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Art and Streets in Europe: first stop, Valencia!

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

In this first article in the "Street Art and Graffiti in Europe” column, SAMA takes you to Valencia (Spain), one of the European capitals of urban art and boasting many artists of continental fame. In recent years, Valencia has been able to establish itself among the elite of Spain's most interesting urban cities, so we asked Lidia Asensio Sancho, street art investigator from Valencia, to tell us more about the current scene!

Elias Taño, No ser res si no s'és poble. Photo by Jaser Cervantes © Culture Trip

Hi Lidia! Nice to meet you.

Can you introduce us the valencian panorama? What is the current situation of the street art scene and who are its key exponents today?

Urban art is nowadays the most significant artistic movement in Valencia's cultural scene. Despite the toughness of the exceptional situation we are experiencing today due to Covid-19, urban art still continues to shine with its own light in the face of adversity. This is demonstrated by the different events that are currently taking place in the city, such as the exhibition "Rondalla del fang" by Dulk in the Centre del Carme; the collective exhibition "In Erotika" in Sabotage Gallery or the exhibition of female artists "Ellas", in Galería Cuatro, amongst others.

To this regard, it is necessary to make more visible the enormous presence of women artists in urban art scene such as La Nena Wapa Wapa, Julieta XLF, Barbi, Alexandra RP, Beatríz Rodríguez, Debhi Saltin Panki, Julia Lool, Anti Film, Mae Maó, among many others, whose artistic productions are at the forefront of the cultural panorama of Valencian urban art.

How has the cohabitation between Graffiti and Street Art been managed in Valencia? Are they two practices that can coexist together?

The fact is that Valencia has consolidated itself as a reference point for the coexistence of Graffiti and Street Art on a national level. Since the 90s it has developed a strong personality within the national graffiti scene, being a great source of inspiration for many people, and nowadays, in fact, it constitutes one of the great European quarries of Street Art artists, many of whom, such as Felipe Pantone, PichiAvo, Escif, Deih, Julieta XLF, Dulk, Eduardo Bermejo or the recently disappeared Hyuro, among others, originated in Graffiti. Therefore, there is harmony and

Hyuro, Girona (2018). © Hyuro coexistence between the two,

leaving aside rivalry and sharing urban and artistic spaces.

Our institution has an attentive perspective on the socio-cultural issue of urban art and believes that this practice is an active agent for social transformation and urban improvement. Are there cases/neighbourhoods in Valencia where urban art has been consolidated to such an extent that it has become an identity pattern inseparable from its urban context?

In his research, Fernando Figueroa has already demonstrated that artistic interventions in the street contribute to the shaping of the essence or "identity " of a neighbourhood. Indeed, this pattern is also found in Valencia, where districts such as Benimaclet, Cabanyal or El Carmen are a clear example of this, where in addition to the many murals, there are also Street Art galleries, such as Sabotage in Carmen.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the case of Fanzara, a small town located in the province of Castellón, where the streets itself are the open-air museum (Museo Inacabado de Arte Urban - MIAU) and whose motto is precisely the creation of community and identity through urban art.

Museo Inacabado del Arte Urbano, Fanzara (2020). © MIAU

That's it from Valencia!

Next appointment in the Italian peninsula and more precisely in Florence, follow us on our social networks to stay updated on all the news!

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