Graffiti is inextricably linked to trains and therefore it comes as no surprise that the walls of the neighbourhood situated between the two main train stations in Rome – Termini and Tiburtina – are filled with tags and throw-ups.
The alleyways of Trastevere are the veins of Rome. Here, there is always a tavern or craft shop to visit, there are always card games played on street corners, and the exuberant style and culture of the district (now considered the “Historic Centre”) is manifested in its street art.
Born out of a fierce need for expression of strong social disadvantage, every year street art is becoming more and more vanilla.
The spreading of urban art festivals has a lot to do with it: curators usually want something aesthetically nice, which will please everybody.
It’s gone from a tool to convey radical political messages. Now street art has become a ‘tool’ to decorate walls – probably the cheapest way for public administrations to show that some action has been taken to redevelop the outskirts, even if they’re only putting up a façade (no pun intended).
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.
It seems like only yesterday that I saw Addfuel painting his first mural in Rome, and consequently met the Forgotten team, and now, a few crazy adventures later, it’s already time to say goodbye. The last Portuguese street artist that we have invited to paint his first mural in Rome was Daniel Eime, and he arrived just one week before the group exhibition at MACRO Testaccio, so our schedule was a bit hectic –but you should know by now that that’s how we like it.