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Every week, on my walks, I notice colorful, stunning works of art that show up on buildings seemingly around every corner. There’s always something new, or one that I hadn’t noticed before. They are incredible to see and literally turn the city into an open air museum of art! There are even tours available that specifically feature the artworks that can be found around the city.
The street art here in Lisbon is embraced by the people and clearly has become imbedded in the city’s identity. Many great, local, independent artists, such as 34 year old Artur Bordalo, professionally known as Bordalo II, have their “guerrilla art” prominently displayed on walls and the sides of buildings throughout the city. These inspirationally beautiful, gigantic murals are sometimes a gift from the artist, and sometimes publically or privately commissioned works of art.
Authorization from the city council must be obtained for any art to be legal. A project proposal must be submitted for approval. This creates competition and results in phenomenal street art as opposed to illegal graffiti.
Independent art, guerrilla art, graffiti, neo-graffiti… there are many terms and styles that all fit in the category of street art. The most commonly known, Graffiti, is defined as the unauthorized defacing of public or private property. Although it’s illegal, it can be seen in every city, everywhere. But the most talented of the graffiti artists have evolved it from illegible scribbling to an elaborate, colorful, unique style of text that can be a name or sometimes convey some kind of political or social message. This style is used by many contemporary independent artists from all over the world. Back in the 80’s, some forward thinking officials in a few European cities actually imported talented American graffiti artists with their unique urban style, to help beautify their cities.
My video below shows only some of the really beautiful artwork that can be seen all around Lisbon. It’s set to the amazing music of a dude who has to be THE COOLEST mandolinist you’ll ever see! I hope you enjoy it as much as do!