Writing on wall for shops which hire graffiti artists


BARCELONA SHOPKEEPERS believed they were beautifying their city when they commissioned graffiti artists to paint the shutters protecting their shopfronts rather than leaving them to be defaced by vandals.

But now they face being fined up to €600 by city authorities intent on cracking down on “antisocial behaviour”.

The council says the artists’ graffiti “degrades the urban fabric” in much the same way as washing hung from balconies, and have fined more than 160 businesses this year.

But the groups behind the schemes to paint over the steel security barriers say they are over-subscribed from businesses who want to prevent scribbled spray-painted signatures or “tags”. The taggers respect the art and do not paint over it.

Enrotlla’t – a play on “roll up” and “have fun” – says it is struggling to meet demand. In one weekend, Enrotlla’t painted 47 blinds in the Gracia district.

Jordi Llobell, the group’s founder, said its mission was to encourage the best art. “The shopkeepers can visit our website and see the work of the various artists and choose the one that is most to their taste,” he added.

The grafiteros point to the more liberal attitude of Madrid and Valencia. A magazine recently invited grafiteros to paint 100 shops in Madrid’s Malasaña area in one night. – (Guardian service)