Art in Lisbon: You’ll find walls of tiles, artistic graffiti and a gallery beloved by Madonna

Drawn to artwork? Then head to Lisbon, the place you may find walls of lovely blue-and-white glazed tiles, ‘artistic graffiti’ and a gallery beloved by Madonna

  • Famed for its ceramic azulejo tiles, Lisbon is embracing a new wave of street-art stars and graffiti artists 
  • ‘Driving drive’ Alexandre Farto, who goes by the title Vhils, runs the Portuguese capital’s Underdogs gallery 
  • Part of the proceeds of town’s avenue artwork excursions, which price upwards of £13, go in the direction of producing extra artwork 

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Head to Lisbon, one of the world’s oldest cities, and you’ll uncover additionally it is an astonishing open-air artwork gallery.

For tons of of years, its walls have been adorned with glazed, ceramic azulejo tiles, and the predominantly blue-and-white ones have turn into synonymous with the Portuguese metropolis and a main function of strolling excursions.

The small polished stones had been used to cowl up the massive areas of clean wall that had been widespread inside buildings through the Gothic interval, and they advised tales concerning the metropolis’s historical past, faith and tradition.

Artistic graffiti is embraced, sponsored and promoted in Lisbon. Pictured is a mural by artist Shepard Fairey

Artistic graffiti is embraced, sponsored and promoted in Lisbon. Pictured is a mural by artist Shepard Fairey

Azulejo tiles have become synonymous with Lisbon. Pictured is a walkway in the Sao Vicente de Fora monastery

Azulejo tiles have turn into synonymous with Lisbon. Pictured is a walkway in the Sao Vicente de Fora monastery

Today, they nonetheless enhance church buildings, eating places, bars, palaces and even houses, and are used extensively on avenue indicators, public benches, alongside seashore walls and stops on the Lisbon Metro. 

They are additionally complemented with a extra trendy take from a new wave of avenue artists.

Following the Portuguese revolution of 1974, there was an explosion of political murals in Lisbon, and as we speak it’s one of only a few locations in the world the place artistic graffiti is embraced, sponsored and promoted – and it’s all over the place.

One of the most important driving forces behind the present scene is artist Alexandre Farto, who makes use of the title Vhils for his placing work. 

Still solely 34, his artwork adorns prime galleries worldwide, however it’s in his residence metropolis of Lisbon the place you may see the best assortment of his endeavours, with 12 main items nonetheless on show.

His gallery Underdogs (under-dogs.net) is in the Braco de Prata neighbourhood the place Madonna, who’s a frequent customer and supporter, has a residence. 

The tiles are used extensively on street signs, public benches, along beach walls and stops on the Lisbon Metro (pictured)

The tiles are used extensively on avenue indicators, public benches, alongside seashore walls and stops on the Lisbon Metro (pictured) 

The Portuguese capital has become an astonishing open-air art gallery. Pictured is the city's port

The Portuguese capital has turn into an astonishing open-air artwork gallery. Pictured is town’s port 

It specialises in native artists and public arts programmes in addition to the print, video and sculpture work of Vhils. It additionally organises excursions of town’s avenue artwork.

Vhils additionally curates the Iminente Festival (iminente.org) which has taken place each September round Panoramico de Monsanto, a disused restaurant excessive on a hill overlooking town, the place you may find one of his creations – a portrait of the assassinated Brazilian politician Marielle Franco. 

This 12 months it’s shifting Marvila, a former palace, in the east of town. 

Lisbon, as well as being a haven for art-lovers, is one of the world’s oldest cities. Pictured is the city's Bica tram

Lisbon, in addition to being a haven for art-lovers, is one of the world’s oldest cities. Pictured is town’s Bica tram 

Visitors can trace the history of the walls and discover other local street art stars during walking tours

Visitors can hint the historical past of the walls and uncover different native avenue artwork stars throughout strolling excursions 

Attracting hundreds, it combines worldwide and native musicians, public artwork, galleries, workshops and talks. Fatboy Slim and US rap star Common have headlined.

Book a avenue artwork tour of Lisbon at lisbonstreetarttours.com and on the three-hour stroll you’ll hint the historical past of the walls and uncover different native avenue artwork stars.

Typical of the ethos in the direction of avenue artwork in Lisbon, half of the associated fee – from £13 – goes in the direction of creating new items so as to add to town’s ever-growing assortment.

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