Javier Abarca (Madrid 1973) is an artist, researcher and educator in the fields of graffiti and street art. A leading figure from the first generation of Spanish graffiti, he taught a class on graffiti and street art at the Complutense University of Madrid between 2006 and 2015. He founded the website Urbanario in 2008.

Abarca is a renowned specialist in the international scene, and appears regularly at European conferences and festivals. His PhD (2010) and his texts are widely cited in Spanish-language literature. His teaching, curating and writing have been commissioned by museums and institutions in Spain and across Europe.

Abarca’s work stands out with its focus on essential aspects of graffiti and street art such as the exploration of the margins, the attention to the context, the work within a human scale or the understanding of street projects as networks. A work field far from the monumentality and kitsch characteristic of today’s mainstream conception of street art.

His artist portfolio is here.

Contact: javier[a]urbanario.es

CV

Lectures

2017: Del arte urbano a los murales. I Jornada de Arte Urbano, Vigo.

2017: Graffiti y psicogeografía. Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló.

2017: Comisariar arte urbano. Analogías Urbanas, Fine Arts Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid.

2016: Muelle, entre el graffiti y el arte urbano. Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales, Madrid.

2016: From street art to murals, what have we lost? Keynote lecture at the Lisbon Street Art and Urban Creativity International Conference. University of Lisbon, Portugal.

2016: Urbanario. Congreso de Periodismo Cultural, Santander.

2016: Graffiti y psicogeografía. Poliniza festival, Polytechnic University of Valencia.

2016: El graffiti como caligrafía. Fine Arts Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid.

2015: From graffiti, to street art, to murals. The Bridges of Graffiti lecture series, Venice Biennial, Italy.

2015: Street art, murals and gentrification. Street Art: Contours et Détours international conference. Nice Sophia Antipolis University, Nice, France.

2015: Ten years of teaching street art at the university. Bien Urbain festival, Besançon, France.

2015: Graffiti as psychogeography. Backjumps festival, Berlin, Germany.

2015: El graffiti como diseño gráfico. Instituto Europeo di Design, Madrid.

2014: Arte urbano, murales y gentrificación. Medialab Prado, Madrid.

2014: Arte urbano, murales y barrios. CC Villaverde, Madrid City Council.

2014: Arte urbano, murales y barrios. CC Usera, Madrid City Council.

2014: The mural festival, from dissent to speculation. Open Walls Conference, CCCB, Barcelona.

2014: The mural festival wave, from dissenting art to real state speculation. Aesthetic Energy of the City international conference. University of Łódź, Poland.

2014: The mural festival wave, from dissenting art to real state speculation. Mural Meeting international conference, Dresden, Germany.

2014: Revs, the unknown pioneer. Lisbon Street Art and Urban Creativity International Conference. University of Lisbon, Portugal.

2014: Egs and the history of graffiti in Finland. ARCO art fair, Madrid.

2013: Muelle y el legado del Madrid de los 80. Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Burgos.

2013: Graffiti, street art and gentrification. GraffiCity international conference, University of Cologne, Germany.

2013: El arte y la lucha por el espacio público. Interactúa lecture series, Toledo.

2013: El graffiti en la historia. Studio Banana, Madrid.

2012: The mural in motion. Riesa Efau, Dresden, Germany.

2012: Brief overview of the Spanish graffiti and street art histories and scenes. Stuck on the City festival, Municipal Library and Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.

2012: Graffiti y psicogeografía. Jornadas de arte y psicología. Faculty of Psychology, Complutense University of Madrid.

2012: Graffiti and psychogeography. Bien Urbain festival, Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Besançon, France.

2012: Teaching urban intervention. A Di Città festival, Rosarno, Italy.

2012: Graffiti as psychogeographical map. Het Vogelnest, Ghent, Belgium.

2012: Graffiti, arte urbano, arte público. University of Granada.

2012: No compres. Seminario Escritura e Imagen, Faculty of Philosophy, Complutense University of Madrid.

2011: Muros grises, el espacio despolitizado. Open Walls Conference, CCCB, Barcelona.

2011: Graffiti e historia: la despolitización del espacio. MAPA conference, Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University of Madrid, Aranjuez.

2011: El graffiti como mapa psicogeográfico. Homonymous international conference, Menéndez Pelayo International University, Santander.

2011: Law can’t police taste. Graffiti Dialogues international conference, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Bristol Museum, Bristol, UK.

2011: Teaching urban intervention. Idealab international conference, Tallin, Estonia.

2010: Pintar graffiti, borrar graffiti: ¿qué es y para qué sirve? Madrid Urban Arts festival.

2010: Intervención urbana. Akme lecture series, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao.

2010: Del graffiti al arte urbano. Jornadas Culturales de Arte en la Calle, Autonomous University of Madrid.

2010: La intervención específica. MUAU festival, A Coruña.

2010: Qué es el arte urbano. Instituto Europeo de Design, Madrid.

2010: Cuarenta años de graffiti. Patio Herreriano Museum, Valladolid.

2009: Arte autónomo en la calle: una panorámica. BLV Art festival, Bilbao.

2009: La intervención específica. BLV Art festival, Bilbao.

2009: Del graffiti a la intervención específica: una evolución del artista hacia la sociedad. Poliniza festival, Polytechnic University of Valencia.

2009: El poster art, contexto artístico y social. Madposter festival, Madrid.

2008: El arte urbano como agente en los procesos de gentrificación. Arte en el Espacio Público: Barrios Artísticos y Revitalización Urbana international conference, Zaragoza. University of Zaragoza.

2007: Del graffiti al arte urbano. Asalto festival, Zaragoza.

 

Seminars and workshops

2017: Guía contemplativa de Castellón. Exploration workshop. Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló.

2016: Guía contemplativa de Valencia. Exploration workshop. Poliniza festival, Polytechnic University of Valencia.

2016: Culturas del graffiti. Ten-hour theory seminar. Puerto del Rosario City Council, Fuerteventura.

2016: El graffiti como caligrafía. Practical workshop. Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University of Madrid.

2016: Entender el graffiti. Nine-hour theory seminar. Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University of Madrid.

2015: Guía contemplativa de Barcelona. Exploration workshop. Open Walls Conference, Barcelona.

2015: Contemplative guide to Berlin. Exploration workshop. Backjumps festival, Berlin, Germany.

2014: Entender el graffiti. Ten-hour theory seminar. Valdeparaíso Palace, Almagro, Ciudad Real.

2013-2014: Sesiones teóricas Urbanario. Series of 20 lectures. Tabacalera and CNT, Madrid.

2012: Transversal guide to Besançon. Exploration workshop. Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Besançon and Bien Urbain festival, Besançon, France.

2012: AAA Cercasi. Art in context workshop. Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Rosarno, Italy.

2012: Guía transversal de Granada. Exploration workshop. University of Granada.

2011: Guía transversal de Santander. Exploration workshop. Menéndez Pelayo International University.

2010: Diálogo con A Coruña. Art and context workshop. MUAU festival.

2009: Diálogo con Bilbao. Art and context workshop. BLV Art festival.

 

Published texts

2017: “Scratching memories of graffiti”. In Trains, travels and murals. International Neighborhood Verlag, Leipzig.

2016: “From street art to murals, what have we lost?”. In Street Art & Urban Creativity Scientific Journal Vol 2, Nº2. Lisbon.

2015: “Conservar o no conservar el arte urbano”. In Mural issue 2, journal of the Observatorio de Arte Urbano. Madrid.

2015: “The mural festival, from dissent to speculation”. In Time for Murals. Riesa Eifau and Urban Script Continues, Dresden, Germany.

2015: “Graffiti, street art and gentrification”. In GraffitiCity: Visual Practices and Contestations in Urban Space. Eva Youkhana and Larissa Förster (eds.). Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn.

2014: “Revs, the unknown pioneer”. In the proceedings of the Lisbon Street Art & Urban Creativity 2014 International Conference.

2013: “Muelle, patrimonio cultural”, with Elena Gayo. In Arte y Ciudades, las Ciudades en el Arte. Lourdes de Diego and Jesús Pedro Lorente (eds.). Universidad San Jorge.

2012: “Deambular”. Only chapter of the book Eltono: Deambular. Urbanario Libros, Madrid. Editions in Spanish and English.

2012: “Pinto gratis”. in Eltono Line and surface. Stickit, Utretch.

2011: “Lo público y el arte”. Tribuna Complutense magazine. Complutense University, Madrid.

2010: “El papel de los medios en el desarrollo del arte urbano.” Journal of the Aragonese Association of Art Critics, Zaragoza.

2010: Prologue for the book Madrid revolution. Spray Planet, Barcelona.

2010: El postgraffiti, su escenario y sus raíces (PhD). Faculty of Fine Arts, Complutense University of Madrid.

2010: “Matthias Wermke, arte desde el graffiti”. Mombaça magazine, Salamanca.

2009: “Qué es en realidad el arte urbano”. Tribuna Complutense magazine. Complutense University, Madrid.

2009: Chapters on SpY and Trabajos en la Calle in the catalogue for the exhibition Hipótesis Urbana, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.

2009: “El arte urbano como agente en los procesos de gentrificación”. In Arte en el Espacio Público: Barrios Artísticos y Revitalización Urbana. Blanca Fernández and Jesús Pedro Lorente (eds.). Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza.

2009: “Los adhesivos en el arte público autónomo”. Prologue for Signos Sobre Signos. Espacio Ciudad, Vitoria City Council.

2007: “SpY no es un artista urbano”. Serie B magazine, Madrid.

2005: Introduction for the catalogue of the exhibition Suso33: no volveré a pintar paredes. Biondetta gallery, Madrid.

 

Publishing

2008-ongoing: Urbanario Articles. Online collection of texts. ISSN 2255-1239.

2017: The MOMO Maker. Urbanario Libros, Madrid.

2012: Eltono: Deambular. Urbanario Libros, Madrid.

 

Directing

2017: Tag: name writing in public space. Academic conference, Freie Universität, Berlin.

2016-ongoing: Unlock Book Fair and offshoot events programme. Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin.

2011: Graffiti as psychogeographical map. International seminar with Adam, Akay, Wermke-Leinkauf and Les Frères Ripoulain. Menéndez Pelayo International University, Santander.

2010: Documentary screening series in MUAU festival.

 

Curating

2012: Deambular. Residency and solo exhibition by Eltono. Artium Museum, Vitoria.

2010: Postgraffiti, geometría y abstracción. Exhibition by MOMO, Eltono, Marlon de Azambuja and Sam Bassett. Fundación Caixa Galicia, A Coruña.

 

Committees

2014-17: Scientific committee of the Lisbon Street Art and Urban Creativity International Conference. University of Lisbon.

2015-17: Scientific committee of the Lisbon Street Art and Urban Creativity Scientific Journal. University of Lisbon.