Effects of Gentrification in Madrid Favorite 



Dec 27 2020


Chueca, Madrid Spain

El Rey de la Ruina (The King of the Ruin) has become an act of powerful recognizable symbolism throughout Madrid. In terms of his popular heart symbolism, the artist chose the organ, a heart, as one of his favorite symbols because he was diagnosed when he was little with cardiomegaly, an abnormal increase in the volume of the heart, which is what inspired this organ as his prize art symbol.

The social issue in this art piece highlights gentrification and LGBTQ rights. Gentrification is the concept of wealthy individuals imposing on a lower-income area and adding new housing, businesses, city centers, and more while displacing those still living there. While gentrification is proposed as a positive issue, it is an ongoing problem because it hurts the community, and only the rich can profit from it.

The mural located in Chueca states the words “Para Siempre… Mientras Dure” translating to forever.. while it lasts. This translation serves as a meaning of remaining strong together or possibly maintaining enjoyment for as long as you can before it is taken away from you. In the first meaning, remaining strong together, the community, “the heart”, has decided to remain vigorous through the sword stabbing through it, the violence being “the investors and wealthy individuals”. The second meaning, the heart is wrapped around the sword, showcasing the community remaining positive and powerful through the violence. There is a cross, serving as a bandage on different parts of the heart, showcasing the bruises made in the community from gentrification. There is a blue and yellow sword going directly through the center of the heart. There are various yellow and blue spots on the heart showcasing the punctures of the sword. The sword is a representation of the gentrifiers imprinting on the wholesomeness of the community. There is also a brick pattern on parts of the heart resembling the city walls. Because it is still intact with the heart, it also demonstrates the community wanting to remain together throughout the trials and tribulations. This ties in with the gentrification crisis because the locals are constantly being stripped of their traditions and neighborhood community while facing housing insecurities.

In relation to the course, Art and Activism, this artwork serves as the framework for a serious concept that affects entire communities. El Rey de la Ruina combined political movements into his artwork, creating artistic activism. Through his art, he speaks for the community, those who can’t or don’t have access for their voice to be heard. He uses his platform to show that they will remain forever, no matter what destruction they face. In the course, one of the main focuses is the gentrification effect throughout Madrid, and he did a great job executing it.

Posted by amilyah on

Staff rating: 


Featured in these Galleries