Barcelona is like no other

There is so much street art in Barcelona. It is an active and vibrant scene. I took a tour with Mike of Barcelona Street Style Tours. I saw so much and learned a lot about street art. Mike is passionate about street art and the artists who make it. It comes through in spades. If you ever go to Barcelona, check it out! You won't be disappointed. Not only will you learn about street art but you will see parts of the city few tourists do, plus Mike provides recommendations on where to eat and shop. He rocks!

One of the first type of art he will point out are the street signs where artists have added vinyl images. Above, a falling person into a hole and below a police person loving the 'do not enter' sign. All very tongue in cheek and anti-establishment. 

Simple and so fun!
I think street art has to make you smile sometimes. Below are fun little add-ons to walls. Generally they appear at corners and are up high. You have to look up.

You start to see the same artist' work all over. See the blue tile above and the brownish tile below. 

Many different artists have placed their stamp here. Above, I like the cans that have been added. "I love life."
And here are the cans again "Just for Fun." 
Madonna and Barbies maybe? 
Most street level businesses have metal roll down doors to protect their shop fronts. Rather than have tags just sprayed randomly on the front, business owners get known street artists to paint. Once painted the law of the street generally inhibits other artists from painting over or 'tagging'. The owner gets a nice piece of art, the artist gets a blank canvas and the street is more interesting. 

Street art in Barcelona is described as colourful, bright, uplifting, fun. Most, but not all, is. 

The design was done by two very well know artists. I didn't catch their names. Mike knows many of the artists and can explain their art and history. 
Above, smiley guy - this artist and his particular design are famous. He also creates this character on canvas and sells at a local gallery. I'm told one piece can cost many thousands of Euros. 

The soother / question mark is the mark of another very famous street artist. 

Mike explaining the art. 
This one I am not so sure of. I think it's street art but it could be a company selling a product and making it look like street art. Mike said that some companies try to cash in on the bohemian, fringe element in order to position themselves as cool. Since there is no 'tagging' on this piece it may be 'real'. If it was not real then street artists would be all over it with tags - defacing it.
I noticed the black and white art and asked Mike about it. Looked really different from all the others. He said the guy who did it was from Japan, came to Barcelona for a while and did all this great street art. No one could really talk to him because he didn't speak Spanish, Catalan or English. But all agree he makes great street art. 
Street art is generally illegal and the city authorities (council, police, etc. ) will try to catch and prosecute artists. So, unless a business owner has given you space, what you are seeing could be removed by the city. It would seem however that very little of it is removed. Tags however are painted over.

Drawing, printing and then gluing to a wall or door is an stencil technique in common use. Sometimes stickers are made and applied.

Balu is an artist while someone else is applying Dali. 
This artist is named "Mischief". I frequently saw this sticker. 
The two doe like creatures are done by a famous street artist who's name I forget. There seems to be as many female street artists as there are male. 
A whole wall of different stencils, stickers, painting, etc. The screaming shark I saw a few times.  
A famous Ronald McDonald. Not pro-Nazi. I was told more of a statement, anti-corporation. 
This was painted. Really cool. Unfortunate that others have defaced it with tags.
The nude female figure appears all over Barcelona. I forget this artist's name too. Not too good on the name front. 

Love this one. 

Jelly fish anyone? 

Here's that shark again. Stencil. 
The woman in the art is a German journalist who was killed. At least I think she was a journalist. The artist has reproduced this piece on canvas and I saw it in a gallery for 3,000 Euros. 
Lots of stuff going on here. Fox, bomb, snails, gummy bear. 
But this was a favourite. All Cats Are Beautiful and Monsieur Fromage.
ACAB use to stand for All Cops Are Bastards but the artist got into some trouble with the law and has since renounced her ways. 
So cute! 
Mon. Fromage doing his weights. He was all over. Made me smile. 

Hello bunny. 
Miss Meow in a flower pot. 
The applique top left is great. The whales are on the image but also applied off and to the right. Riding the waves I guess. 
This one was fantastical. 
One of my faves.
Miss Meow and company. 
Thought provoking.
O! Here is Mon. Fromage again. Smile. 
Mike gave a great 2.5 hour tour. I thought this image looked like his sister. 
This was extraordinary. The artist painted three pigeons on these public water taps. Click on the images and look at them up close. So life like. 

Mike said that they would disappear soon. The city would paint over them.
That's the nature of street art. Here today and could be gone tomorrow.
The donkey on the box is the signature image of an artist who works with trash that is thrown out on the streets. His installations are only around for a few hours - until the garbage truck arrives for pick up. 

A couple of years ago Penguin Books UK asked this street artist who specialized in typography to create a cover for Steppenwolf.
He did. Penguin liked it and used it. 
Bright, colourful!  

Major installation 
Thank you Mike! 

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