Art and culture 

Urban art

Creativity is painted on the walls and buildings in Extremadura. The grey walls have turned into colourful open-air museum.

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Walls that tell stories

Creativity is painted on the walls and buildings in Extremadura. The grey walls have turned into colourful open-air museum.

Art that reflects the identity, culture and figures of rural world. Paintings aimed at raising awareness with regard to the challenges of the world of today. A route around wall art in Extremadura.

Trompe-l’oeil in Romangordo

In this village located in the Monfragüe Nature Reserve, there is actually less than meets the eye. Over 100 murals are painted on walls and doors, many of them using the trompe-l’oeil technique (“something that misleads or deceives the senses; illusion”, according to the Webster dictionary), paying an homage to the traditions and the identity of Romangordo. The baker, the laundress, the switchboard operator, the wheat mill, the goats waiting to be miked, the harvest, the cork extraction, the old soda factory, the children’s games... All these scenes, among others are present in the Route of Trompe-l’oeil

Everything started in 2016, with the mural titled The Donkey in a Corner. Ever since, the widespread approval of this initiative among locals and visitors has made the village to be covered in trompe-l’oeil murals, but also in poems by Machado or Gabriel y Galán, quotes from books or messages denouncing depopulation or gender violence.

Romangordo

Piornal and its painted façades

The highest village in Extremadura cannot be understood without the figure of the Jarramplas, the masked figure who makes his way through the streets to be pelted with turnips on Saint Sebastian’s Day. However, Piornal is also characterised by the urban art that decorates more than 20 of its façades. Including, of course, a huge Jarramplas, complete with its two horns and its colour ribbons, is one of the most visited and photographed murals.

This village in the Valle del Jerte in Extremadura has been a pioneer in supporting this type of urban art; as early as 2012, it decided to paint its fibre cement walls and create an open-air museum. Thanks to the participation of artists from Extremadura and beyond, the project has never continued to grow, and, in just a few years, it has come to celebrate the area’s landscapes, traditions and legends, as the Serrana de la Vera and the aforementioned Jarramplas.

The Opinionated Wall: walls have a lot to say

Many villages in Cáceres boast a rich urban art thanks to an initiative of the provincial government which dates back to 2016. Ever since, the Critical Wall project has invited artists from Extremadura and beyond to paint their art in the walls and façades of Plasencia, Navalmoral de la Mata, Coria, Baños de Montemayor, Hervás, Riolobos, Moraleja, Talayuela, Serradilla, Caminomorisco, Guadalupe, Logrosán, Madrigalejo, Brozas, Cañamero, Alcuéscar, Losar de la Vera, Salorino, Torrejoncillo, Azabal, Jarandilla de la Vera, Navaconcejo...

Issues such as gender equality, pollution, unemployment, depopulation, consumerism, fake news and compulsive gambling are mentioned in this unique open-air museum which occupies, in fact, the entire province of Cáceres.

Vía de la Plata

Sierra de Gata: water and nature. And cats!

The Living Façades project, promoted by the Regional Government of Extremadura, began in 2015, shortly after the fire that destroyed the wooded land in this county in the north of the province of Cáceres. Several artists, including the Moraleja native David Bravo Buendía, best known as Chefo, were commissioned to spruce up the villages in the Sierra de Gata and bring urban art to these lands. Over these years, Moraleja, Hoyos, Robledillo de Gata, Perales del Puerto, Moheda de Gata, Villasbuenas de Gata, Torre de Don Miguel and Villamiel, among others, have been the venue of several interventions on a wide range of issues, including water and nature.

In the town of Gata, cats appear in several murals, as an homage to the British artist Louis Wain (1860-1939), known for his paintings of these furry animals.

Mérida: beyond Emerita Augusta

The capital city of Extremadura also showcases its urban art. In 2018, in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of is designation as a World Heritage Site, the City Council of Mérida invited four famous Extremeñan artists (Chefo, Jesús Mateo Brea, Isabel Flores and Jonathan Carranza or Sojo) to create a route along several public spaces.

Other works were promoted by the Asociación de Gestoras y Gestores Culturales de Extremadura (Agcex) and the Agencia Extremeña de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (Aexcid), which proposed several authors to create murals representing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as climate action, zero hunger and responsible consumption and production. These works can be seen in different neighbourhoods in Mérida.

Pictures: City councils and Diputación de Cáceres

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