In Marbella, life happens in full colour. As artist Alberto Ramoneda tells us, thanks to street art, “the streets of Marbella become the museum.”
We spoke to Alberto, acclaimed professional muralist who has taken part in competitions and exhibitions worldwide, and who has famously been commissioned by a successful international café and bar chain, Hustle and Flow, to decorate their interiors in his unique style. Alberto goes by the handle @ramoneda_art on Instagram – it’s worth checking him out!
Alberto is recently back from a trip to Riyadh to create bespoke art for the aforementioned café and club chain in Saudi Arabia. We caught up with him in Marbella to find out more about the street art scene in our beloved resort.
The Different Sides to Art in Marbella
The vibrant city of Marbella is not just a beach resort. Both overtly and discreetly, behind the bright lights of the sun and the soothing sounds of the waves, it’s a hot bed of creativity.
Marbella itself has a certain timeless elegance that been captured in art for generations by photographers like Slim Aarons and more recently, Stuart Cantor. Cantor’s work gives a nod to the nostalgic golden old days of “Old School Chic”. His Marbella Club Days series is a collection of 18 photographs depicting the mood at Marbella’s most iconic hotel.
Marbella Club Days
Stuart Cantor: Part of the Marbella Club Days series
The city is also home to a number of art galleries, such as the Sholeh Abgahri Gallery on The Golden Mile, a showcase for contemporary art and recently, in November 2022 the Marbella art and design fair was held at the “Palacio de Congresos”, which gained significant interest from those in the industry. The exhibition showcased artists and interior designers and attracted the crowds.
But what we are really interested in is the art of the streets of course! We went deeper to find out just how the street art scene works.
Street Art in Marbella
We met with Alberto in Marbella and we got the low down, first of all on how he become an acclaimed muralist. Born in Barcelona, having moved to Marbella at the age of 2, then with time spent back in Barcelona to study, Alberto has always been interested in the arts and in some ways perhaps it was a natural progression for him to move from his early, self-taught experiments with spray paint cans to becoming a famous muralist.
He has a tattoo studio in Barcelona and additionally works and spends time in Marbella painting. He explains to us the difference between graffiti artists and muralists, himself being the latter:
- A muralist is a fine artist who designs, paints and/or applies large paintings or pictures to expansive surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, but who always respects the surroundings.
- A graffiti artist is less concerned with the surroundings and the aesthetics, less likely to work from a brief. When you see bridges and trains sprayed with logos, that’s graffiti and it’s another world all together from the more prestigious work of muralists.
How the Street Art Scene Works in Marbella
Some of the (mostly unwritten) rules of the game in the street art scene are that each artist has his or her own tag, which is kind of an artist name.
When we asked where to see street art in Marbella, some of the more obvious places were mentioned such as the skate park, where Alberto himself painted a mural as part of a festival in Marbella in 2021. But he also told us about a secret, semi-underground place near Turtle Lake where street artists in the area go to paint. We could give the map co-ordinates, but we would have to kill you…We prefer to keep it secret.
Additionally, as Alberto tells, one of the most important rules of street art is that you never paint over someone else’s work.
Never paint over another street artist’s work!
The Clandestine Nature of Street Art
Alberto admits that some street artists don’t want to be known but that those in the know do know who they are. There are international exhibitions and conventions for street artists and the big names, albeit in a semi-clandestine way, come together from all over Spain. (How fabulous!) Alberto would like to see more of these kinds of exhibitions and doesn’t see why they couldn’t be held in Marbella. (We say, bring it on!)
Alberto Ramoneda’s Work in Marbella
As a professional muralist, Alberto doesn’t have to go undercover! We are glad, as we can share some of his best work.
Alberto painted this mural for the 2021 “MRB MARBELLA STREET ART PROJECT 2021” and won first prize from the Town Hall of Marbella. The work was created over a few days in September 2021 and can be seen in the city’s skate park.
Another place to admire Alberto’s work is Small World Café on the Istan road. This tiger mural captures everything we love about street art.
Hustle and Flow
We were lucky enough to see a sneak peak of the new work Alberto has just painted in the new Hustle and Flow which will soon open in Riyadh, but if you want to see the murals in Marbella, head to Hustle and Flow at the Oasis Business Centre on The Golden Mile. This iconic baby mural by Alberto really stands out and the quirky message on his t-shirt “I don’t want you to think like me, I just want you to think” should make you think!
Love this? Follow @swishmarbella on Instagram for more inspiration and Marbella madness.
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