This past Saturday, I did a Street Art Walk in Graça neighborhood with guide Igor Vitorino of The Street Buddha with some friends.
Since moving to Lisbon last May, I've come to really appreciate street art. Which is good because Lisbon is an open-air gallery. Not only does it have beautiful tiles on facades of churches and building (which we learned from Igor that people use the tiles to protect the building structures but to also show off) and the traditional cobblestone sidewalks, but also for its street art. Following the April 25, 1974 Revolution, there was an explosion of political murals, and today artistic graffiti is even sponsored by the City Council.
The Portuguese capital is now known as one of the cities with the best street art, and some local artists like Vhils and Bordalo II have works all over the world. Vhils is known for carving faces, while Bordalo II creates art from trash to help bring awareness to endangered species and the harm that pollution is having on them.
This is a Bordalo II (check out more art from Bordalo II) from before is got into trash art. I believe Igor said it was from 2011. You'll notice that the art also has graffiti. Igor explained that others will mark it with graffiti as a means of claiming the territory or to show disrespect for artist (such a tragedy defacing such beautiful art).
This slideshow below shows street art exclusively from female artists which was commissioned by the City Council.
This piece was hard to discern with the naked eye but could clearly see the design through the camera lens (in this case cell phone).
Take a closer look at the the rabbit and bird and you'll see that the Lisbon skyline is painted in their eyes.
In my attempt to learn more Portuguese vocabulary, I looked up the word "saudade". It means "an emotional state of melancholic or profoundly nostalgic longing for something or someone that one loves despite it not necessarily being real or they reciprocate it back that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese."
Our 90-minute tour ended with this gorgeous view!
I fell in love with Bordalo II's art when I saw his raccoon near the Museu Coleção Berardo (located in Belém)
Artur Bordalo, also known as Bordalo II, is an artist living and working in Lisbon. His name is a tribute to his grandfather, the painter Real Bordalo, which he chose to keep the legacy going while allowing it to evolve and grow.
Bordalo II creates massive — mostly animal — sculptures from various discarded objects to create art from trash that otherwise would be disregarded or thrown out.
So when I heard that he had a new exhibition, called Evilution, at United Lisbon Edu Hub (from October 8 to December 18th), I knew I had to go. Two friends and I arranged to go together yesterday.
This was one of my favorites - a panda made from tires.
Another favorite was this gorilla. It's made entirely out of cigarette butts.
Yup! Really! Take a closer look.
There were some other pieces make from spray paint cans (I would imagine he goes through a fair amount of them as it is one of the mediums he uses).
This piece was sobering as it is made from discarded masks and rapid tests - a bad side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is also a stunning selection of animals crafted entirely from discarded neons demonstrating Bordalo’s style is evolving.
This exhibition is free of charge! Bonus!
Traveller, chief taste-tester and food finder and retired expat living in Lisbon, Portugal.