hashtag mystery in Barcelona

Back in March I kept seeing these little pictures all over Barcelona. Pasted to poles, walls, and other surfaces were images made to look similar to an instagram page. In each case the subject in the picture was a combination of two people or things with similar names. The same symbol was drawn on their faces – upside down scissors within three parallel vertical lines.

So far I haven’t been able to find any information about the artist. I suspect that the clue to his/her identity is at the top left of each graffiti piece but I can not decipher it.

below: “Franco (Battiato)” Franco Battiato is a musician whereas Franco also refers to Francisco Franco Bahamonde (1892-1975) who was the general who led the Nationalist forces to victory in the Spanish Civil War in 1939. He was then dictator of that country until his death in 1975. In the image below we see a smiling musician’s face on the body of a military leader.

below: Couscous Clan (Cuscus Clan) is vegan friendly, 100% halal, and wears a tagine pot on its head. A mix of the American Klu Klux Klan and the mideastern food staple; Juxtoposition of white supremacy with “brown” food and Islamic ideas. Is that a bible or the Koran that he’s reading?

below: “Bjorn-Bjork” tennis playing singer. Björn Borg (b. 1956) Swedish tennis star swings his racquet at the ball. Björk (aka Björk Guðmundsdóttir b. 1965) Icelandic music star. The face and headdress in this image is taken from the cover of her album “Homogenic” which was released in 1997.

below: “Heidi Lamarr” Classic movie buffs will recognize the name (and face) of screen legend Hedi Lamarr (1914-2000). Here, she is paired with Heidi, the main character in two children’s novel published in the 1880s by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Since then, Heidi, the most famous Swiss girl, has been retold and adapted numerous times. The image of a girl on a swing used here comes from Isao Takahata’s anime series “Heidi the Girl of the Alps,” 1974.

below: “Hello Brell” mash-up of Hello Kitty, the fictional anthropomorphized white cat created by Yuko Shimizu and ???. There is a music score with hearts in the background which might provide a clue but for now it remains a mystery.

below: “Knight Rider” on his horse looks like he’s delivery for UberEats or some other food delivery service. Knight Rider was a TV series in the 1980s starring David Hasselhoff. Now he’s a knight of the realm? But of which realm?

below: Juan Salvador Jeviota becomes a guitar rocking bird. It’s probably a seagull as in ‘Juan Salvador Gaviota’, the sea gull that stars in the Spanish translation of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ authored by Richard Bach back in 1970. The cats are fans! As to the reference to Jeviota, or what the second part of the idea might be, I am striking out again.

below: “Lemmy Riefenstahl” with a camera in his hand. The face here is masculine but the background blue and purple portrait is female; the mashup here is with Helene Bertha Amalie “Leni” Riefenstahl and Ian Fraser Kilmister (aka Lemmy, 1945-2015). Leni was a German film director, photographer and actress best known for her role in producing Nazi propaganda. Lemmy was a musician with rock band Motörhead.

below: “#operacionfreequini #talegoquini” Talego Quini was an album by Spanish musical group Parquesvr released in 2019. Quini (1949-2018) was a football player (and that’s his picture). In March 1981 he was kidnapped and held for 25 days before being rescued. His full name was Enrique Castro González.

below: “Pimp Ball” with pinball paddles – so obviously this is a combination of the pinball game and ??? Not just any pimp I’m sure but alas I don’t have the answer.

below: Robin in tha Hood, LA Hollywood

below: “Selfneca – say cheese!” Is the face that of Seneca or Seneca the Younger, both of whom were Roman philosophers and Stoics who believed that we waste most of our time. That’s just a guess but I rather like the idea of selfies and a waste of time in one photo.

below: “D’Urruti” The face of Buenaventura Durruti (1896-1936), a Spanish anarchist during the Spanish Civil War has been added to the body of Argentinian football player Maximiliano Urruti. A play on the surname (D)Urruti.

Photos taken March 2023

Carrer Petritxol (aka Chocolate Street)

Carrer Petritxol is a narrow street in the Gothic Quarter (Bari Gotic) section of Barcelona. It dates from the 15th century when it was a shortcut through the backyard of a local property owner. It runs from Portaferissa to Plaça del Pi. Today it has many small unnique stores including chocolate stores.

below: Catalan text: “Donatiu de la ceramista M. Guivernau en la reconstruccio dels gegantons del pi segons progecte de Evarist Mora.” Translation from Catalan: “Donation of the ceramist M. Guivernau in the reconstruction of the “Giants of Pi” according to Evarist Mora’s project.
Note: The Giants of Pi – On display at the parish church of Santa Maria del Pi are two wearable puppet costumes, one male and one female, known as the Giants of Pi. They have a long history but the part most relevant to this blog post is the fact that they were restored in 1960 by the artist Evarist Mora. In 1985 they were named Mustafa and Elisenda. They are two of the many “gegants” that are brought out for special events in Barcelona such as the Corpus Christi procession and the Santa Eulalia festival.

picture made from ceramic tiles of two giant figures, the giants of pi, one male and one female

M. Guinervau signed the above plaque but there are many other ceramic pictures on this street, all unsigned.  They tell stories about the street including  famous residents or visitors.  What follows here are photos and a few details about some of them.

below: “Aci la mare de Déu ens diu que el temps passa lleu” , translation: “Here the mother of God tells us that time passes easily (or easily)”

on a throne, mother and child on lap, wearing gold crowns, 8 stars shining around them, with text in Catalan, "aci la mare de deu ens diu que el temps passa lleu"

below: “Amb capa i barret llue cada nit “peius” gener”, translation: “With cape and hat, shine every night “Peius” Gener”. This image shows the Spanish writer, journalist and playwright, Babot Gener Pompey (1848-1920), often known as Peius wandering the streets after dark.

ceramic plaque with painting on it, man in long black cloak out on narrow street at night, dark sky, lanterns and lamps are glowing yellow.

below: “Hi anaven a menjar nata ensaimada xocolata”, translation: “They were going there to eat chocolate cream” Carrer Petritxol has been a destination for chocolate for many years; there are at least 4 stores specializing in chocolate on this short street, two of which have a long history – Granja La Pallaresa and Granja Dulcinea. Granjas (Granges) were once shops specializing in dairy products.

ceramic plaque on concrete wall, picture, interior of a restaurant with two round tables, people sitting at tables with cups of chocolate

below: Upper “De quant encara era nou i romantic el dinou”. The translation could be either “how new and romantic the nineteenth was still”, or “From when the nineteenth was still new and romantic”
Lower: “De llavent ide ponent tot el da hi passa gent”, translation: “From dawn to dusk, people pass by all day”.  This presumably refers to people walking along this street.  

two cermaic plaques on an exterior wall, in small street in Barcelona, one picture above the other.  upper picture is three people sitting on a sofa in a room with mirrors, large picture on wall, and two other chais.  two women, both in long dresses and one holds a fan.  Bottom picture is people out walking in the street in period clothering, top hats and long dresses, boy with a hoop, lady with a yellow basket

below: Catalan text: “Pel balco veus tremolar l’ombra d’angel Guimera”, translation: “On the balcony you see the shadow of Angel Guimera trembling”. Note: Angel Guimera (1847-1924) was a Catalan playwright.

small ceramic picture on a wall, with catalan text Pel balco veus tremolar l'ombra d'Angel Guimera, picture is of two men standing on a balcony, blue shutters beside window,

below: “En un pis no sabem quin hi va viure Moratin” translation: “We don’t know which apartment Moratin lived in” . Note: Probably the writer Leandro Fernandez Moratin, (1760-1828) who lived in a hostel on this street in July 1814.

cermaic plaque on an exterior wall, a painting on it, of a writer at a desk writing with a feather quill pen, book case and window also in the room, above it is a small sign saying number 3 at Petritxol

below: “I la gorra ja no hi es… que duia el Senyor Pares”. Transation: “And the cap is no longer there… that Mr. Pares wore” In other words, Sr Pares took off his hat when he and his family were at the art gallery.

20 ceramic tiles together, with a painting on them, picture of man, woman & girl in pink dress looking at pictures on the wall of an art gallery while the owner looks on.

below: “El bateig i el casament”. Translation: “The baptism and the wedding.” That’s a rather short looking groom? The cutout of the man in the blue and white shirt with the funnel on his head is an added bonus!

top part of a large cutout of a man with a blue and white striped shirt and a grey funnel upside down on his head, he stands in front of a small wall with two ceramic plaques on them.  the lower picture is of a bride and a groom.

Photos taken March 2023

three chimneys in Barcelona

Three Chimneys is an urban park that is built on the site of an old power plant. In Catalan it’s Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies while in Spanish it is known as Jardines de las Tres Chimeneas. It is one of a few legal places for street art in Barcelona.

urban park in Barcelona, tall buildings in the background along with leafless trees (early spring), concrete space with large murals on one side, people sitting on benches in front of murals

below: A portrait painted by Pincel aka Felipe Pincel Echeverria

mural of a brown woman's portrait with long flowing black hair and black eyes, orange marks on face

below: Faces by Dake25 in bluish greys. They don’t look very happy, do they? Mirror images or two halves of the same face?

mural by dake25, of two halves of a face

slap on a pole, black and white and grey tones, part snrling cat, part snake, part caterpilar

below: Iridescent oranges, blues, and purples make this snail glow.

street art mural, urban art, of a snail with purple and blue shell and orange body

below: Scandalist by Super Cool Syzman

scandalist   wheatpaste graffiti, picture of a man in suit, dark sunglasses, and hat

below: Long horizontal mural by a group of artists, Noble, Turkesa, KTHR, and Wios painted as part of a Mural Jam in October 2022.

a box shaped structure with murals on the side

a pillar with street art, pink cartoon face on top


below: Monkey see, monkey do.  “Buy bitcoin” says the Banksy monkey, pasted over the topless green woman whose portrait was signed in pink by Santiago [illegible surname].


below: purple duck

below: True love is pierced, tattooed, and stitched up.

below: “Relax, you’re on a floating rock”

below: Braiding green hair with snaps, crackles, and pops.  Signed, dextre polo

mural of a woman with long green hair that someone is in the process of braiding

below: Three chimneys refers to the three brick towers, or smokestacks, from an old coal burning power plant, the first one built in Spain. The first chimney was built in 1881 (or 1896 depending on the info source) by the Barcelona Traction Power and Light Company; the other two followed in 1908 and 1912. It became known as La Canadenca (in Catalan) because in 1911 one of its major shareholders became the Canadian Bank of Commerce.  Each tower is 236 feet tall  (72m) and up to 13 feet (4m) in diameter. Most of the facility was demolished in 1987.

three tall brick chimneys remaining from old coal burning power plant, now part of an urban park with street art on the walls

very realistic portrait of a fox, a street art painting

below: Slaps on a metal pole.

slaps on a metal pole, graffiti,

below: poster high on a wall, #universalhumanity series of wheatpaste and collage

universal humanity project collage, in grey tones, wheatpaste, on a wall

three chimneys urban park in barcelona

Some of the large pieces of equipment from the power plant were left scattered around the park to look like sculptures, adding interest and historical perspective to the public space.

in a park, trees on both sides, a large wall painted with a mural of a womans face, urban part, old pieces of equipment from a power plant act as sculptures behind the wall

below: Equitat is written across her chest in a painting by Vale Wilson and Popi. This is a very recent creation and was one of the murals painted for Womart Jam, and event that featured 10 female artists. It was held on International Womens Day.

mural at three chimneys garden of a woman with long hair and the word equitat written on her clothing across her chest.
a large box shaped structure in a park with murals on both of the sides that can be seen in the picture.  One is a young black woman  with two small pigtails and the other is an older woman with long grey hair who is looking downward

below: Gablo, butts and ashes on the table? by 45000ft (aka Ander)


bikes parked in front of wall with text street art



park of structure of urban park, concrete, covered with graffiti

three chimneys urban park in barcelona with old brick chimneys, and street art on the remaining walls

two people walking through an urban park, on a concrete path, walls of street art around them, residential buildings of Barcelona in the background

Photos taken early March 2023

street art mural of creature with white face and purple and red hair, with text that says the last one

Barcelona red door

Marvellously layered. Contributed to by many. Evolving over time.

below: “Please point the camera toward me” and a Salvador Dali portrait by Pat Brazil. In the middle, a large black and white object that resembles a bomb, a needlepoint bomb.

below: With hope in her eyes, by RAF Urban whose work reflects the idea that diversity is hope. Orange paint has partially hidden the bottle of pills (was there a label?) as well as the woman’s face and hands (what is she holding?).

below: Kandin ski. There are quite a few of these pictures around Barcelona – a whole series featuring different well known people. This Kandin-ski was the only one on this door. I haven’t been able to find out who the artist is – clues may lie in the top line of ‘text’ in the upper left corner but I can not figure out what it says.

below: Some wheatpaste in various conditions including a very torn and peeling Ironmould black and white drawing and a red capped Amar Garpa. Unsigned, and therefore unknown monkey, dog, little kid, and man with red beard and glasses.

below: The square in the top right corner reads, “The purpose of this festival is to use art as the attraction of the Qr code, generally used in transactions involving money, purchasing, and capitalism.” (last word in red). Then it is repeated in Spanish (where it might make more sense). “…. es utilizar el arte como atractivo del codico QR, en general utilizado en transacciones implicando dinero, compras, y el captilalism’.

Photos taken March 2023

Three women and a wolf

Or maybe a dog……

On Carrer de Blesa (Poble Sec), on the window shutters of Azoka Taberna, there are 4 brightly painted murals including Picasso-like “Azoka Modern Girl” by Pres Fusion.

street art mural on metal shutters over windows of Akoda Taberna on Carrer de Blesa, painting of a woman, very abstract like a Picasso

below: Berol377 portrait of a young woman in pinks and blues. 

street art mural on metal shutters over windows of Akoda Taberna on Carrer de Blesa, painting of a woman's portrait in blues and purples, wearing dark blue sunglasses, by Berol377

below: This cubist painting of a pink woman with yellow and black hair is another work by of Pres Fusion.

street art mural on metal shutters over windows of Akoda Taberna on Carrer de Blesa, painting of a woman

below: Half and half – one side more realistic and the other more abstract. A collaboration between Berol377 and Pres Fusion.

street art mural on metal shutters over windows of Akoda Taberna on Carrer de Blesa, painting of a wolf or dog head, split down the middle, half painted by Berol377 and the other half by Dan Art Fusion

Photos taken March 2023

Barcelona doors

Street art seen on doors in Barcelona Spain, April 2018


below: Vegan bunnies.  One releases a caged bird and the other has scissors in her hair.

street art painting of two young women on a door, stylized, one with turquoise hair and the other with light purple hair. One with a red dress and holding a bird cage that a bird is flying out of. words at bottom say vegan bunnies. scrawled across the top are the words Lima love.

below: Cat and mouse by Cisco KSL who is also a tattoo artist.  The mouse has a couple of vices.  I wonder what the cat’s key will unlock?

motorcycle in front of two doors with murals. on the left is a cat and on the right is a greenish coloured mouse. both animals fill the door.

below: She lives at 202 Carrer de L’Escorial

a man and woman pushing a stroller walk past a garage door with a mural of a womans face on it.

below: Reaching out

a paste up of a boy in blue snow suit and blue and white hat, he is pointing outwards,

below: A bloody mess, a painting by Sarah Pitel – an American from Portland Oregon.

painting on a door of a person's head, with lots of black hair, top of body is just rib cage with lots of red paint that looks like blood splattered all over it

below: Cats?  Cats with very long necks.   (Ooops! Not a door).

three long necked cats painting on a door

below: It started with a street art piece by Arte Ignorante of a woman in blue tipping her hat with the girl in red beside her.

doors, wood, with two people on them, an adult and a girl

below: Handmade in Barcelona, the shoe maker at work, with a line of shoes above.

mural on a metal store window covering of a pair of hands working on making shoes

below: Black and white, two women looking at you.

door with graffiti on it.

below: BOB is on the right.

two doors with murals. on the left is goofy faced creature with orange spiky hair and on the right is the word BOB written vertically in large light teal letters.

below: Pandora’s box and bright finger nails.

La Caja de Pandora, Pandora's box, in white on black background, a hand is coming out of the box, with bright red nail polish, box is open,

cartoon like painting on a door, pink faced person with bright yellow sweater, a yellow fish

This post is also a “Thursday Doors” blog post.  This is a weekly occurrence and a number of bloggers participate.  If you are interested in doors in general and want to see more door themed blog posts, here is the link.

little things on Barcelona walls

Barcelona Spain, April 2018,
 pasteups, stickers, stencils and other little pieces of graffiti.

below:  The green creature (with Ore on its tail) seems to want to eat the heart.  The tiger appears on walls in many Spanish cities although sometimes he’s just a black and white head.  He’s the creation of Bloo.  Last, an orange crab with eye lashes on one eye.

some pasteups and other small pieces of graffiti on a concrete wall. A tiger, a heart, an orange crab.

below: RAF Urban, young boy

paste up of a boy's head and shoulders by raf urban

below: Another face, this time a woman looking up.  She’s not quite obscured by the paint around her.

yellow arrow, pointing to a pasteup of a womans face on a wall

below: Pointed

a stencil on a wall, a hand with index finger pointing, points to a metal door that is covered with a mural

below: “Lo importante esta en tu cabeza” on empty cans. As it turns out, this the name of an album by the group La Gran Orquesta Republicana.  Rough translation is: The important is in your head.

empty cans covered with black and each with a blue letter on them, the cans are put together on a wall so the letters make words.


below: More cans on walls. This time they say “mensajes de amor en tiemps de guerra,  mensajes de paz con la mente  guerrera”. [messages of love in times of war, messages of peace with the warrior mind].   This can art is the work of an anonymous couple.   Many examples of their work can be seen on instagram with the hashtag #llaunesbcn

empty cans covered with white, with black letters, one per can, on them. The cans are mounted on a wall in with letters forming words that say mensajes de amor en tiemps de guerra, mensajes de paz con la mente guerrera

below: Funny Bone and a little hairy chested, hat wearing, tattooed fellow with love on his tummy (or lower).

stickers on a door that has a red tag on it.

below: Güelcom was an Argentinian movie, a romcom from 2011.   Because of my poor Spanish as well as the rip in the paper, I can’t tell what the second word is. 

pasteup of a woman with blue hands reaching out for her face, also the words, guelcom

below: A black and white paste up.

pasteup of a man's face, wearing black sunglasses, also his face is covered with black lines

below: Mowcka “uniendo tus partes” and others

stickers and paste ups on a wall

below: Very, very with symmetry, as a red rose lies on the sidewalk.

stencil, in purple, words mucho mucho with the second one being uder the first, and upside down, also a stenciled red rose lying under the words, arranged such that the flower looks like its lying on the sidewalk,

below: Smile! Anthropomorphic rabbit photographer in blue

blue rabbit with a camera

… and red

red rabbit with a camera

below: somiatruites, Catalan for daydreamer

small painting on a gold coloured wall, exterioe, six green arms with fingers stretching out from a central reddish face
below: Utility box.  JERC = Joventuts d’Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Young Republican Left of Catalonia).   They support independence for Catalonia which is the part of Spain that includes Barcelona.

utility box with painted political statements graffiti

below: The Hulk.  Even he is locked out.

The Hulk

below:  Watering can and plant pot faces.

2 small pictures on white board on outside wall

below: Another collection of small paste ups on a wall.  There’s that tiger again.   A blue unicorn and a very large insect share the upper left corner.  That little black and white figure in the bottom left is a flying peanut, a character by Hadsawit that really gets around.

graffiti pasteups on a wooden door

many pasteups on a wall

below: The Raven, or at least a large black bird

stencil, black bird eating something

metal utility box on a sidewalk beside a stone wall, drawing of the upper part of a man, in black line drawing.

old wood door covered with blue tag and a sticker with a red flower