Vhils, Bordalo II, Aka Corleone, Mário Belém, and Add Fuel, these are some of the most thriving and well known Portuguese names in urban art and Lisbon has been the canvas for many of their most iconic works.
Despite being sometimes attacked by signatures of a few taggers, the truth is that the city has been turning an outdoor museum for some worth seeing artworks.
Take this tour and let’s unveil some of the places where you can enjoy some surprising true works of art while exploring several identities of this unique town.
PARQUE DAS NAÇÕES
A huge Iberian lynx is standing in front of Pavilhão de Portugal (Portugal’s Pavillion)
Created, as usual from reused materials, the artist Bordalo II intends to remind us about the climate emergency, with this piece.
Also at Parque das Nações, a bit further at VIP Art’s Hotel you will find the largest Marvel and DC superheroes tile mural ever seen. Believe me, it is a totally “Instagrammable” wall.
From Gare do Oriente take the train to Entrecampos station where you will see the latest project from the Urban Art Gallery (GAU) imprinted by four women artists under the theme “A lata delas” (Their Nerve).
Tamara Alves, Margarida Fleming, Patrícia Mariano, and Maria Imaginário reproduced the scenery of an authentic gallery, each with different styles, throughout the station walls.
Outside the station, at the upper space of the pedestrian crossing you will find Vanessa Teodoro‘s intervention outside the elevator.
This South African Lisbon based artist work was inspired by African patterns and pop art, using only black and white to ensure greater harmony between the various fronts.
After around 15 minutes walking, heading to Areeiro area you will see an 11 story building at Av. Afonso Costa as a canvas to “Crossroads”, a 2015 work from urban artist Sainer, known worldwide for his large-scale creations and the dreamlike and surrealist character that impresses them.
Underdogs Gallery under its Public Art Program, invited this Polish artist, who arrived in Lisbon only with the woman’s sketch in mind and later added the dog and the duck, while painting with acrylic paint and spray, for the balance and visual harmony of the composition.
Take the metro green line in Areeiro towards Martim Moniz, and wander through Mouraria up to Graça neighborhood.
This is where Akacorleone lives and his neighbors, after some requalification works, invited him to paint one of the facades of a building near Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, at Damasceno Monteiro Street, to avoid the usual, not so talented tags and graffitis.
It is called “Desassossego” (Restlessness) honoring the character that most represents the city of Lisbon, Fernando Pessoa, in a psychadelic dream.
This work also had the Underdogs Gallery support.
Throughout this area and following the 28 path tram, you will enjoy the Graça Literary Tour, alluding to other Portuguese writers who lived in the neighborhood. The Ebano Collective Project created allusive murals representing Natália Correia, Angelina Vidal, Sophia de Mello Breyner Anderson e Florbela Espanca, also referenced on the names of the streets and you can consult its map here.
Downhill, on the way to Portas do Sol viewpoint, between São Tomé Street and Cegos Street you can’t continue this tour missing “The Calçada“.
The author is Vhils and this was his first Portuguese stone pavement project, requested by Ruben Alves, the Portuguese-French filmmaker.
Following the success of his “The Golden Cage” movie, Ruben was challenged by Universal France to create a Fado music album gathering the new generation of singers singing Amalia.
Creating the album was not enough for the ambitious director and therefore he invited Vhils to develop a unique and striking work with Amália’s face, to celebrate Portugal’s identity.
This Vhils project became, in fact, the album’s cover.
Along Alfama, heading to Panteão Nacional, at Botto Machado Garden, close to where Feira da Ladra Flea Market takes place you will find an immense tile mural with 52,738 tiles, to be exact.
André Saraiva, a Portuguese-French urban artist, became known in the ’90s by Mr. A, a character that also signs many projects spread across other European cities, and this work reinterprets Lisbon picturing some of its main monuments, mixed with other European monuments, such as Eiffel Tower.
From there, head down to Santa Apolónia area where you will find Mário Belém‘s work celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Portugal.
Standing at Calçada the Santa Apolónia, where Bica do Sapato Street and Diogo Couto Street intersect there is a wall covered with bright colors chosen by the artist to contrast with the darker tones that death suggests. The work is divided into three images being life represented by flowers, death by the skeleton and the celebration phrase written.
Here, if you look further you will also see the spanish duo Pichi & Avo mural, known for mixing classic art and graffiti defiance.
From Santa Apolónia take the metro blue line towards Terreiro do Paço and from there calmly enjoy the walk alongside the Tagus river straight to Cais do Sodré rail station.
Behind this station, facing the river, you must visit Crack Kids, a concept store dedicated to Street Art where you will find the top graffiti brand products as well as national and international artists exhibits and Urban Art magazines and books.
To finish this tour go through Avenida 24 de Julho until Largo de Santos and up through Janelas Verdes towards Avenida Infante Santo where you will meet the amazing Add Fuel work known for reinterpreting the traditional design of Portuguese tiles, with a 200 square meters panel, honoring the best known Portuguese tile artists such as Maria Keil, Alice Jorge, Júlio Pomar, Rolando Sá Nogueira, Carlos Botelho, and Eduardo Nery, with panels also shown along this same avenue.