Lisbon is famous for its historical tradition, luxurious palaces, fado echoing in the charming neighbourhoods and the tasty codfish pattie. However, a new attraction in the middle of houses and buildings in pastel tones draws the attention of tourists: urban art!
Exposed on walls or panels, Lisbon’s urban art stands out for its diversity. It is represented through graphite (drawings made with sprays), stencil (technique that uses cut paper as mold), stickers (uses the application of stickers), among other forms.
If you like artistic manifestations – and enjoy a pleasant alternative tour – check out the list of the main works scattered throughout the Portuguese capital. It is well worth stopping and contemplating the scenery.
Amália Rodrigues Pavement
Located between Rua de São Tomé and Calçada do Menino de Deus is the face of the famous fado singer Amália Rodrigues. The place is perfect for the tribute, as the area is the birthplace of fado in Portugal. The work, signed by Vhils the artist, is carved on a piece of the sidewalk which was laid by local paviors. A curiosity is that the work was part of the cover of the tribute album “Amália, As Vozes do Fado” produced by Portuguese-French filmmaker Ruben Alves.
The American artist Shepard Fairey is responsible for “Universal Personhood”, two works located in the neighborhood of Graça. The work is mainly made of prints in wood, paper and metal. One of the panels features a woman in uniform holding a gun with a carnation in the barrel, in reference to the Carnation Revolution and the other panel, which is Fairey’s partnership with the Portuguese Vhils, shows a woman’s face split in two. The works are a call for gender equality.
Big Trash Animals
Plastic, cans, cardboard, metals, glass and everything that many throw away have become art in the hands of Arthur Bordalo. The Big Trash Animals series is a criticism to the waste and extinction of some animal species. To produce the work, Bordalo organized and shaped all the “garbage”, forming the animals. The work is spread throughout Lisbon. You can find a giant fox in a building on Avenida 24 de Julho, on a wall in the Cultural Center of Belém is the raccoon, the monkey is located in Rua de Xabregas and the frog in Rua da Manutenção. There are many others, a real open-air zoo.
The largest urban art in Europe is in Portugal. Located in Alta de Lisboa, the work named Talude is signed by the artist RAF and is 2600 meters of painted area on a cement surface. More than 70 vibrant color references are used that create three-dimensional visual effects. The work sharpens the curiosity of tourists!
Uniting urban and classical art, the Spanish artist duo PichiAvo signs the Poseidon mural, located on the sidewalk of Santa Apolónia. With a mixture of colors and with sharp brushstrokes, the great work – 14 meters high – displays the Greek god fixing his gaze on the Tagus River.
There are many other works of urban art to visit in Lisbon, including near the Portuense Hotel. Our staff will be happy to help with the tour.