10th edition of the urban art festival C.A.L.L.E., creativity and color in Lavapies district

The CALLE festival, an urban art event in the Lavapiés district, celebrates its 10th edition in 2023.

The CALLE 23 festival started on April 17th, and both locals and visitors are already enjoying the artworks displayed on the facades, storefronts, and other outdoor spaces of the neighborhood’s shops.

A colorful and innovative urban art festival in Madrid

The festival floods the facades of the neighborhood’s shops with street art, turning the area into a vibrant urban museum where paint and life merge. The Lavapies neighborhood is home to the best street art in Madrid.

CALLE’s name (“calle” translates as “street” in English) highlights its commitment to bringing art into the streets, recognizing that the community is essential to keeping the neighborhood alive.

For a decade, the festival has gifted the city with an overwhelming talent for color and decoration, turning one of Madrid’s most charming and cosmopolitan neighborhoods into a unique and captivating place.

During the festival, artists can be seen on their ladders attempting to capture their designs with brushes, sprays, and lots of color, making the festival a fusion of art and daily life that welcomes anyone who wants to experience the special atmosphere of this unique corner of the city.

Obviously, passersby can’t help but stop to capture their favorite artworks with photographs.

What to expect in the 10th edition of the CALLE festival

This year, the streets of Lavapiés are once again transformed into an urban museum, where 55 out of 300 selected artists will display their stunning art on 55 facades and storefronts of the neighborhood.

Thanks to the innovative proposals, the streets of the area become a unique urban museum showcasing the artworks of talented artists.

The collaboration of the merchants and entrepreneurs in the neighborhood, who have lent the facades of their businesses and establishments, is an example of the fraternity and spirit of unity that characterizes the Lavapiés district.

In this special edition, the elderly women of the neighborhood have been selected as special collaborators, and they will have the honor of painting the commemorative mural for the festival’s tenth anniversary. The tribute has a clear title: “The Decade in Commerce.”

Artists taking part in the festival

The 2023 CALLE festival will begin with the non-competitive intervention of guest artist Javier Lobo (MIEK), a renowned Madrid-based muralist, chosen for this edition to create the work entitled “The Guardian of Reason” (“El Guardián de la Razón”) on C/ Argumosa 28. His work has been inspired by the book “The Art of Loving” by Eric Fromm.

The artist depicts the same character in three different poses in different shades of brown. Each pose symbolizes a different attitude towards life on the street: friendship, reason, and discipline, as a reminder of the importance of having a conciliatory spirit with others. In total, he has spent nine days working 12 hours a day to bring this mural to life.

Beyond that, artists will have free rein to showcase their talents on various mediums using a wide range of techniques and materials throughout the neighborhood.

Some of the names that will take part include Alba Bla, Las Enganchadas, the Laekis collective, Lu de López, Rafa Bertone, and Marta Vela, among many others. Additionally, as creativity knows no bounds, artists from Finland, Mexico, and Colombia will also be in attendance.

Public art in Madrid

Prizes for the CALLE 23 winners

CALLE artists will compete in 2023 to win the 3 coveted prizes that will be awarded on May 11:

  • Jury Prize awarded by an independent jury, which will award a prize of 1,200€ to the selected intervention.
  • Alhambra Prize, which will be awarded to the most highly valued artist through a jury appointed by Cervezas Alhambra. The prize will be 800€.
  • Audience Prize, which will be awarded to the most highly valued intervention through CALLE’s social media and will be endowed with 500€.

Guided tours

To discover all the works of the festival, guided tours have been organized. It’s a perfect opportunity to see all 55 artworks on a walking tour through the Lavapiés neighborhood and learn more about the artists, works, and their significance.

These tours will cost 5 euros and can be booked here from April 27 to May 14.

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