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By Ashley Boone, University of Washington

For my final art project in my public sculpture, graffiti and interventions class, I chose to create a mural on one of the many legal walls in Barcelona. Barcelona has a long history of strong graffiti and urban art culture, and in the past has experienced severe backlash from authorities concerning the presence of graffiti. In the city, an organization called Wallspot delegates and manages public walls in the city for use by urban artists. An artist can reserve a space on Wallspot.org and download a permit that allows them to paint there for one to three days.

After spending the quarter learning about urban art and participating in a graffiti tour in the Raval, I was inspired to make my own mural and leave my mark on the Barcelona art scene. I was especially interested in work by an artist who goes by the name of INSA and uses city walls to paint frames that combine into a moving GIF mural. You can check out INSA’s work at insaland.com

My mural uses the symbol of the eye that brings the wall to life to address themes of audience and space in urban art and uses the title “En Un Parpadeo,” which translates to “in the blink of an eye” to emphasize the impermanent nature of street art.

I spent the day painting with three other girls from my class who also created murals for the class. We had a lot of fun experimenting with spray paint and engaging with people other people in the park. I struggled with many of the paints and materials I had bought, but I was satisfied with the outcome in the end: an animation GIF-iti and a wall in Drassanes with my mural on it.

Painting my mural was an extremely rewarding experience and I was glad to participate in the urban art scene in Barcelona.