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

Eres un graffiti?

“Are you graffiti?”, asks one of the other.

Words matter! Are you graffiti? Of course not, I am more than that! I am a mural.

But what is the difference? Sometimes the difference is obvious but sometimes the line dividing graffiti from its bigger (and more important? more respected?) sibling is blurry.

It’s a question asked by an artist who left his/her mark on a concrete pillar in Girona.

Photo 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

Okudart in Ronda

There are now two large murals by the bus staton Ronda and both were painted by Okudart (aka Okuda San Miguel). They are titled, “The New Flamenco” and featured brightly coloured dancers with flowing dresses, fans, and flowers in their hair.

Photos taken February 2023

Calle de San Cayetano, Madrid

below: The intersection of San Cayetano and Calle de Embajadores.  A wall encloses a playing field of some kind.

a woman pushes a stroller past a wall with street art murals painted on them, she's head down the hill at Calle San Cayetano

below: Looking down San Cayetano

looking down a street that goes downhill, a brick fence with murals on it on the right, also street art on the building at the end of the street, 3 and 4 storey buildings on either side.


mural of a large flower on a brick wall

mural of a spaceman's head in a helmet

below: Street art on the wall signed by @elreydelaruina (Ruina R64)

low wall with murals in front of a larger mural on the side of a 3 storey building

a man walks down a street in Madrid, beside a low brick wall that has been covered with street art murals


below: Parts of letters on the wall.  Tuuulibreria is a bookstore where you (the buyer) decide how much the book is worth.

below: And above the bookstore, a table ready for dinner.  The words above the wine bottle are an ode to Embajadores, “mi barrio” i.e. my neighbourhood.

muros tabacalera

Muros Tabalcalera refers to the murals on the concrete wall surrounding the Tabalcalera Urban Art Space in Madrid.  These are murals were painted in 2016 by 24 by different artists under the title Naturalezas Urbanas.


street scene in Madrid, murals on a high concrete wall, muros tabacalera,

below: A mural by Alice Pasquini, an Italian street artist.  The  street sign says Calle del Meson de Paredes,

a maural of a woman leaning out a window to pick something growing outside

Calle de Miguel Servet, concrete wall with murals on it, bench in front of it, tree with pink blossoms

below: Animalitoland, aka Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva, painted this little girl with her umbrella.

mural of a small girl huddled under an umbrella, grey tone city scape behind her, some small flowers on the ground

below: Circles of birds by Joao Lelo, a Brazilian artist

abstract tessalated birds

below: Clusters of green leaves by btoy

tree with pink spring blossoms in front a square mural, Madrid, muros tabacalera, leafy green plants with dark brown centers in the clusters

below: Upside down and all in red, by Lolo

square mural, Madrid, muros tabacalera, 2 people all red, on their heads, along with two potted plants, one red and one green


below: It’s a Jungle in here according to nuriatoll

lampost in front of square mural, Madrid, muros tabacalera, words that say It's a jungle in here, pale coloured leaves and birds behind the words

below: Two more murals.  On the left is a woman covered with flowers that was painted by Casassola while the more cartoon like characters on the right are the work of Nano 4814

two street art murals side by side, one is cartoonish and the other is a realistic woman surrounded by flowers (covering her)

below: A bird? Shapes and textures?  by Antonyo Marest

mural with small red sailboat, circles, squares, triangle

below: On the right, abstract artwork by Laguna

two murals, love wins by okuda and a piece by Laguna in pale turquoise and grey

below: Love wins by Okuda

large animal face (bear?) in bright multi coloured triangles, by okuda (okudart)

below: Figures all squeezed into the frame, painted by Digo Deigo

mural by Digo Diego of figures wrapped around each other, stylized, straight lines, blobs of colour, mural on a Madrid wall

below: painted by Koctel, an artist who seems to like painting fruit.  Here we see heads  made of watermelon and starfruit.

mural with fruit

below: Left to right: blue and brown tiles – Add Fuel (aka Diogo Machado); abstract shapes that look a bit like a head – Grip Face ; black and yellow – Deno

row of murals on a wall in Madrid

below:  A blue haired girl wrapped in the wings of a colourful bird, by Julieta XLF

mural of a girl with two birds


More information about the wall and the artists can be found on the Muros Tabacalera website

To find out where we’ve taken picture of street art, check our “Locations” page!

in a Madrid park

The following photos were taken in a walled park (or community garden) in Madrid in March 2018.

below: Face and fishes by Lazaro Totem

large realistic painting of a man's face on white brick wall, with some fish swimming above his head, signed as

below: El Indio

El Indio street art painting of a yellow man, skinny arms and legs, arms raised above his head and spear in his hands, red mask over eyes, loin cloth of red, yellow and green

below: Por Favor is a street artist whose work can be seen around Madrid.

poster by Por Favor of a woman's face in pink and purple

below: Ianah

painting on a wall of a girl's head and shoulders, in water, with fish covering her head, and fish swimming in the water,

below: The front of a large ROA animal

front part of a large mural of an animal by ROA

below: And the back part of the animal, and the left part of the mural

back part of a large mural by ROA, pigs,

below: Another El Indio.  He’s wanted for something!

El Indio street art painting on brick wall, large Wanted sign on the top, picture of a yellow man with red mask and blue skimpy underpants

below: A long drawn mural with lots of detail.

wall separating park from high rise apartment building with balconies, on wall is a mural

below: A close up of part of the mural above

close up detail of mural on white brick, trees and plants in front

below: The Madrid coat of arms is the blue shield shape with a bear and a tree in the middle, similar to what is painted here.  The man chopping down the tree is definitely not on the coat of arms!

mural of someone working on the Madrid coat of arms

below: Vegan bunnies

vegan bunnies street art