Indoor street art sounds like a contradiction in terms but that’s what’s on offer this month in Porto. 5 floors of the former AXA building in Avenida dos Aliados have been taken over by celebrated national and international street artists.
Note: Although the exhibition is over, you can explore the best of Porto’s street art on this guided tour.
Street Art in the AXA building
Of the 22 invited street artists in this exhibition, I think Costah got one of the best deals in terms of exposure. His brightly painted figures and stickers line the stairwells so you get to enjoy them twice. Unless you cheat and use the lift.
Among the many weird and largely wonderful pieces inside the AXA building, some have a clear political bent, some protest about the lack of value placed on street art, others contain inspirational or thought-provoking messages. Some are aesthetically pleasing or amusing while others are disturbing on many levels.
Among my favourites is Eime’s ingenious use of backlit strips of plastic. The dark red room with twizzling lava-like balls made from builders’ foam was another winner in my eyes, thanks to Godmess. Here’s a small selection of the treats in store.
Street art in the streets of Porto
Hazul has been spraying the city’s walls for several years and you’re bound to come across his work as you wander through the streets. If you’re on the hunt, try the little square near the Clérigos Tower, Rua Miguel Bombarda and Travessa de Cedofeita.
I’ve also noticed that several shop shutters have been decorated by street artists. I’m not sure if they’ve actually been commissioned to do the work or are just showcasing their talents but either way, it’s better for everyone than having them covered in graffiti tags.
It’s not just shop fronts that are getting a new look. Phone boxes have also been jazzed up, both inside and out, by the likes of Godmess and Costah.
Costah and Hazul have also collaborated to create a ceramic version of their Viana hearts called Love Story – Tiles in Town. I found a selection for sale at Águas Furtadas, a treasure trove of a shop in Centro Comercial Miguel Bombada which sells quality, unique artistic creations in various media by Portuguese artists. You’ll find much more interesting souvenirs here than the usual tourist tat.
Looking for more to do in Porto? Check out my 40 Of The Most Amazing Things To Do In Porto post.
See my tips for where to stay in Porto’s arts district and city centre or check out these lovely boutique hotels and cute guesthouses in Porto.
Note: Although the exhibition is over, you can explore the best of Porto’s street art on this guided tour*.
*Affiliate link. i.e., you don’t pay any extra but I may receive a small referral fee if you book using this link.
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