Street art evokes a variety of emotions and cannot be clearly defined – it is an art we will not see in the gallery with its audience being everyone who encounters it in the urban space. What can a modern pedestrian notice on the face of tenement houses, walls, or sidewalks?
Undoubtedly, the most famous creator of modern street art is Banksy, a British artist whose true identity has not been revealed so far. There are many hypotheses about it, but none of them has been proven. His works are pacifist in nature, and not only constitute an act of rebellion against the government often using violence, but also raise awareness about those excluded from society. Many of his projects also have humorous elements, e.g. the work presenting a revolutionist throwing flowers instead of a Molotov cocktail, while some just simply beautify forgotten and neglected parts of urban space. What other worldwide famous street artists should you know?
Brazilian blaze of colours
Eduardo Kobra’s murals also enrich the urban landscape and endow it with some unique characteristics. The works of this Brazilian artist are a part of the historical-social-cultural context and stand out thanks to their intensive colours and photorealistic style. The artist very often paints portraits of famous people such as Albert Einstein,
Abraham Lincoln, Alfred Nobel or Tupac Shakur. One of his paintings can be admired at the intersection of Sienkiewicza and Traugutta Street in Łódź – the hero portrayed in the mural is Artur Rubinstein, a world-famous pianist who lived at Piotrkowska 67 Street.
The Belgian mural artist Roa, who focuses mainly on presenting animals, especially rodents, represents a completely different style. He cares about every detail by depicting anatomical fragments, internal organs or skeletons.
This realism, almost naturalism, is a characteristic feature distinguishing his works. His mural “Weasels stealing eggs”, which initiated the third edition of the Urban Forms Gallery Festival in Łódź, is a great example of the harmony between street art and the urban architecture.
With a pinch of salt
Apart from Eduardo Kobra and Roa who are world-class stars, it is also worth noting OakOak, who changes road signs, cracked walls or sidewalks into small masterpieces, often bringing a smile on your face.
Undoubtedly, the greatest advantage of this artist from French Saint-Étienne is his imagination. As his humorous arrangements do not refer to social problems nor are a commentary on current politics, he is often called a street art comedian.
Łódź and Kraków
Polish street artists are some of the world leaders – the duet EtamCru, that is, Przemek Blejzyk and Mateusz Gapski, created a 32-meter mural on one of the house walls in Rome. Whereas the works of Krystian „Truth” Czaplicki can be seen in Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Norway or even Italy. Street art is intensively developing in Łódź and Kraków. In the capital of Małopolska it is possible to see e.g. one of the biggest murals in Europe, created by Justyna Posiecz-Polkowska, on the wall of Galeria Krakowska, or the
mural “Ding Dong Dumb” by the Italian artist Blu. It is a controversial work, placed on the site of the former Jewish ghetto, which raises the issue of the influence of faith and religion on society. Apart from amazing monuments, it is worth seeing the wonderful street art in Kraków. You can admire the murals of artists from Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, or Israel on the Kraków Routes of Street Art, which starts at Galeria Krakowska and ends at Nowa Huta.