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 one is the 3rd tour of the series. This time the tour takes you around Avenida da Liberdade and up to the Avenidas Novas area. You can also find some other trips of this series in the trendy area of the city, the nearby neighbourhoods, or going down the city hill and following the riverside.
Start by entering the large Avenida da Liberdade. About halfway up, on the left, you can find Praça da Alegria. This cosy little square with a garden is the location of a desolate building with only its facade left. Under the direction of Nark, an artist collective painted some life back into it, with each stoned window now showing a different image.
Head closer to Praça dos Restauradores, and into Travessa de Santo Antão. Here you will find one of the many tributes to Amália Rodrigues, the renowned portuguese Fado singer. This one was made by french duo Mr. Dheo and Mosaik.
Go up, find Calçada do Lavra to reach Miradouro do Torel, and there you will see another tribute, this time to Fernando Pessoa, major portuguese poet. The mural was done by local street artist Odeith. On the opposite side of the viewpoint you can find Calçada do Moinho de Vento. There you can check out several great murals, including one from Pariz One and a collective work by several artists, re-imagining the traditional mosaic walls in a more contemporary and urban way.
Next, go around the Hospital Center and Health Museum and reach Alameda de Santo António dos Capuchos. There you will see a large mural by Tamara Alves. The work shows multicultural, social diversity, with people going through moments of everyday life in a dance-like motion.
Continue up north, closer to Avenida da Liberdade again, until you get to Rua Rodrigues Sampaio. The work you can see here is very easy to spot, a huge horse painted in a 18 meter building. It is Lisbon's tallest street art project, and it was made by spanish artist Aryz.
For the last stretch of this tour keep going up, past Marquês de Pombal square, toward the area of Avenidas Novas. After a little stroll in Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo you will notice the fantastic mark of many international artists. They were part of a project to paint over the facades of three big, empty buildings. Blu, Ericailcane, Lucy McLauchlan, Sam3 and Os Gêmeos were responsible for this enormous pieces that mix contemplative with thought-provoking art. Together, these works are considered to be one of the top 10 street art projects in the world.
As always, check out Galeria de Arte Urbana, or GAU, for a complete gallery of the oficial interventions throughout the city! Also, I have a few more suggestions for great urban art trips in Lisboa that can help you get to know the area in a different way. See you soon!
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