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Arts & culture

Btoy – A Barcelona street artist

Btoy a Barcelona street artist
Written by Aléxia Costa

Andrea Michaelsson was born in Barcelona in 1977. At first she thought she was meant to be a lawyer and did four years of college studying law. That was before she discovered her talent as an artist. Andrea works in the streets, opposing her studio, so that she can be called a street artist, her most defining characteristic now.

The whys and the hows

Btoy a Barcelona street artist

Photo by r2hox via Flickr

When she was around 26 years old, Andrea discovered that painting relaxed and allowed her to reduce stress by keeping the mind completely busy and committed. In 2003, she began her studies at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Barcelona.

Her life as an artist started with photographs and photoshop, a combination that became the basis for her stencil painting that still goes on today. The use of photoshop would help her to identify light and shadows more easily, a technique that she has developed as a natural filter.

During her path until today Btoy – Andrea’s street name – found inspiration when experimenting with several types of means to reach her ends, which implied working with free plastic techniques, spray and acrylic paint, among others. Those experiments are the path of evolution that is allowing her to develop and evolve her work.

Street art with meaning

Btoy a Barcelona street artist

Photo by Anita Malhotra

The streets are her canvas where she collaborates with others, combining different styles and themes. For Andrea, the idea behind every intervention is the importance of women in society. Her art, sometimes born out of famous portraits, is the representation of female icons, and the first liberated women, mostly characters from the 1950’s.

Her work started with murals that she would paint in rusty doors and abandoned buildings in Barcelona but, since the law changed and stop allowing graffiti in 2005, Btoy changed her street art to posters that take a minute to put up and avoid confrontations with authority, as in a stencil would take about 20 minutes to paint. At this time, Barcelona was a hotspot for street artists from all over Europe.

Today and tomorrow

These days, Andrea Michaelsson’s works are exhibited in galleries around the world. Besides her hometown in Barcelona, her works can also be seen in cities such as Brussels, London, Mexico and Los Angeles. Andrea is best known for her extremely fine, detailed stencils and her commitment to street art.

Btoy ‘s plans for the future include more big murals, continuing her work as a teacher and at the same evolve her art.

About the author

Aléxia Costa

Aléxia Costa is a ghostwriter for both fiction and non-fiction.

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