Street Art is poetry on the walls
Street Art makes urban tourism, artistic, poetic and attractive. It adds life and soul to old walls or colours to landscapes saddened by the industry. Street artists who exhibit their works everywhere turn our cities or abandoned places into open-air museums of Contemporary Art.
The urban art movement appeared in the 1980s and emerged from the culture of graffiti and hip hop. But since the 2000s, it has become increasingly close to the contemporary art market, with some artists such as Banksy, André, JR, Miss. Tic or Shepard Fairey being exhibited in museums.
The difference between graffiti and street art is that street artists do not necessarily use the letter. The purpose of the tagger or graffiti artist is mainly to affix his name or "blaze" while that of the street artist is to affix an image, a visual signature, whatever the method used to create it.
In 2014, the city of Charleroi had the excellent idea to revitalize the industrial look of its city centre. Belgian and international Street Art stars have been invited to exhibit their works. The "Urban Dream" project was initiated by BPS22, a contemporary creative space in Hainaut Province, and includes eleven monumental frescoes, as well as dozens of other smaller interventions.
So, I decided to introduce you to this fun urban tour that allows you to discover the city on foot, by subway or by bike. The individual tour is free except for taking the metro, €2.40 to €5. If you prefer a guided tour, the price is 65€/person + metro ticket.
The walk start from Charleroi-sud station and return is by foot or bicycle via the Ravel.
Street-artists you will discover and artworks you will see:
Todd James (born 1969) is a contemporary artist from New York City. Self-taught, he started tagging the New York City Subway system under the name REAS when he was very young. His distinctive cartoon-style paintings are very ironic. Todd's paintings reflected a variety of influences, including the pop culture and American expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline.
Maya Hayuk (Born 1969 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an internationally exhibited American artist living and working in Brooklyn. She is perhaps best known for the bold geometric patterns she employs in large-scale murals. Psychedelic effect guaranteed!
Stephen J. Powers (born May 25, 1968) is a New York City artist who at one time wrote graffiti in Philadelphia and New York under the name ESPO ("Exterior Surface Painting Outreach"). ESPO is also an auditory acronym for Steve POwers. Each of his mural paintings reflects a positive character trait of a local community. His artwork in Charleroi can be seen from the ring or Rue de l'Ancre.
Under the name Hell'O Monsters, there are four artists: Antoine Detaille, François Dieltiens, Jérôme Meynen and Grégory Van Cleemput. Their universe is populated by changing characters with bright colors. In their works, opposites such as human and inhuman, life and death, organic and spiritual, seriousness and derision, religious and iconoclastic often coexist.
Invader (born 1969) is the pseudonym of this French urban artist, whose work is modelled on the crude pixellation of 1970s–1980s 8-bit video games. He took his name from the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, and much of his work is composed of square ceramic tiles inspired by video game characters.
Sergio Hidalgo Paredes is a contemporary artist from Barcelona known as Sixe art or Sixeart. He started to paint graffiti in the late 1980s. In the mid-90s he developed his multidisciplinary talents in the fields of sculpture and studio painting. His artwork is a powerful composition of colors and geometrical forms. He is inspired by the ancient cosmologies where shamanism celebrated a powerful and omnipresent nature.
Boris Tellegen is born in 1968 in Amsterdam. He said: “My work is in collage, sculpture, drawings, videos and installations. It investigates the tension between planning and happenstance; the semblance of order undone by schematic chaos. Mankind is driven by an unshakeable faith in progress, where modern technology and constant growth leads us to a better world. My work explores a different outcome, where the automated forces unleashed develop structures and minds of their own."
HuskMitNavn (RememberMyName) is Danish artist, born in 1975, lives and works in Copenhagen. He creates humorous and ironic Artworks. HuskMitNavn’s works can be seen at Cobeau School and under the ring route in the direction of Route de Mons.
Patrice Poch is French and was born in 1972. Since his 14th birthday, Patrice Poch has been gravitating in the punk-rock universe. He said: "My work is not really political but it is clearly antifascist." Poch’s works can be seen all around the city.
You can download the complete tour brochure from the Charleroi Tourist Office website.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.