Urban Art in Lisboa 2: the melting pot zones

4 minutes to read

In the last few years, Lisboa has been increasingly known throughout the world as a city of urban art. Dedicated galleries, street art shops and other original projects have been popping up all over the map to bring this often overlooked way of artistic intervention to a larger public. National artists are recognized world-wide, while international names travel here to leave their mark. New projects appear every day, while others are painted over or destroyed as the city grows. Artistic graffiti is now proudly embraced by oficial institutions, and actively too. And in the center of all of this, the mural paintings.

This series will give you a few tours around Lisboa, focusing on some of the best works you can find. To really be able to follow it is best to have a city map at hand! This is trip number 2 of the series. It will lead you through the neighbourhoods of Graça, Anjos and Mouraria. You can also find some other trips of this series in the trendiest zones, the upper-city avenues, or going down the city hill and following the riverside.

In Graça, among the other graffiti and painted walls, there are three particular murals that pay hommage to portuguese literary figures. In Rua Josefa de Óbidos, close to the City Council, the street artist Eime painted poet Sophia de Mello Breyner's face. Very close by, in travessa do Monte, Mariana Dias Coutinho painted poets Natália Correia and Florbela Espanca.

These next ones are some of the best known street art projects in the city because of a popular attraction. The Tram 28 goes through Rua Natália Correia, where there is a work by Violant, depicting a surrealist tree, and the large-scale project of Shepard Fairey, an impressive image of a woman in uniform and revolutionary cap, holding a gun with a flower on the barrel. Another piece by Shepard Fairey, in collaboration with Vhils, can be seen in Rua da Senhora da Glória. It is the face of a woman, half painted, half carved, drawing attention to this otherwise common street.

Located between the Graça viewpoint and the São Vicente de Fora church, in Travessa de São Vicente de Fora, you can find an interesting mural blending street art style with a revolutionary scene. The figures are all animated characters, making a connection to the school where the mural was made. It is the work of french artists Pariz One and Mr. Dheo.

Now we can start leaving the neighbourhood and head to Anjos. Make a small detour past the Senhora do Monte viewpoint, through Rua Damasceno Monteiro, and you will find a work by akaCorleone, a tall, colorful painting impossible to go unnoticed.

Finnally entering Anjos, find Largo Intendente. In the square, painted over the facade of a devolute building, there are several fantastic figures by Tamara Alves. Also, on the other side of the Avenue, and up the Rua do Saco, you can see a fantastic painting by Violant, spreading over the walls of two old buildings.

Now you should follow down the avenue and enter Mouraria. The multicultural area has plenty of wall paintings to go along the usual graffiti and tags. Walk past Martim Moniz, at the edge of the neighbourhood, and enter the old streets to find Largo da Achada. There you can see a work by Andrea Tarli, italian artist, an image with a very obvious satire of a current concern.

Next is probably the most well known mural around. To find it you must reach Escadinhas de São Cristóvão, a medieval stairway with a small square. Here sits a great collective work representing the local Fado tradition, aswell as some visions of the neighbourhood in a variety of styles.

There is one last cool spot worth seeing. Just around the corner, enter the car park of Chão do Loureiro. This used to be a local market, transformed to accomodate the increase of vehicles in the area. The walls of this 5 level building are now filled with great works by many street artists like RAM, MAR, Miguel Januário, Nomen and Paulo Arraiano.

Don't forget to check out Galeria de Arte Urbana, GAU for short, for a complete gallery of the oficial interventions throughout the city! But if all this is not enough for you, don't forget to check out the other tours in different neighbourhoods!

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The author

Vasco Casula

Vasco Casula

I am Vasco and I come from Portugal. Alongside playing guitar and working on animation films, I like to discover and let you discover places, such as Portugal!

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