I’ve noticed in recent years that what used to be dubbed “graffiti” is now being referred to as “street art.” During my travels throughout Europe in the last ten years, street art seems to have evolved into a true method of self-expression. The hurried graffiti of those trying to claim a territory as their own is being replaced by the creative and artistic musings of artists trying to make social and political statements that are open to interpretation.
The result? Beautiful, and sometimes controversial, art that anyone can enjoy for free. It seems people no longer try to cover it up. A blank wall is now a blank canvas. Other artists don’t try to cover the work of others with their own. These passionate, industrious artists seem to simply find a different place to make their opinions known. In some cities, no blank space is sacred. A wall around a private home, the side of religious building, even a 2000-year-old ruin sometimes can’t escape the mark of a can of spray-paint.
Some of this incredible street art leaves me wondering if it was actually done with a brush rather than a can of spray paint. These artists manage to create shadows, outlines, fading, borders, all with can of spray paint. I can’t even paint my pergola without drips, and they tell stories with perfection using nothing but a can of paint and their own imagination.
I haven’t photographed all of the street art I’ve discovered over the years, but here is a collection of some of the most amazing creations I’ve witnessed recently. While I don’t pretend to know what all of it means, I do think it’s a wondrous exhibition of talent.
Click the name of each country to read more of my posts about each one.
STREET ART IN ATHENS, GREECE
STREET ART IN REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
STREET ART IN PARIS, FRANCE
STREET ART IN LISBON AND PORTO, PORTUGAL
STREET ART IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM