New York, London, LA, Sao Paulo and Melbourne may be considered the best the places to see street art (graffiti), but that doesn’t mean other cities aren’t getting in on the act. Here’s our pick of the five cities that have the fiercest underground street art movements right now.
Thanks to the political murals of Diego Rivera and the intricate cultural artistry of Nuezz, Mexico is no stranger to fantastic murals and street art. Despite such heritage, Mexico City has only just legalized street art. Artists like Pixel Pancho, Saner and the Moz Crew have all been quick to leave their marks in its streets.
Rio de Janeiro
In 1999 Rio launched a campaign, “Don’t Tag, Graffiti” to encourage a more artistic approach to street art. Ten years later the city went one step further, sanctioning a new law allowing street art as long as it was done with consent from the owners of the building. This liberal approach has fostered an incredibly strong graffiti scene in the city.
Having been Gaudi’s muse, Barcelona is no stranger to avant-garde art. The creative expression of the past seems to have inspired graffiti masters like Pez in streets all across the city. A maze in itself – with topsy-turvy alleyways and cobblestone streets – Barcelona’s the perfect place to wander and stumble upon graffiti works.
Better known for its Flemish architecture, Belgium’s fourth largest city has seen a huge increase in graffiti art exposure in recent times. For example, the now internationally renowned artist Roa hails from the city. Established artists and up-and-coming talents benefit equally from the pact offered by the city, where it pledges to provide designated areas for graffiti as long as the artists keep their artwork within the confines of that area.
In May 2010 Lisbon launched the CRONO Project which sought to transform dilapidated buildings into artwork using local artists. Massive murals have brought a fresh face to edifices around the city, adding to Lisbon’s urban character. This along with the already thriving undercurrent of street art in Portugal makes Lisbon a top spot for catching some colourful masterpieces.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…