Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Christine Henseler




graphitti, artistry, street art, folk art, espanol


The contemporary graffiti movement in Spain evolved spontaneously and independently from other graffiti movements under the influence of la movida counterculture during the post-Franco transition. La movida, which viewed the street as the agora of Spanish society, emphasized the importance of artistry and the need to exist in and connect with the people in the street. These cultural values were internalized by early graffiti artists and were reflected in their work in the flechero style popularized by El Muelle, the pioneer of graffiti art in Spain. These fundamental beliefs, supported by the post-Franco rejection of foreign thought by the Spanish public, resulted in the incomplete incorporation of external graffiti movements into Spanish graffiti culture in the late eighties and nineties. The contemporary graffiti culture in Spain retains the original values of la movida and El Muelle, with its artistic focus and street-centralism highlighted in letter and figure works alike. Although graffiti culture is unquestionably an integral element of Spanish counterculture, it is not a counterculture in the globally-understood sense and is dissimilar from other graffiti movements in its appreciation for the streets. Unlike taggers and other urban artists, the contemporary graffiti artist in Spain is ultimately a product of the streets and finds his or her inspiration in its walls and its people.