Spain

Since 2005, Festival Asalto –the oldest international festival of urban art in Spain — has been bringing a diverse range of alluring public art to Zaragoza, while actively engaging the community in all aspects of realizing its vision. While visiting Zaragoza last month — with map in hand — we roamed the city in search of public artworks. Pictured above is a close-up from a hugely impressive mural by Spanish artists Aryz and Daniel Munoz aka San. Several more images  — a small representation of what we encountered — follow:

French artist Zepha

Madrid-based Sabek

Madrid-based Okuda

Belgian artist Roa

UK-based Helen Bur

Copenhagen-based Isaac Malakkai with Canary Islands-based artists Felo CNFSN and Tono

France-based Mantra

Photos 1-6 & 8 Lois Stavsky; 7 Sara C Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The faces featured above were fashioned byMadrid-based Okuda. Here are several more recently captured in Madrid:

Barcelona-based Uri Martinez aka Uriginal

NYC-based Puerto Rican artist Sen2

Argentine artist Barbara Siebenlist

Madrid-based Keru de Kolorz

Photo credits: 1, 3-5 Lois Stavsky; 2 Sara C Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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A multidisciplinary artist and stage designer based in Quito, Ecuador, Irving Ramó recently shared his talents with us on his recent visit — sponsored by Somos Fuana — to New York City  To the delight of us street art aficionados, he painted alongside Colombian artists Guache and Praxis on a wall curated by Spread Art NYC.  While he was here, I had the opportunity to speak to him.

What brought you to NYC?

I traveled from Ecuador for an exhibit featuring my recent work — an investigation into my ancestor’s writings.

What spurred your interest into conducting that kind of research?

Curiosity! I’m obsessed with ancient civilizations that have disappeared.

And while you were here in NYC, I was introduced to you through your mural art! When did you first start painting on public spaces?

I started in Quito about five years ago.

And where else have you done public art?

I’ve also painted in Spain and here in the US in Miami and now in NYC.

Do you work with a sketch-in-hand when you paint on a public surface? Or do you just let it flow?

I often use a photo as a reference, and I have a rough sketch with me.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I usually feel happy!

Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with other artists?

I can adapt to any kind of situation. I’m happy to have a chance to collaborate with others.

You are amazingly versatile. Do you have a formal art education?

I studied graphic and industrial design. But I am mostly self-taught.

How has your aesthetic evolved through the years?

It changes every day – depending on what I need to express at the time.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

It’s to give visual expression to ideas. To show people that ideas can be real.

Images:

1 In Bushwick, Brooklyn with Spread Art NYC, 2017

2 Exhibit at Martillo in Barcelona, Spain, 2016

3 Gargar Festival in the of village of Penelles, Spain, 2016

4 With La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

5 Close-up from collaborative wall with La Suerte and Apitatan in Quito, 2017

Photos: 1 Karin du Maire, 2-5 courtesy of the artist; interview Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The Tabacalera — a former tobacco factory — in the Lavapies neighborhood of Madrid is now a cultural Mecca hosting over two dozen exterior murals. Curated by the Madrid Street Art Project, the murals — referred to as Muros Tabacalera — change yearly and focus on environmental issues that impact this district’s residents. The mural pictured above was painted by the Italian artist, Alice Pasquini. What follows are several others I captured on my recent trip to Madrid:

Málaga-based artist Dadi Dreucol

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Argentine artist Animalitoland

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Digo Diego

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Nano 8414

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Madrid-based Okuda

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Dubai-based Spanish artist Ruben Sanchez

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Add fuel and Gripface

add-fuel-and-grip-face-street-art-mural-Madrid-Spain

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Special thanks to Javier Garcia of Cool Tours Spain for introducing me to this project.

Note: Hailed in a range of media from Wide Walls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The walls of the historical district of El Carmen,Valencia brim with stirring street art and graffiti. Pictured above is by Valencia-native Julieta XLF. Here are several more I captured last week while visiting Spain:

Disney Lexya

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Benuz and Laguna

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Thiago Goms, Laguna and Emilio Cerezo

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Deih

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The ubiquitous David de Limon

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 Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from Wide Walls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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"Belin and King Bee"

We’ve been huge fans of the Spanish artist Belin since we came upon his collaborative venture with Kingbee up in the Bronx awhile back. More recently, Belin was back in NYC painting in midtown Manhattan. That’s where we caught up with him.

When and where did you start getting up?

I started bombing the southern part of Linares, a small town in Andalusia, Spain in 1995. I was 15 at the time. I first went by the name Slam.

Who or what inspired you at the time?

I was always drawing. But then I discovered a black and white magazine produced at the time called Explicit Graff. It changed my whole mentality. I just wanted to get up in my city!

Belin

What was your first graffiti crew?

My first crew was LR—Linares Rompe. There were about three or four of us.

Do you have any particularly memorable graffiti memories from back then?

Yes. I remember getting a call from Lechu, a graffiti writer from Ubeda, Spain. Someone had told him I did graffiti. We talked, and he then rode on his motorcycle to Linares to paint with me. That was the first of many trips that he took! There was also Frejo, who tagged “Rasta.” He was from my same hood. He introduced me to rap and basketball. That was around 1997.

Belin

What did your family and friends think about what you were doing?

My family thought nothing of it. And the preppie kids I hung out with in my neighborhood took no interest in what I was doing. My friend was Frejo.

How much time of your time is devoted to art these days?

I work on my art all the time. If I’m not doing it, I’m thinking about it.

Belin

What are your thoughts about the graffiti/street art divide?

Graffiti is freehand spray-painted letters. It is a form of street art, but street art is not graffiti. Street artists, like Banksy, often have a political or social agenda. Graffiti is primarily one’s name.

How do you feel about the movement of graffiti and street art going into galleries?

It works for me. It’s art either way. The artist needs to eat, too. Gallerists make money for the artists, as well as for themselves. They know how to talk and sell art. And it’s a lot about knowing how to talk. Unfortunately there are weak artists who sell because someone knows how to talk them up, while others, who are quite good, can’t even get into galleries.

Belin

What inspires you these days?

The urban environment inspires me. New York inspires me.  There is a lot of energy here. And people are always awake.

How do you feel about collaborations?

It depends. I like to work with other writers on murals. But when I’m in the studio, I like to work alone.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

No. Everything influences me. I watch documentaries.  I listen to music. I read the news. I observe people on the streets. It all comes together in my work. My daily life is my inspiration.

Belin

Do you have a formal arts education?

No. I failed school. I liked painting and hanging with my friends more. And I was quite athletic. I played a lot of basketball and even got my black belt in karate. I think that’s why I enjoy graffiti so much. It’s about physical movement and creation and beauty. It’s like dancing.

Do you work with a sketch in hand?

I never used to. My work was mostly freestyle. But these days, I like to plan my work in advance.

Belin

And you generally satisfied with your work?

Yes!

Have you any thoughts on the role of the Internet in all this?

I feel good about it. It helps my art reach people and it’s a great resource.

How do you feel about the bloggers and photographers of this whole movement?

They are important. They help the artists get places.

Interview conducted by Lenny Collado and edited by Lois Stavsky. Photo credits 1.  Lois Stavsky;  2. & 5.  Dani Reyes Mozeson; all others courtesy of the artist

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