English newspaper 'The Guardian' has pointed out Lisbon to be the best city of street art in the world. After spending a few months in Portugal I can stretch that statement and write that the country itself is a great place for urban artists. That fact is a wonderful thing for any visitor as well. We had tons of fun discovering art pieces randomly and then learning about their creators or the opposite – searching for a particular example which we saw only online.
One might wonder why Portugal? The most probable answer you might have already found in a previous article as abandoned buildings are a regular sight in that Iberian country. They serve as a perfect canvas and I believe were the main reasons behind blooming community of artists. From a long list I'd like to mention here two of my favorites:
Bordallo II (Bordalo Secundo; @b0rdalo_ii) is a Lisboner whose nickname traces to a famous artist from Caldas da Rainha. This one, though, is a contemporary master creating characteristic installations from waste. All of them are nature-related and that combination is not only a beautiful metaphor but also makes us (at least it should) to think about our relationship with the environment. His work can be found all over the world.
Vhils (Alexandre Farto; @vhils) is yet another artist from Portugal whose work has a global reach. His style is something which can be described as an artistic vandalism – he carves his art into the walls rather than paints. His way of visual communication is so unique that can't be mistaken with any other. Focusing on portraits he touches questions of identity and everything which surrounds it.
What was very interesting for me was to find the street art basically everywhere but two places charmed me the most. Bairo Alto in Lisbon and the small city of Aveiro. The 'high district' of the Portuguese capital is a true labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys which are filled with azulejos and graffiti – perfectly balancing the old and the new of the local art. At the same time, what Aveiro lacks in history it excesses in the contemporary, giving tourists a lot of opportunities to take out their cameras and to capture the street art.
The rest... just check the photos and tell us what you think. Whose your favorite? Or maybe you have any nice examples from your country?
P.S. Don't forget to check our Facebook page where you'll find even more photos from our adventures.