Graffiti and street art are cyclical in many ways – reflective of society, urban planning, politics, current events, demographics… Currently the city of Barcelona is pushing hard on cleansing itself of the wild graffiti and street art that brought it so many tourists 15 years ago.
With the pendulum of real estate development and gentrification swinging from aesthetic chaos to antiseptic order, street artists are changing tactics as well, opting for smaller pieces that are quickly and surreptitiously installed.
“The Raval / Ciutat Vella neighborhood used to have 4 or 5 ‘orchards,’” says photographer Lluis Olive-Bulbena, using a slang term to describe empty areas between blocks where freelance painters like to adorn abandoned walls. “Nowadays there are only one or two.”
We’re pleased to introduce a number of artists specializing in smaller works; artists with names like BL2A, Karma, and Radical Playground. Each has their own style and each are part of a new wave using a smaller canvas, sometimes ingeniously; the sticker, the stencil, paste-ups, even ceramic – on the streets of Barcelona.