My name is Bruno and I’m 25 years old.
My passion is street art and ephemeral art. The expression of feelings.
Graffiti is considered a transgression and disobedience mechanism. Graffiti means filling the city with things that no one wants, with the color you want.
And street art, my dedication, is a tool of personal enrichment more than a tool of social enrichment. Feed the ego through painting the city with what you want.
At that time, between 2000 and 2006, Barcelona was Europan and worldwide famous. It was enviable.
Artists from all over the world came here. They [the artists] painted in the oldest neighborhoods such as el Gòtic and el Raval or in inhospitable places. They would leave them [the painting] there.
Walking around downtown and the oldest part of Barcelona was like going to a museum without entrance fee. A museum that renewed itself. A museum that caught your eye.
People from all over Europe came here because of that until 2006. That year, the City Council realized that this tourism influenced teenagers. They would go out and do graffitis because they lived in a city
full of color and full of creative freedom. A lot of teenagers feel attracted to graffiti, to vandalism.
Most of people that like street art, did graffiti first. They have been vandals, they have experienced and they have decided to evolve.
For the vandal, the metal blinds are very eye-catching. The same with trains, is something that is easy to see.
The city is full of shops with anti-theft blinds. They are a good surface to get dirty.
Montana Colors, NBQ, Fleim, Molotov and so on, are brand dealers of aerosols and sprays. They are used to to street art, graffiti or artistic cration.
From 2006, Barcelona’s City Council develops a bylaws to stop the increasing number of young creators and artists from all over the world that come here to paint.
Everything starts due to the high number of lawsuits and complaints from store and home owners that have been affected by graffiti’s vandalism. Barcelona’s City Council treated graffiti and street art the same way…
…because both of them consist on painting on the street. They couldn’t tolerate color, and so they assigned a set of colors to each neighborhood. Every neighborhood has a range of colors assigned.
The City Council’s workers that whitewash graffiti have a range of colors assigned to each neighborhood. This campaign started in 2006. They erased everything.
All the graffiti and street art, whether it was vandalism, a work of art or an art expression, was erased. It wasn’t tolerated. It isn’t tolerated. You could paint a metal blind of a store with the owner’s permission but
the police came and treated you like a vandal. They would seize your cans, fine you and the owner… The situation was very uncomfortable.
You were trying to do things right but you were treated the same way that if you were doing something illegal. It wasn’t like this.
The situation has changed these last years. There are organitzations such as Wall Spot, Murs Lliures, Difusor, Contorno Urbano, Graphics that devote themselves to promote street art,
free walls, and get permissions to hold events. People is finally moving to conscience society that graffiti is one thing and street art, another.
We all paint on the street and all of them are art. Society would like some more than others but they have to be respected equally. They are artistic expressions.
My name is Bruno, also known as Mugraff. I’m 26 years old.
My passion is to paint, live the color and be happy.
Socially speaking, graffiti is seen as a vandalic and rebellious action, just because it is not known. There’s a lack of information and a lot of prejudice.
Graffiti and street art are considered the same but they have nothing to do, even if they share the same place.
The person in charge that decides whether a work is graffiti or street art, are the City Council experts, art schools’ teachers or society.
If you own a store and an artists paints the blind with something beautiful, you won’t sue the person. You get a beautiful thing for free and your view of graffiti and street art will change.
You have stopped seeing people feeding their ego, and getting your blind dirty. Someone has work on your blind and has taken a risk because what he’s doing can be considered illegal,
if a City Council expert or a civil servant considers that that is graffiti and not street art. It’s not evaluated either. The City Council, and the civil servants
try to catalog, generalize and legislate, everything.
The precariousness, the illegality, the feeling of doing something that is forbidden… Those are huge motivations for graffiti and street art.
A lot of people that start doing graffiti, being vandals?, painting trains and store blinds, painting whatever it is, end up evolving and realizing that that tool
used to feet their ego, can be used to feed their experience, technique and personal enrichment. Graffiti stops being somewhat negative.
Something vandalic. There are artists that sell their paintings nowadays such as Bansky. He could be a vandal for some people
that don’t share their message, and this is art. The duality of things that make the complexity of the world.
It wouldn’t exist. If graffiti was illegal, it wouldn’t exist. And probably street art, either. Society wouldn’t feel an urge to develop its tools and feed its disagreement
with the established norms.
I lived a moment of my teen years where i was able to feel. When I was 15 or 16, I saw how my city went from being a place where I’d like to walk around and to lose myself, because everyday I discovered new things,
to a place totally gray. A place that had become ordinary, gray, without personality, without anything that would surprise you.
This growth of gray made a lot of kids my age, feel the same way. Let’s do graffiti. They have erased everything? If those that painted before us have been erased
and don’t want to continue, we should start. We will become vandals, destroy everything, throw balls at everyone. Because it’s our time. And this is how a lot of known and admired artists are born.
There’s not an specific topic that people experience in their art. Art is a way of personal enrichment.
If you get to a point where you are happy with your creation and feel comfortable with what you do, you’ll keep on doing that all your life. Maybe that’s good for you, but since you are not pushing yourself,
you stay on the same place. For me, art is always demanding yourself a bit more, and to try new things. Not to be happy with the stuff you’ve learn. Repeat and repeat what you know how to do.
Experiment something new, try more things, because, the more technique you have, the more personal is your style, and more people recognize you,
even if you don’t paint much.
The few things a person pays attention to is to those that have a personal touch. This makes them you consider an artist.
I mean, to experiment. Experiment from the faculties you’ve been gifted with. My art not being seen? A well given caress, a well intoned song.
Or a good dish, a good dinner. People understand art according to the criteria they’ve learn, and according to what he base their taste on.
I can’t explain all the process because I started in the middle of it. At the beginning it was very hard to buy aerosols and sprays, and a concrete colors.
People made things up to mix paints. At the beginning, graffiti was what caught everyone’s eye. At the beginning, graffiti, vandalism, the necessity of
exploring with new techniques the impossible, was what was trendy. The no accepted. We would paint in public places.
A lot of people started to get by to find aerosol’s dealers. They would paint and paint because it’s addictive, like everything.
If you like graffiti, you get addicted and you can’t live without painting, without earning money to pay the sprays to paint on a train. You know you are exposing yourself. You are working on it.
It’s a kamikaze mentality. Over time, thanks to maturity, you might evolve to a known artist. However, you can stay as a vandal grown-up that has the maturity of a pre-teen.
I recognize artists who serve as an inspiration for me. Artists whom work I value because it matters to me. People value whatever they want to.
People tend to value more realism, and so they appreciate more a wall with the face of some famous artist, musician or actor. Another person, because of his interests, can be more interested in a
mixture of colors, something abstract, a creative experiment from a non-famous person… At the end, artists
create themselves to their influences. You create some influences and you try to move forward towards the same direction.
Known artists in Barcelona, people you would call ‘a legend’… El Pez, El Xupet Negre, Sixo Paredes, ?? A lot of worldwide known artists come from here.
They are not in Barcelona anymore. They are travelling all over the world because they have lived their artistic maturity in a city influenced internationally by
street culture. They have been able to explode their talent and do well, as today.
Almost everyone I’m friends with has influenced me. They also inspire and encourage me.
They provide me with everything I’m not able to provide me with my own talent or mu art. Everyone that I work with, that I
plan new ideas and look for new works, have influenced me and still do. They appreciate their talent the same
way as I do. This makes me grow.
Well. Street art is somewhat ephemeral. You don’t paint in any place to make it last or not. You do it because you want to.
And if the fact that it may or not may last affects you at a personal level, that’s your problem. If you paint something, and then feel bad because someone has painted over yours, is that you don’t get how it works.
There are a lot of people that want to paint, to learn. A lot of people paint good and there are just a few walls we can work on. A lot of people take it as an offense, as a lack of respect.
You can take it as you want to. I believe that there are just a few walls, a lot of people and a lot of desire to paint. Society doesn’t accept graffiti, but street art.
But not graffiti. You can’t accept one thing without the other.
Street art and graffiti, as any artistic expression, consider aggressive paintings, like a circle-A or a quote from some philosopher.
It’s not a matter of the concept you wish to express but the concept you want to work with. No, everything is related to capitalism,
with the need that young kids come out to the streets to express themselves, to rebel. Anarchism, at a crative
level, means: everything is for everyone. The street is my home too, and I paint where I want to. I don’t consider these capitalist ideals that I have grown with.
It’s somehow a part of graffiti but it’s not completely fundamental or vital for someone that wants to express himself artistically on the street.
For me, street art and painting on streets is to experiment. Experiment with what I have, with what I find, with what comes up. Imperfections, having
a paint and leaving the background dark so the previous one can still be seen. It’s not something that bother me. I hadn’t thought about it, it’s spontaneous.
It would be a problem if it was a firm project. Luckily, mine isn’t. I go out and paint and whatever comes out. I don’t have any previous idea. I adapt myself to the wall I find.
To anything, to the surface. I adapt to the moment, and that’s what makes me enjoy what I do. I don’t go with a fixed idea that I want to show
to everyone. I don’t want to show it to anyone. I have fun doing it. I remain calm and I contribute with something that catches everyone’s eye. I don’t know how to explain it. It also tells people something.
I don’t want to make people anything besides the calm and peace that ephemeral art give me. Art that won’t probably be there tomorrow. But I don’t care. I don’t need a picture on Instagram with 10,000 likes
or people commenting on social media my walls. The experience I have had is what moves me.
My creative process, the evolution of my technique, that is what I’m looking for. Not everyone’s recognition. If they recognize me, good, and if they don’t, good too. I’ll keep on doing my thing.
That’s how it is.
I believe it’s a feeling we, creators of the land, share. The history our ancestors and us have lived, somehow influences
our creation. Whether we want it or not. Our experience, and our roots, determine our offsprings. Somehow our roots
determine our offsprings.
Even if we don’t usually have it on mind, the culture of indigenous creators is linked to the experience lived in the land.
It’s a nation, a cultural minority, that has undergone a repression. With time, this generalized experience will have something to do with the result.
If there was so much movement here in Barcelona and Catalunya after the Transition, it was because the political influence. There was a lot of repression.
People needed to feel more when it came to an end. They needed to feel intensely that this period had come to an end.
This is one of the ways: doing everything that is forbidden and punished with death. Everything is related.
My experience? I’m 26 and I explain what I have seen, not lived. When a nation has had a common experience, the evolution is also common.
That’s the reason the current situation of street art and graffiti in Barcelona is so peculiar.
The peculiarity of graffiti and street art in Barcelona is that it has become a street art capital, even if it used to be unusual,
unknown, and something that people didn’t quite understand. The fact that they want to control everything, that even some walls can be legal and some not…
The feeling is still the same. Authorities try to be more friendly and less condescending, more liberal.
The peculiarity of Barcelona is that right now, it’s trying to come to life again from having been a capital of urban art. Little by little, more walls are being legalized.
They are giving more permits to paint bigger walls. The City Council is arranging permits and easing the path so known artists can paint a huge wall,
or a specific spot. It can be good for neighbors. Deprived neighborhoods with poverty. Give a creative boost, a boost to creation. I think this is very positive.
It’s in this field where I believe Barcelona has its peculiarities.