After a cozy weekend with my big, fat, Italo-French family, it was time to hit the city and explore the street art of Paris. I opted for the 13th district, where some great murals have just been added to an already outstanding collection of public art to inaugurate the open-air street art museum “Boulevard Paris 13”, a project curated by Itinerrance gallery.
Everybody seems to think that street art in Berlin is dead and undoubtedly the city isn’t anymore the ultimate destination for graffiti writers and all kinds of artists.
Urban Nation is responsible for the majority of urban art in the city, so our Berlin street art tour couldn’t start anywhere else than from their HQs on Bulowstrasse.
[UPDATE 2018: At last, I visited Urban Nation, read more below!]
As one more year passed by, I found myself thinking about my happiest moments from 2016 and –undoubtedly- attending the legendary Nuart street art festival in Stavanger (Norway) was one of them. Apart from a couple of interviews (with Axel Void and Henrik Uldalen), I still haven’t told you anything about that amazing experience, although you might have seen my round-up of outdoor and indoor murals and my recap of Nuart Plus academic conferences on I Support Street Art, the website I was representing at the festival. So I guess it’s about time I shared what my favourite walls in Stavanger are, not just from last year’s edition of this independent festival, but since its very beginning back in 2001, when Martyn Reed founded one of the pioneering events dedicated to everything urban and public art, which –since then- has been breaking new ground in the street art scene worldwide.
As the numbers of legal walls and self-proclaimed art curators slowly increase in the capital, Rome’s street art scene is beginning to attract internationally renowned street artists, curious street art lovers eager to discover a less classical side to Rome, and growing attention from the institutions.
Some of our local artists are now invited to paint abroad, so we can say that Rome’s proverbial parochialism is fading away year after year, although the majority of the works realized on the streets of Rome are still amateurish, especially when compared to those abroad.
They say street art in Barcelona was a big thing until 10 to 15 years ago. That was before the city council began to ‘clean up’ the city by tightening graffiti laws, imposing big fines and white-washing the most colourful areas in town. Later on, a few street art festivals such as ‘The Influencers’ and ‘OpenWall Conference’ claimed some legal walls around the city, while spontaneous street art is essentially reduced to stencil art and pastel art (as in these cases the fine is lower if you are caught).
If you are not into street art, don’t bother going as far as Lagos, in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. The town is very touristy, restaurants aren’t inspiring and, besides a few charming houses in the city centre, the town is made up of ugly concrete buildings and huge hotels.
But if you are into street art, Lagos is the place to go! Especially if, after a graffiti hunt, you fancy a rest at one of the many beautiful beaches not so far from the city centre.