“Pinta Malasaña” – the epicenter of urban art in Madrid

I don’t trust people who claim to love rainy weather. If you love sad dark grey skies, depressive mode and being stuck inside while becoming crankier than you already are, and then snapping at everyone well, we most probably won’t get along.

It was raining cats and dogs the whole past week in Madrid. And I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. No sun, cold wind blowing from each corner of the city.

I and my pessimistic laziness refused to go outside and splash myself in the huge rain puddles that were collecting in my neighbourhood. I grocery shopped online and skipped my spinning classes. If it hadn’t been for yoga, I would have been in a “psych” ward by now.

I was fed up with the greyness and sadness spread all over Madrid. I needed chirpy colours in my life. As a sunshine junkie, I needed to see the city in a different light.

I was craving for Madrid’s vibrant joy of life and atmosphere, smiley and chatty people on the street.

And that’s exactly what I got on Sunday.

Gosh, I think all the ommmhhh and namastes I practised last week during my life saving yoga routine worked out. And thankfully, the “yogi-karma” rewarded me with what I was ommhh-ing for every day.

On Sunday, as soon as I confirmed on the Internet news of good weather, I got myself a to-go coffee and ran to El Barrio de Malasaña. It was a Pinta Malasaña Day. Once a year, thousands of urban artists from the whole country and abroad come to the most artistically independent neighborhood in Madrid to spread their graffiti talent all over shops’ roller shutters.


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It’s like 100 Banksys “being in the zone” at the same moment.

There was no guide, no itinerary, no suggested path to follow. I let myself embrace with the colourful streets, bohemian hippy atmosphere, and full of crazy looking urban artists.


Are you a tigre? Or a fluffy kitten?


Most of them enjoying beer and cheap wine from bricks while freely expressing their art, their ideas.


Jair Leal
Let´s go out by by Jair Leal


I was not sure what I was looking at, as I am not properly educated in modern urban art, I guess. And it was actually the upside of it. I stopped every time and then let my imagination explain the graffiti to me.


These are olives and cheese, right?
These are olives and cheese, right? And a tiny shrimp on the left?


I snapped some photos of the most striking or bizarre graffiti.


Barbara (aka Chincheta) “in the zone”


I even found some of the pieces whispering their story behind the work to me. But it was my story. Someone else’s art plus my imagination and personal experience equals a story made up only for me.


Hiding from the world?


I got lost while wandering around the neighbourhood. I got hungry and stopped for a snack (twice) and cold beer in Plaza Dos De Mayo as the rest of urban art enthusiasts and sunshine junkies did.


plaza dos de mayo
I wasn’t the only one making the most of the first not-rainy day in the last week.

I returned home healed from the rainy sadness and coldness. The free urban art, cheery colours and sunshine left me on a “positive vibes” high. I didn’t even feel like killing the weatherman who just said on TV that it will be raining during the next few days.



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