Mallorca has always been an inspiring place for artists. Particularly painters love the extraordinary light of the Mediterranean. And the creative atmosphere of an island where people from many different places come together. With its numerous museums and galleries the capital of the Balearic Islands is also the heart of its arts scene. But it is not only the regular expositions and events like Art Palma Brunch or Nit de L’Art that attract a growing crowd. Street Art in Palma has become an attraction in itself.
Walking the city randomly with your eyes open you are bound to discover a few fancy pieces of art in Palma’s outdoor gallery. Like the compositions of colored cans by Jakuna Melata, inscribed with short messages or poetry lines in Catalan. Or, if you have a closer look, small three-dimensional scenes from Mec. I like his ironic installations, by now familiar companions in the old town. Same goes for Noarnito’s stencils. Life size people walking or dancing in the streets with observers and passers-by.
Or a colorful mural by one of Palma’s most popular street artists. They all have a genuine, recognizable handwriting. You will encounter a lot of SOMA’s large-scale pictures. Rather realistic motifs in bold colors. And yes, the pseudonym is a reference to his famous forerunner in New York City. Another painter who is widely recognized is Joan Aguiló. His scenes often reflect children’s memories and the summer on the island in soft hues. And while ZON‘s initial paintings also played with themes of childhood and fantasy his recent works show large portraits of women in purple.
Maybe the major difference between traditional art and street art is that artworks usually are a statement against transience. While every piece of street art always is transient. Some of my favorite murals have long gone, the walls destroyed or renovated (which sometimes doesn’t make much of a difference). Others are fading or even painted over. There is one rare exception I know of, a picture which is taken care of and often been repaired by neighbors. Joan Aguiló painted the old couple in Carrer Can Sanç after his grandparents who were regulars at Can Joan de S’Aigo.
Other than graffiti street art is in high demand, today. And while painting in the streets is officially still illegal street artists contribute to the character and diversity of the city. Some are even hired by local stores and bars to design their shutters. Or invited to exhibit their works on unfamiliar ground in galleries and as part of Palma’s Nit de L’Art.