The Gar Gar Festival in Penelles, Spain, is in its eighth edition this year, showcasing street art, muralism, and a new fleet of artists creating pleasant and clever attractions for city walls.
“The festival hopes to generate resources that allow us to correct the effects of time and the deterioration of our streets, reinspiring hope in our neighbours,” says the website, and who can deny the regenerative effect that street art has been adding to moribund sectors of the urban environment for the last decade or two.
Mounted in early May this year over a period of a 3 day festival, Gar Gar featured nine hundred square meters of murals and a program of art, projection mapping, music, expositions, craft beer, and food trucks, along with workshops related to other artistic disciplines. A cooperative of public and privately funded projects, Gar Gar is steered and administered with the help of the advertising and interactive design firm Binomic Cat, which also brings artists together for commercial walls on other occasions.
We’re pleased to show you some of the murals this year thanks to the talent and industry of photographer Lluis Bulbena Olivas, who shares his images here with BSA readers.
When you have a minute, it’s good to stretch your legs and walk through your neighborhood to see the hot spots for graffiti and street art periodically because the local artists often like to re-fresh the selection. In this neighborhood of Barcelona, you will often find new pieces by the neighborhood heroes along the Riu Congost, a small stream that winds its way from very dramatic natural gorgeousness north of the city. Here we have some new stuff courtesy of photographer Lluis Olive-Bulbena, who was on hand to document some fresh stuff from Aryz, Japon, Stain, Emak and Zone – which runs the gamut from graffiti, street art, to illustration and diagrammatic of the mind.
Located just outside Stockholm, Sweden, SNÖSÄTRA is a unique and renowned area known for its vibrant graffiti scene and urban art. A former dump site, it has been transformed into a haven, a site for graffiti jams, and even the SNÖSÄTRA Wall of Fame. Many meters of concrete walls have become a canvas for various artists, and murals and graffiti cover almost every surface. Various styles and techniques are displayed all year, with some pieces conveying social or political messages while others are purely aesthetic or abstract.
SNÖSÄTRA has gained recognition as a popular venue for graffiti jams due to its large walls and acceptance of street art, including SNÖSÄTRA Street Art Festival, the Meeting of Styles – is an international graffiti event that takes place in different cities worldwide, and the Nordic Street Art Festival, focusing on street art and graffiti from the Nordic region.
Naturally, this special place buried in the woods has also become a popular destination for exploring photographers of street art and graffiti culture, and Spanish photographer Lluis Olivas Bulbena recently explored the Swedish spray yard to capture new shots, which he shares here with BSA readers.
Barcelona-based muralist, fine artist, and experimenter Sixe Paredes is associated with his vibrant extractions with a geometric lightness. His stylized murals may have elements of nature, mythology, and indigenous echoes; delivered in a whimsical, surreal, and engaging way that keeps even his most static work moving. At work for the last two decades, building a name and a personal brand, Paredes has been commissioned to create murals and installations for a variety of public and private spaces around the world, including museums, galleries, and corporate headquarters.
A couple of weeks we wrote about Aryz, the Catalan artist being the first artist invited to paint at BesArt The River Museum. Today we have a new mural by Sixe Paredes as well. A project under the umbrella of the municipality of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, the Mediterranean Association of Street Art, and the Royal Artistic Circle of Barcelona, their goal is to invite a constellation of local, national, and international artists to execute works of art on the river’s walls. An excellent addition, he creates a new colorful abstraction along the river banks for summer.
Similar to how photographers in the 1970s discovered graffiti on trains, photogs learn about new pieces on walls today through a circuitous route. Importantly, upon hearing of the latest additions, they realize that time is of the essence as the art has an expiration date and will soon disappear.
Lluis Olive Bulbena, a Spanish photographer and documentarian of graffiti and street art, recently learned of new pieces by well-known graffiti writers from Barcelona at an abandoned warehouse that’s infamous for a rave party that was organized there at the height of the Pandemic. Although the party attracted an estimated 1,500 partygoers and lasted for a few days, it was eventually shut down by the police.
Bulbena recognized that the opportunity to capture them on film was fleeting and he promptly headed to the site with his camera to photograph these newest pieces by the writers, which he now shares with you. In addition to the pieces from the warehouse, Bulbena documented and shared with us what he found at the Congal River near Barcelona. Enjoy!
Illustrator, painter, and lover of Japanese monster movies Dan Kitchener (aka Dank) brought Tokyo’s glistening night streets to Barcelona last week. His signature reflective romance with evening magic and the electrified dense cityscape during a downpour has led him to paint walls in cities worldwide.
Here we have the side walls of the Arnau Theater – which photographer Luis Olive Bulbena tells us “was inaugurated in 1903 as a music hall, and was in operation until 2004. Currently, under rehabilitation, it is now owned by the Barcelona City Council.
A rolling street exhibition space, these three walls that protect the theater are coordinated by the Arnau Gallery and Street Art Barcelona, who work with a new artist here nearly every month. Special thanks to Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing these images with BSA readers.
Dan Kitchener refers to this stage of the project as working with ghosts. “Managed to get the ghost lines super detailed – loving the feel of this already – great to be painting in Barcelona. Such a beautiful city!” he says mid-project.
In a demonstration of people power and the role of street artists as activists, we look today at a neighborhood called Poblenou in Barcelona, whose residents have been gripped in a struggle with real estate developers. The developers have tried to destroy the buildings, the history, and the culture of the area, the local citizen’s group says, and they intend to dissuade them. According to Poblenou neighbors, the large real estate company has attempted to persuade the local city board to purchase a cluster of buildings, including houses with great historical and emotional value, to replace them with offices and high-end residential buildings.
After about five years, the battle rages, with locals saying that the Poblenou neighborhood stands as a symbol of struggle and resistance for the working-class people who built it and that people are proud of what the area has accomplished over time. It is a familiar refrain, this gentrification brought by investors – often these days aided and abetted by the “beautification” of the neighborhood by artists.
In this case, the artists are lending their skills to help the fight for the neighborhood instead. The number includes artist Tim Marsh who lives here. Today we see the wall he and like-minded creatives created, focusing in many cases on people who live here, in “the Passage” of Poblenou.
We thank photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena for sharing his photos of some of the artists and their murals with BSA Readers.
Post-Graffiti? Surreal-Primitive? Flat-Channel Brute? This stuff is hard to categorize sometimes as the roots are in graffiti and advertising and illustration and communications and all art history- but for sure a lot of this fresh paint looks fresh indeed in Barcelona.
BSA contributor and photographer Lluis Olive-Bulbena hit a graffiti jam with some notable names on the streets, including two of Barcelona’s most notorious; Aryz and Sixe Paredes. ¡Qué guay!
The 6th edition of the Full Colors graffiti and street art festival in Rubi took off at the end of October with 30 artists from all over Spain. 30 minutes from Barcelona, its billed as a community event in the Plaça Josep Tarradellas, neighbors from the area come and watch the artists as they are painting and get a taste for the skill and ingenuity needed to create works on walls.
The three-day event is sponsored by the civic/political Catalunya organization called Rubí Jove, which has a youth center nearby and offers a program of connecting artists with free walls in the city to paint throughout the year. In addition to the graffiti/street art jam, the weekend’s events included DJs and a lot of skateboarders getting gnarly and landing tricks all over the place.
Included in the list of this year’s edition are: Stain, Absurda Sociedad, Caneda, Idok, Ares, Teck, Mugraf, Rubicon, Chea, Atena, Kanet, Maria Die, Zoen, Obhen, Urihktr , Aker, Urih, Cayn Sanchez, Baie, Axia, Kets, Ceser, Saker, Rosa, Megui, Valiente, Jose Luis, Esme, Ruth and Maga. Photographer Lluis Olivas Bulbena stopped by Rubi and shows BSA readers some shots that he caught.
Down by the riverside. This is where the walls are nearly reserved for these artists about 30 kilometers north of Barcelona on the Congost River (Riu Congost).
Photographer Lluis Olive-Bulbena likes to get out on his graff-street art exploratory safaris early in the morning. This river bank is one of his regular spots to check. Lo and behold! He says these pieces are fresh – painted in the last ten days by this group of seven artists.
Three Chimneys (3 Xemeneies) Park in Barcelona sponsored a fall Mural Jam again this year and photographer Lluis Olive Bulbena shares some of the results with BSA readers. BCN once again organized the event along with the 6th Periferia Beat Festival where more than 50 artists came to show their skills and spend a relaxing day with their family and peers. Also onboard were DJs, concerts, dance performances, a roller skate jam, and an art market. This community event continues to grow and some say that this was the biggest roster by far.
Festival d’Art Urbà Poliniza Dos may have an online presence that is difficult to access for the average street art fan. Still, the murals created for this ongoing urban art festival at the Polytechnic University of Valencia speak for themselves.
Brilliant productions and unusual investigations are created in and around the campus, engaging students and the local community to consider the role of art in the public sphere, its pertinence and meaning, and our relationship to it. Its direct and scholarly approach means that the public is invited, and artists are given an opportunity to share their practice with an appreciative and considered audience.
For more than a decade, this competition has selected from an open call for submissions and invited many of Spain’s curious thinkers, experimenters, interventionists, trouble-makers, street artists, and muralists to create new pieces for consideration, discussion, and appreciation. This program is where the work is done on the wall, inside the mind, and in the heart.
Recently photographer Luis Olive captured these murals from the 2021 and 2022 editions of PolinizaDos, and he shares what he found today with BSA readers.
Learn more about Poliniza Dos on their Instagram account.