This week, here’s another photo from my current city. This is the local pharmacy that’s just around the corner from my flat, featuring some very Barcelona street art.
A lot of guidebooks to Spain will tell you to avoid walking around the shops during the siesta hour. In Barcelona, they don’t take the siesta quite as seriously as they do in other parts of Spain, but lots of shops still close down for the afternoon. It’s not the best time to go shopping.
It is, however, the best time for street art fans to get out and about.
During opening hours, this pharmacy looks completely normal. There’s really nothing special about it at all.
But when the siesta happens, all the neighborhood shops pull their doors shut, and some of them have secret paintings on the metal shutters. You would never know that this regular pharmacy was hiding such amazing artwork!
Actually, this is something that happens all over the city. When you look at most of the shops, you would never guess they were hiding some very cool artwork underneath their shutters. It’s almost always a really ordinary shop, rather than somewhere you might expect to be artsy, like a gallery or something. I mean, those places do it too, but the great thing about this shutter street art is that anyone could have it.
So why do these secret pieces of art exist in the first place? It’s to protect the shutters from getting splashed with ugly graffiti, or so I’ve been told. (I could be completely wrong about this one!). It’s a pretty cool strategy.
Even though graffiti and street art are both really common in Barcelona, my neighborhood, L’Eixample, doesn’t have very much. That’s what makes surprises like these extra special. My neighborhood might seem boring and buttoned-up at first sight, but if you look long enough, you’ll see what makes it unique.