Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Island Grafitti


Banksy eat your heart out, the art is alive and well here in Santa Cruz de Tenerife! I’ve been snapping and collecting these for a while now, probably time to share them I think.

The five to follow are near to where my son lives on the edge of Santa Cruz, almost in La Laguna, and they certainly make the walk to the garbage and recycling bins more fun than the average. It’s all part of the same mural on the wall behind the bins, and those bins got in the way, so there is a section I couldn’t get to, but it appears left to right in the order these pix appear:

Tenerife is rich in street art of all varieties, that commissioned by town halls and local governments, temporary exhibitions by prestigious artists and sculptors, creative use of discarged things (more about that another time), buskers and mime artists, and this grafitti, especially in the capital, Santa Cruz.

Grafitti (well, good grafitti created by someone with artistic talent) isn’t just art, though, it’s a social commentary, it’s the raised middle finger to convention and often a sign of rebellion.

And other times it might be quite conventional.

In the town at the heart of the island’s religious beliefs, Candelaria, even the grafitti is sacred!

In La Laguna they run to whimsy rather than history though.

In the next photo I’m not sure which appeals to me most, that wonderfully-rotting, old door or the modern artwork!

And the next, well, I’m not entirely sure if it’s advertising work that goes on behind that locked door, or a warning to motorists that your car will be towed if you overstay your welcome.

I now find, to my digust, that I’ve somehow lost my very favorite, but a close second was this very simple one. I liked them both for the same reason. They take advantage of a natural form. Someone saw something different in the form and created a a little fantasy. My favorite, the one I lost, was painted on a large boulder on the roadside, a comical face, which made me smile when I drove past. This one is far simpler, but it begs the title “Fish out of Water”, and the lesson is to sometimes look at things in a different way – stand on the desk. for those of you who understand that rallying cry!


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

3 thoughts on “Island Grafitti

  1. Captain my captain!
    These are very intersting and not as subtle as the Banksy’s I’ve seen in Bristol. Less use of colour I suppose, but always a sort of social comment to make you think and smile, which is why I love his stuff. Have a couple of books showing his things and love the subterfuge of going into an art gallery and doing something that the authorites don’t notice for days!
    That’s chutzpah!

  2. Art, like food and various other stuff at some point became not something to bring pleasure nor to stimulate the mind but the property of snobs and psuedo intellectuals. Maybe grafitti is the only legitimate form of art these days?

    • yes – wine comes to mind. wine writers talking up stuff that costs a rediculous amount – maybe because they get a case of the stuff for the plug!
      I wouldn’t want a world without some of the great paintings that already exist though.
      I watch an arts show and recently the one on modern sculpture had me lost after Moore and Hepworth. Sorry a row of white pebbles or a grid of bricks just can’t be turned into art in my brain. I’m already programmed that bricks build and pebbles look great by water etc etc. Tracy Emin’s unmade bed just makes me want to get rubber gloves on and sort it out – oh dear – yes it’s official – I’m turned into a fuddy duddy!

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