Uriginal /   Uri Martinez


Urban Art, Street Art


Uri Martinez
April 12, 2016

Since the beginning of the new millennium, a street art scene in Spain has emerged and became one of the most vibrant in Europe. Among many Spanish urban artists who gained wide recognition and acclaim is Uriginal, a Barcelona-based creative who became known for his pieces inspired by historical masterpieces or popular imagery. He brings to life the famous subjects of iconic paintings by utilizing bright colors and bold lines, along with the use of a kaleidoscope geometric pattern throughout many of his artworks. His pieces grace the walls throughout Barcelona, and they have been shown at galleries in the capital of Catalonia region, as well as beyond.

Uriginal - artworks
Uriginal – artworks

Uriginal’s Subjects and Influences

Influenced by individualized and distinctive style of the most famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí – especially his multicolored mosaics – Uriginal has developed a unique aesthetics and style that goes from the reinvention of Marvel Comics heroes to Pop Art to the characters of Star Wars, from Spanish painting or flamenco to the Barcelona Graffiti scene. He describes himself as “the son of a matador from high Ampurdán and a florist from the Ramblas of Barcelona” whose dream from childhood has been to become the national “King of paella”.

Uriginal - A Girona Amb En Flan I La Cinta
Uriginal – A Girona Amb En Flan I La Cinta

Uriginal Exhibitions

Although Uriginal has been heavily involved with the development of street and urban art over the last decade in Spain, he has also produced studio works and has exhibited his pieces in galleries. In April 2015, he participated in group show Endangered Species, along with the nineteen international contemporary artists who depicted one animal in their artworks which is under threat of extinction. Organized by MYA Gallery in London and World Land Trust, the exhibition aimed to promote awareness of the species that are on the verge of disappearing forever. Earlier the same years, his work was included in the Kaleidoscope group exhibition also at the London-based gallery. Most recently, his art was on display in group urban art show entitled Barcelona Mia at Galerie Celal in Paris along with the work of such artist as Pez, Mina Hamada, and Zosen.

Uriginal - Mona Lisa (Left) / Sophia Loren (Right)
Uriginal – Mona Lisa (Left) / Sophia Loren (Right)

Paintings that Seem Frozen in Time

The pieces made by Uriginal – whether it is the recreation of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Zhenshi’s portrait of the Chinese leader Mao Zedong, or celebrities portraying – seem frozen in time, focused on a subject, a symbol or an event. His characters are tessellated mosaics, seemingly in constant alteration, as if they were appearing or disappearing. The vivid color, humor, and irrepressible creativity, are all part of Uriginal’s alluring visual language.

Uriginal lives and works in Barcelona.

Featured image: Uriginal in front of one of his works
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017Way Art FestivalCantabria, SpainGroup
2017AAF LondonHampstead, UKGroup
2017Vertigo PerifericoFousion Art Gallery, Barcelona, SpainSolo
2017Citric FestivalCastellon, SpainGroup
2017UnknownDrampking Gallery, Amsterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2017UnknownTraffic Gallery, MAD Museum of Art and Design, SingaporeGroup
2016UnknownBanus Gallery Puerto Banus, Marbella, SpainGroup
2016UnknownCelal Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2016UnknownDrampking Gallery, Amsterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2016UnknownN2 Gallery, Barcelona SpainGroup
2015Swab BCNN2 Gallery, Barcelona SpainGroup
2015Just MadN2 Gallery, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2015MulafestMadrid, SpainGroup
2015VangMenorca, SpainGroup
2015Endangered SpeciesMYA Gallery and World Land Trust, London, UKGroup
2015UnknownOpen Art Gallery, Dijon, FranceGroup
2015KaleidoscopeMYA Gallery, London, UKGroup
2015UnknownFreshly Baked Gallery, New Jersey, USAGroup
2014UnknownSwab BCN Barcelona, SpainGroup
2014UnknownTraffic Gallery, Bergamo, ItalyGroup
2014UnknownKunstbunker Duga Resa, CroatiaGroup
2014Urban Painting Milan, ItalyGroup
2014UnknownStreet Art Museum, Amsterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2014UnknownVang Menorca, SpainGroup
2014UnknownN2 Gallery, Barcelona SpainGroup
2014UnknownKKKB Barcelona, SpainGroup
2013Art Shake IIIMondo Bizzarro, Rome, ItalyGroup
2013UnknownN2 Gallery, Barcelona SpainGroup
2013UnknownBase Elements, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2013UnknownPoble Dub Sec, Barcelona, SpainGroup