Monday, September 9, 2013

Better than the Picasso Museum? Street Art: Barcelona





Last week I waited in line for two hours to get into the Picasso museum. When I found out I had to at least wait two more, I left.

Before that, I elbowed through crowds of tourists at Park Güell to get a short glimpse of Antonio Gaudí's famous mosaics while getting nudged out of pictures with sunburnt tourists.

Barcelona is a beautiful colorful city with a lot of art history, but to see the architecture you have to fight the crowds, and to get to the museums you have to wait your turn or pay a significant entrance fee.  But it seems that the famous art in the city has also inspired the local artists to create more enjoyable and free pieces for the public to view.

During my stay, I found the the graffiti to be just as beautiful as any exhibit I had to pay to see.



Street art coats the city from construction zones to shop doors, some of it tasteful, other just useless profanity, but it is all illegal.In 2006, the city outlawed all street art stating that "anyone who wants to put graffiti or paint on private property that can be seen from public places must obtain permission from the Government."


Within the city, "it is forbidden to do any kind of graffiti, paint, writing, inscription, or scrawl with any type of material (ink, paint, organic material or similar), or scratching the surface of any urban element interior or exterior. This also applies to urban equipment, military equipment, infrastructure, any element of public service such as public transportation, trees, gardens and any other public place. The artistic murals are permissible only if you have municipal or a proprietary authorization." 



Banksy, the famous, anonymous Bristol graffiti artist, might be on to something saying that “your mind is working at its best when you're being paranoid." 


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