Vhils, Bordalo II, Vanessa Teodoro, Mário Belém, Aka Corleone, Mr. Dheo, Eime, ±MaisMenos±, Tamara Alves, Hazul, Add Fuel... the names flow as their skills, creativity and imagination.
What used to be perceived as a degrading art of the marginalised is now considered "proper art" and used as an innovative vehicle of information and change in various fields. Read about the impact of Portuguese street and urban art in this journal post.
Lisboa and Porto art hubs
The street art scene in Portugal is growing at a fast pace and little villages and towns have followed the lead of Lisboa and Porto, which were the pioneers.
The capital city of Portugal has always been a step ahead. Because of its central location, economic strength and dimension the city tends to attract more people: Portuguese looking for better job opportunities, expats, immigrants, investors, visitors... This fact also explains why art and cultural related events are booming all year round with a "hard-to-keep-up" number of events, festivals, exhibits, fairs, etc.
Somehow Porto doesn't fall behind. The second biggest city in the country has always been known for being active when it comes to art in all forms and expressions. Architecture and fine arts are a given, but many modern and controversial artists also live there and use the city as their canvas.
In both cities there are historical neighbourhoods dedicated to the arts, but also emerging artistic hubs which creates an interesting and enriching mix. You'll sure to stumble across art galleries, ateliers, exhibitions, art fairs and urban markets wherever you turn to, specially during summer time.
Check the Inspire Me section of our website and download free tips to explore Lisboa and Porto.
Urban Art Festivals
This street art boom has spread like dynamo (Vhils creations are proof of that) and many festivals emerged across the country. There are some well established ones and others taking baby steps, but the rhythm is steady and it's going up.
MURO Lisboa and Iminente are both recent ones and take place in the capital city. The first is a street art festival held in May with interventions from national and international artists, whereas the second takes place 4 months after and merges various art expressions within an incredibly inspiring setting.
In the central region of Beiras there are two interesting ones. WOOL Covilhã is an Urban Art Festival inland that takes place in June and ESTAU happens near the coast in September and gathers acclaimed national and international street artists. If you wish to combine a visit to these festivals with the rest of the area, watch the video we shot across the region here.
Another one worth mentioning is Walk&Talk Açores, which happens every July in the islands of São Miguel and Terceira. It is all about art residencies that engage with the local communities and translate into dance, theatre, design, cinema, music and, of course, street art. To read about this incredible archipelago here.
Street art in fashion
High end clothing designers and stylists always took inspiration from what surrounds them to create intricate pieces, which were then presented at fashion shows and posh parties.
Wearing pieces of clothing and accessories showcasing skilful creations is an undeniable trend, but now there's more to it as street art also conquered the fashion industry.
Dresses, tees, purses, tote bags, sneakers, scarves... you name it, they do it. Fashion is in fact another field that is profiting from the artwork of talented urban artists.
Urban art decor
It's no news that the real estate business faces a spike in sales (and value) when the buildings façades have street art masterpieces. Big names around the world have been challenged to paint murals in massive buildings, cafes and restaurants. In Portugal this tendency is also clear and entrepreneurs have been betting on national street artists too. Apart from the cans of spray and paint brushes, ceramic pieces created by urban artists are also chosen to adorn office spaces and even private homes. The decor concept is clearly evolving.
The Selina chain hostels, 1908 Lisboa Hotel, restaurant Mood in downtown Porto and The Bar in Príncipe Real are a few great examples.
Marketing with art
Marketeers are known for having an eye for detail. Likewise street and urban artists are a perfect vehicle to draw attention and pass messages. Why not have the best of both worlds?
There are various brands marketing their products via street art, which is not only cool but also extremely effective. Some beer and wine companies have edgy labels, clothing chains bet on publicity murals, car brands hire urban artists to "pimp their rides"... It's a matter of picking the "best man for the job" and breaking the idea that pen and paper are always mandatory in a creative process.
If you're planning on asking for a bookpack and are a street art fan, let us know and we'll sure to include personalised tips in it. Just fill in the form and we'll do our best to live up to your expectations and even surprise you!