Throughout Granada, there is quite a bit of graffiti. Initially, this really turned me off to the city and made me a little nervous because in the United States generally if there’s a sizable amount of graffiti, you’re probably in a place that you may not want to be. I could see how as a brief, one-time visitor someone may see the city as dirty. However, after about a day I realized that the graffiti in Granada didn’t mean I was in a bad neighborhood or anything. It was more art than vandalism.
There was a wide range of works, ranging from simplistic beginner work to mastery of the art where it was as if the graffiti were on a canvas it could be hung in the Reina Sofia. As I roamed the streets of Granada, the graffiti began to blend into the background as it became commonplace for me to see. However, a few works of the graffiti art really stood out to me and always captured my attention, even when I wasn’t trying to pay attention. They were located primarily in the Realejo neighborhood of Granada.The Realejo was once the Jewish district and is a small, often forgotten about district compared to the Old Quarter and Albaicín. It’s located on the opposite side of the Alhambra from the Albaicín.
As these works of art began to draw me in, I became much more inquisitive about them. I’d find myself stopping and looking at them every day and making sure I took a mental note of where each was located so I could go back and see them again. It helped that many were on my way to school since it was located in the Realejo. After asking around, I discovered that they were all done by the same artist, El Niño de las Pinturas. As someone who appreciates art in all forms, I found it a relief that this street artist was not deemed a criminal or miscreant by his city, but rather that his work was celebrated. After all, he has his own website touting his works of art, including a map of where you can locate all of them.
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to meet the artist himself. I truly wish I had, although you never know what the future holds, because his works were so intriguing to me. I wanted to know his inspiration, his methods, his story.
How do you feel about places with graffiti? Have you ever come across street art that inspired you? Do you do your own art or street art?