Futurism had an mini renaissance during the Spanish Civil War. The traditionally fascist art movement was briefly revived in an unexpected and ironic manner: to protect the people from the fallout of General Francisco Franco’s air raids.
One of the sites where Franco’s army would learn to build railroads, bridges and trenches now hosts an army of Madrid’s underground artists. Welcome to Zapadores (trenchers), Madrid’s City of Art.
Is Madrid your muse too? Here are seven unique artists and photographers that feel the same way…
I’ve spotted a growing movement on Instagram, and I seem to be part of it. Welcome to the Spanish community of retro typography hunters, who are acting fast to preserve Spain’s unlikely works of street art.
What’s popular on the Spanish radio is a world away from what’s cooking beneath the surface. Funk, flamenco, Latin jazz and trap have all leapt into the limelight, but there’s a part of Madrid’s music scene that stubbornly resists going mainstream, even if it might be growing.
Meet Miss Beige, a feminist, anarchist madrileña after all our hearts. She’s a common girl living in her own beige world, and she’ll spit pipas at anyone who tells her to smile.
Hell’s bitter winds have suddenly reversed and the darkest visions of the Spanish Civil War have drifted back onto the streets of Madrid. And for this, we can thank Chicago-born artist Sebastian Maharg, who has made it possible for us to remember what many of us never even saw.
In a dark cellar, just around the corner from the Lavapiés dungeon, a young Madrileño is enchanting people with his magic three times a week. His spellbinding illusions may not have been thrust onto the underground stage at all had it not been for hard times, but this sombre era in Spanish history is inspiring a new movement and Carlos Devanti is a driving force behind it.
Although street art is deeply connected with gentrification, it often gives a voice to the precisely the victims of it. The spray-painted murals adorning the walls of Madrid speak truths – truths that the passionate graffiti hunter Gerardo taught me how to read. In the secret messages left behind by graffiti writers, I saw not only themes of suffering and discrimination but also a growing backlash against them.
Recent exhibition La Tienda de la Esquina (The Corner Shop) celebrates Madrid’s beautiful antique facades. But, given these old shops are an increasingly endangered species in the Madrid streetscape, you may find yourself cynically wondering if these sculptures are actually miniature death masks.