venecuela. The quality of art on these walls is generally very high due to it’s popularity with both local and visiting international artists. Oh and if you need to stop for refreshments whilst in the area I can highly recommend an Argentinian empanada spot called La Frontera a few streets away from the wall which has, in my humble opinion, the best Patatas Bravas in the city!
From there it’s 5 minute walk along Carrer Venecuela to Carrer Selva de Mar. On the corner there is an area of scrubland with a wall or two left over from the demolition of an old factory. This is not one of the city’s legal walls but there is plenty of art to see although it’s not a wall that is popular so if a piece is ‘tagged’ then it’s likely to stay that way for a fair amount of time. It’s not a wall I check on very often but there are definitely a few pieces worth checking out.
Next up is another easy walk, 5 minutes or so up Carrer Selva de Mar to another Wallspot run legal wall. Just as you approach the wall make sure to look left as there is a huge Btoy piece that covers the whole front of a building that’s 100% not to be missed! The building behind the Wallspot wall has just been demolished in the past few weeks so the wall looks a little out of place all on it’s own, open to the elements. This is another wall that seems to go through peaks and troughs. Some weeks the wall seems to change every other day and then for some reason no one will paint there for months… Well no one except an artist residing in Poblenou by the name Manumanutwice. The French artist is prolific in the area and you can find his huge murals on almost every available wall. Very often I will arrive at a wall to find that Manu has completely taken over and painted 5-6 huge pieces covering the whole area. I’m certainly not complaining of course as he’s easily one of my favourite artists here and his work never ceases to amaze me. This wall continues round the bend to Carrer Peru which up until recently had two pieces that had been there for over a year, from Shaun Burner and Ewfrank. In an ever changing and competitive environment it’s a testament to both artists that their pieces survived so long.
Now for the last part, another 10 minute amble or so down Carrer Peru brings you to the corner of Carrer Espronceda. At the bottom of the street heading back towards Avinguda Diagonal there is one more wall which is owned by the Hangar 52 organisation. This wall is covered by the works of the effervescent Manumanutwice and is updated by the artist regularly. One wall might be a slight understatement as you will find Manu’s work’s hidden behind gates and within buildings directly across the road from Hangar 52, definitely worth keeping your eyes peeled for. Within Hangar’s premises there are also multiple walls that are often covered in art and have been adorned by some great artists including my recent interviewee Audifax. Definitely worth checking out.
There are definitely other areas in Poblenou which are worth checking out if you have the time and they are open, one of which is La Escocesa (The Scottish, which I like for obvious reasons) which is a self managed art space teeming with artworks on it’s many crumbling walls. The space is very close to Carrer Selva de Mar on Carrer Pere IV and if open is definitely worth some of your time. There is also City stop which is a vast area of concrete near La Pau metro which is used for caravans and trucks to park up somewhere safe for the night. Thankfully the owners have allowed multiple artists to brighten up the grey look with some huge murals and again I highly recommended to check it out. It’s maybe one for the bike or metro as it’s a pretty long walk out there despite being at the poblenou side of the city.
So that’s it for this short guide to one of the most vibrant areas for art in the city. If you would like any more information on any of these areas please contact me at any time and i’ll be happy to assist in any way! Happy hunting art fans.
Once again I’ve been fortunate enough to interview another artist who’s work I really admire. This time it’s Wisconsin native Audifax who’s taken time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions. Expect talk of fairies, a love of Barcelona and strange crushes…
Hi Audifax, how are you? Tell us a little about yourself, you are American but have spent a bit of time living in Barcelona correct?
I’m fabulous! Yes! After recently visiting Barcelona, I immediately fell in love with the city and knew I had to return. The U.S. is where I was born and raised, but the energy of Barcelona made me feel as though I was finally home. It’s the one city I have been to, so far, that truly embraces modern and classic art. And, the weather is great for painting!
What was it that brought you to Barcelona from the states?
There was a spark that ignited inside of me whenever someone would mention their travel to Barcelona, so I knew I had to check it out for myself. Growing up, I held a great appreciation for Gaudi, Dali, and warm weather. Whenever I would see a photograph and say “oooooo,” whether it be style, architecture or landscape, chances were after viewing the footnote, it was from Spain.
How did it all start for you? Were you one of those kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?
My interest in art and design began to show at a very young age. When I wasn’t deconstructing a toy to see how it worked, I looked to the classics; blocks, legos and of course crayons and paper for entertainment. I have always loved to build! With a strong imagination (firm belief in “magic”) and appreciation for the intricate designs of nature, I spent much of my time exploring and creating. Not much has changed since then.
What was the first ‘spark’ for you to pick up a spray can and hit the streets? Were you ever into graffiti and tagging your name or did you jump straight to murals?
Coming from a city not far from Chicago, I have always respected tagging, but hadn’t been exposed to anything else growing up. After a recent trip to Wynwood, Miami, my eyes were opened to the vast world surrounding this medium. It wasn’t until my 6.5ft (198cm) canvas began to feel too small, that the fuse was lit. When I picked up that first can, the fire quickly engulfed me and I was hooked.
Is there a big graffiti scene in Wisconsin?
Like most places in the U.S. graffiti is finally coming around to being accepted as art. The mural scene is in it’s infant stages for many cities in Wisconsin, but often as I’m traveling throughout the state, I’ll see a new one pop up; which is a wonderful shift to have prominent public art becoming the norm here, rather than a rarity.
Where does your artistic inspiration come from? The pieces I saw here were usually a female character with flowing hair and wings, what drew you to this style?
That just made it sound as though I paint fairies, haha. Though I’ve had a streak of the flowing hair, I have yet to paint a female with wings that is not Egyptian on canvas. And, I do paint dudes as well and plan to even out the gender usage in future designs. Most of my past work has been focused on male figures, so it was somewhat of a shock to be painting female images recently. Like many artists, my ideas come from a place beyond me. Sometimes I will have an idea, sketch it, and the universe will align information of where it came from after it’s created- seriously. The initial idea is there, but once I get lost in that creative flow, something else takes over and the piece will become whatever it’s meant to. At times I have to let go of expectations, because this final result will stray so far from what I thought my style was, that accepting it was made for someone elses growth and possible healing is more important than what I think is “cool.”
Good to see gender equality in your work haha! Do you have a plan in mind when you start a piece? Or do you like to look at the wall and the surroundings and take inspiration from there?
Both. At times I’m heading to a location I’ve never been to. Having no clue what’s in store, I’ll bring along a few ideas and feel out what the best design is for that specific place. If it’s a wall I’m familiar with, I let my intuition guide me with the initial idea, then the creative flow takes over. No matter what, it’s all about working with the wall and what the energy of that specific space is calling to become.
With this in mind what do you find to be the most difficult part of the creative process? I’ve read other artists speak about the fear of the blank page/canvas, do you ever get this?
Knowing I can do better is the toughest part of the creative process. My concentration can be there, but the can or cap isn’t cooperating, or my hand won’t produce lines as precise as I’d like. At other times, I keep tweaking the details to the point of having to revert back to the original design I made just steps before- this I must say is the most frustrating. However, as soon as I complete a piece I look at it and get inspired to get back out there and try again with what I just learned. It’s all about experience, so the actual process is necessary for growth, and though vexing at times, not to be feared.
Do you have a favourite city or place to paint? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you’d like to paint?
Barcelona is buzzing with creative energy, so it’s my favourite city to paint so far. A dream of mine is to hit Paris, and in the future, Brazil. No walls in particular, yet. I would just enjoy being immersed in each cities vibe and see what transpires.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists? You worked a lot with BuBu over summer didn’t you? Do you feel that working with other artists brings something else out of you?
Yes! Bubu and I had some fun painting together this summer. Her pieces are bold and bright with a positive message, which I appreciate. I love collaborating with fellow artists whose intent is to shift humanity through their passion. This doesn’t necessarily mean their work has to be lighthearted, since often a shift comes through a deep, intricate and soulful painting, when the viewer responds to that intent. One can also learn from combining styles, given everyone is so unique. Even two similar artists will hold a different process, so the end result is something you would never have dreamt of on your own. This can be challenging at times, because it isn’t just your vision, but this is where the beauty lies; creating something unexpected and totally original to share with the world. Plus, if the person is cool, it’s a great experience overall, and to me represents the best things in life; good company, creating, and hopefully warm weather!
Something I really enjoy is hearing which artists inspired other artists. Which artists inspired you growing up and who’s work do you really like just now? And is there any artist you would love to work with?
As I mentioned earlier, Gaudi and Dali, Frank Lloyd Wright- the classics of course were always favourites. There was also H.R. Giger (I have a soft spot for 80’s sci-fi), Francis Bacon, Santiago Calatrava (Spanish- go figure!) can be added to that list in recent years. Now, I follow so many incredible artists through social media, it’s difficult to keep up with the amazing talent we have access to. I’m inspired by other artists whom I’ve never heard of on a daily basis- it’s fantastic! As for graffiti artists I would like to work with (as I mentioned so much talent), but specifically Barcelona artists, would be SAV45- I have no idea what he’s like, but I have great respect for his style.
Got to agree with you on SAV45, one of my favourite artists for sure! Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!
I designed and made clothes a few years back, and have always appreciated fashion. I would like a sailboat, or to find a friend with a sailboat, so I can just be out on the sea once in a while. Also, I had a crush on Darth Vader and Storm Troopers as a kid. Something about those masks I guess 😉
If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?
A hawk, after lunch.
Back to the art! Are you only painting murals or are you also doing canvas work, commissions etc?
Aside from the murals, I paint with acrylic on canvas, and have been trying out dying fabric and painting on that as well- but am open to any medium really. Some day, I would love to incorporate 3D printing with traditional methods for creating life-size public sculptures. For me, it’s all about the idea and finding a way to create it. Right now my focus is mainly on canvas and murals, with commission pieces for both business and personal/ interior and exterior walls. (And I make some bracelets on the side.)
Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?
I have large acrylic paintings displayed at Momentum Art in Madison and will be spray painting their exterior wall in November. You can find my photography and jewelry pieces in Olson House, Milwaukee- both in Wisconsin. Since I plan on going to Barcelona to paint soon, I don’t have anything in the works as far as a show; keeping my schedule flexible the next few months.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
Meditate. 10 minutes a day will change your life and give you the courage to discover and live your passions.
Many thanks for your time Audifax and all the best with your future artistic endeavors!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story!
If you want to check out any more of Audifax’s work you can find her on Instagram and on her Website also.