The painted rocks of Sierra de Guadarrama.

Posted on January 30, 2018


The Sierra de Guadarrama has got a lot of hidden treasures. It’s coarseness is showing purity, combined with sleepy towns, national parks and colourful history of Spain. Sometimes, walking around alone in the middle of the mountain area, it feels like i can face Clint Eastwood any moment, where he is acting as a cowboy, riding his horse, performing as ‘the good,’ hunting down ‘the bad,’ or the ugly...’

Driving in my rental car on the highway A6 Autovía del Noroeste, coming from Madrid, heading to A Coruña, I leave the highway near the Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caídos) A controversial location, where the beauty of a national park conflicts with the memorial initiated by Francisco Franco to honour and bury those who died in the Spanish Civil War. May be eclipsed in Europe by the Second World war, but in Spain there is still tension and antithesis, born in the Spanish civil war and Franco period.

I take a local road, close to the city of Collado Villalba and drive into the mountains. After a while, I park  the car to take a short break. On foot I follow a small path, to become happily surprised to face graffiti in the woods. While Continuing, I face a hidden lake, surrounded by high rocks, where local youth is chilling in the water, enjoying a refreshing moment as a counterpart for the Spanish high summer temperature.

The rocks are decorated, I notice some impressive pieces of street art, including imposing work of the Spanish artist AMurillo. May be even a moment a little vigilant to face art at a first impression illogical location like this, i have a small conversation with the local youth. For them this is just an assembly location where you have fun during the day with swimming and relaxing and where you build a campfire in the evening. I am enjoying their veracity and curiousity.

The mural sized baby painting is overwhelming, and the ‘cave-entrance’ face image is very particular as a fake opening in the rocks. During my stay in Spain I have gone back to this location a couple of times to enjoy and to create a moment of meditation, just to enjoy life, and have considerations like William Shakespeares ‘to be or not to be’ thoughts.

 The work is created by AMurillo, a resident artist in Madrid with an artistic career that has commenced in 1998 when he met the graffiti and street art. Since 2005 he is professionally dedicated, conducting design and decoration works for companies, individuals and municipalities. In urban projects he is requested to convey to the viewer a story and feelings in the environment where it has intervened. Since 2012, he is creating live graffiti shows for different events, inspired by the theme and messages he receives, creating shows where the wizard can show something different each time, displaying video-shows to amplify the event and the creative process. 

Experimentation and finding new ways for expression, are the justification to the AMurillo creativity, where merging with other art forms, like music, culture, installations and visual media, among others. He wants to find an association point of energies between the work, the atomosphere where  it is created, the artist and the spectator. To enjoy, to understand better and to develop our plans of conscience.As Amurillo has said himself: 

 “This way of expressing my creativity has been the light that always illuminated the tunnel, in his essence and to full color, with letters or illustration, is the best expression that I could have used to transmit my thoughts and sensations of so diverse life. This is a sample from what I have been doing to unite of the years, with all my heart.”

Text and Photo ©: Henk Warrink / NCO Photography