Urban art projects by SpY: some of his most celebrated works
Always new and unexpected: Spanish artist SpY masterfully creates installations that dialogue with the urban setting
Known as the mastermind of artistic communication in the street, Spanish artist SpY is loved for his brave contemporary projects. The self-taught genius has been in the art scene since the eighties. Over time, his collections progressively have become more impressive and impactful, and his large-scale installations can now be seen all around the globe.
SpY seduces viewers by making them feel like active participants in the creative process.
Here are some of his most celebrated works so far.
1. YIELD in Örebro, Sweden, 2022
Yield by Spanish artist SpY, is the first on our list, which features a public installation of thirty yield signs. Through his work, the artist alters a typical traffic sign’s meaning and aesthetics and changes its semantics. As a result, it becomes a tool for playfulness. While usually, a traffic sign directs people’s behavior, this art installation embodies a different logic.
The dynamic aesthetic experience invites the viewer to think about migration and the arbitrary restrictions placed on human movement.
2. BARRIERS in Santiago, Chile, 2015
The artwork executed in Chile consists of safety barriers. This ordinary object, a symbol of restrictions, is placed in a shape of a circle and can be interpreted in numerous ways. Simple, yet powerful – Barriers is impressive in its subtle manner. This particular installation was presented in a deprived neighborhood of Santiago.
3. ROTATION in Madrid, Spain, 2011
Another exceptional work of SpY looks at a typical basketball court and changes our perspective on it. The artist drew new court lines with a variety of orientations and rotations. They create unique paths and angles that force players to think and move in different ways opening up new possibilities for this sport’s customary rules.
This idea of intervention and redesigning the court consequently facilitates new strategies and tactics.
4. RAMP in Madrid, Spain, 2007
As new materials were introduced in the 21st century, skateboarding changed significantly. Now, while there’s more possibility for maneuvers, the traditional urban skate ramps have stayed the same. Well, until SpY’s work. His artwork includes painted lines, which relate to soccer rules. This way, SpY has created a new hybrid game that has no limits or ends.
Through his work, the Spanish artist inspires us to make use of the opportunities in front of us.
5. HIGH in Madrid, Spain, 2007
Among our favorite works of SpY is this installation, which assesses the symbolic meaning of a basketball ring. The name of the artist’s work implies the basketball ring is ‘too high’. Placed on the facade of a building in a city, High creates a space for the public to come together and bond over a shared love for the game.
6. Braille in Madrid, Spain, 2006
Diversity is a crucial ingredient in creative thinking, and the Spanish artist knows this well. This particular project includes a set of stickers with various Braille messages, which were strategically placed in Madrid. SpY has created them, thinking about visually handicapped people and their needs.
This project gives blind people more access to public spaces and makes them feel included in the city. It is about creating an inclusive society surrounding our urban settings.
7. BRICKS in Madrid, Spain, 2008
The best artwork sparks conversation, and this project of SpY has certainly done that. As you look at it, you can’t help but question its meaning. The brick wall construction in the interior of a city football goal is something you’d never expect.
In this project, SpY uses the concept of decontextualizing. By neatly placing hundreds of bricks, the football goal loses its meaning completely.
8. BARRIER TAPE in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2022
One of the most unusual projects of SpY is this dynamic barrier tape-covered sculpture that moves and makes sounds. Barrier Tape is a series of kinetic installations that are based on real-world objects and hypnotic patterns. Similar to BRICK, this 1600 square meter installation also follows the concept of decontextualizing.
Typically, a barrier tape is considered to be an urban element that regulates and orders people’s movement. Here, it has a different function. The audience can enter the piece and get into a transitory state of disorientation.
9. MOON in Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014
Many of SpY’s projects aim to incorporate nature shapes and objects into the urban setting, and this is no exception. His crescent moon is aligned perfectly with its lunar neighbors, offering a truly breathtaking sight. In order to position the moon, the Spanish artist used an industrial cane.
Who said ordinary objects couldn’t be used as art pieces? SpY showcases that thought-provoking installations can be simple and powerful at the same time. In his ingenious works, the Spanish artist always uses humor and irony, which feels like a breath of fresh air in the modern art scene.