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Trend Alert: Spain's "Walking Gallery"

Spain's Walking Gallery: grandma

It’s an idyllic summer day along the Mediterranean Sea. You’ve nestled in your slice of earthly heaven, a small, sunny patch of sand, when a giant portrait of a cranky-looking grandma rises from the water and lurches toward you.

Is this a flash mob? An international episode of the U.S. hidden camera series: What Would You Do? What in the hell is going on?

It’s Spain’s Walking Gallery, where artists march around a city for several hours with their creations strapped to their bodies or hanging from handlebars.

Spain's Walking Gallery: art parade

Jose Puig started WG in Barcelona, Spain, as a personal project to see how people would interact with a one-man art parade. Soon other artists joined him and via social media, a community of like-minded creatives grew and treks turned up in cities like Madrid, San Sebastián and Bilbao.

On March 25th, WG will stage its first international event, with a “no-walls” gallery march happening simultaneously in Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao and Vigo, as well as Buenos Aires in Argentina. A summer WG event in London is also in the works.

This comes at a time of walking resurgence in the world. Anything but pedestrian, people are exploring the action as an art form and manner of personal reflection. Recently at the Newcastle AV Festival artists and festival attendees marched side by side for a creative, moving piece orchestrated by the waking artist, Hamish Fulton.

Spain's Walking Gallery: man

Back in Barcelona during the month of May, WG artists will celebrate the Walking Gallery’s 2nd birthday on May 10th. They will also carry their creations around town for a series of WG-format events coinciding with several of the month’s major art events.

March 25: 5-Connection (Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Vigo, Buenos Aires)
May 10–11: 2nd anniversary celebration (Barcelona)
May 18: Walking Gallery for Tallers Oberts “Workshops’ Open-House” (Barcelona)
May 19: Walking Gallery for Nit dels Museus “Museums’ Night” (Barcelona)
May 26: Walking Gallery for SWAB Modern Art Festival (Barcelona)

Carey Reed Zamarriego is a writer and translator, with a bilingual (English-Spanish) blog: wanderlustwriting. She wrote “World’s Most Controversial Monuments” for Travel + Leisure.

From top: photos by Txell Alarcón, Damian, and Puig

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