Are you planning a trip to Europe in the next few months? Are you that kind of traveller always looking for the offbeat, alternative and cool neighborhoods in urban landscapes? Then this article about the best street Art walls may interest you.
Here is a glimpse of the places & artists that we will cover whitin the next paragraphs:
- Blu, Rome (Italy)
- Herakut & friends, Berlin (Germany)
- Ben Eine, London (UK)
- El Rey de la Ruina, Madrid (Spain)
What’s the best street art in Rome?
The Italian capital is famous because of its history, well preserved monuments, and delicious pasta, but it also features the best street art in the country.
Art history continues to grow in areas far from the touristy spots. New generations (supported by the more established names) are contributing to it.
We will talk to you today about a guy who was born in Senigallia. His name is Blu. Does this name sound familiar to you?
Who is the author?
Blu is one of the most well-known and respected names in the graffiti and street art communities.
He started painting in the 90’s and his art critizes the incoherences of the contemporary society that we live in. Large murals have been painted by him all over the world.
His activism brought him to destroy an artwork that he created in Bologna so that a gallery wouldn’t make money out of his artwork. Incredible, huh?
What’s the message behind Blu’s best street art in Rome?
Ostiense used to be an industrial area turned into a redeveloped open air art museum.
The building that served as a live canvas for Blu was formerly occupied by aeronautical barracks, but it now hosts an occupied social centre. It’s there where worldwide refugees have found a space where to live.
Blu’s message tackles the problems caused by capitalism, especially in the Italian capital:
- Housing problem and the inequalities that pushes working class folks out of the most developed areas
- Pollution, represented in a way by these monsters of expressions of “The Man”.
Where to find the best street art in Berlin, Germany?
It’s no secret when we think about the best street art in Europe that the first city that could come up to mind is Berlin.
Germany’s capital city was reborn in order to turn around its shaky history. That makes Berlin interesting not only because of its history but also because of its cultural scene.
Anywhere you go in Berlin, you are constantly seeing hundreds of graffiti throw-ups and street art pieces. It’s specially known in:
Cooltourspain team members chose the best street art piece in Berlin
Our favourite piece in Berlin was done in 2018 and it features a collaboration of several artists during the first edition of Berlin Mural Festival.
This mural is located in Stromstraße 36, near the U-bahn metro stop Birkenstraße, in the multicultural district of Moabit.
It depicts a young child holding a teddy bear-sized elephant, whose tusks have been cut. Next to the child you could read
“As Long As You Are Standing, Give a Hand To Those Who Have Fallen” .
Some amazing aspects about this wall that will amaze you:
- Being an international collaboration, it promotes the idea of empathy and sharing experiences with each other. It could lead us to become better as a society.
- Even though the mural’s dimensions are huge, it’s full of little details. For example, there is a tiny mouse on top of the elephant which is helping it heal its tusks by lifting them with some ropes.
- They added a 3rd element by manipulating the tips of the tusk as sculptures coming out of the building.
Who were the authors?
Herakut: this german duo is composed by Jasmin Siddiqui, known as Hera, and Falk Lehmann, known as Akut. They met in Spain some years ago and together have created an explosive mix! It stands out because of their realist represented humans and animals depicting innocence and pain among other human topics.
Wes21: Remo Lienhard is the guy behind Wes21. He is a graphic designer who now works as a street art artist. Originally from Switzerland, his style is very futuristic and innovative. His control on the technique is astonishing and his topics are very critical with society as well.
Onur: Swiss born with Turkish origins, Onur’s art is considered to be Photorealism, which means that he creates paintings from photographs in large scale works.
Is there a message behind the artwork?
The text that you can read “As long as you are standing, give a hand to those who have fallen” is a Persian proverb.
Based on Cooltourspain’s thoughts this mural talks about empathy and being helpful with each other.
According to this proverb, NATO countries should give a hand to those who have fallen. Shouldn’t they?
From London (UK) with love
If you are lucky enough to have visited London and you are a big fan of all forms of urban art, then this information won’t surprise you,
London is an amazing city to check out its graffiti and street art.
- Brick Lane
- Hackney Wick
The districts have made their name as internationally renowned artsy areas, but you should also check out the tunnel of Leake Street, which is an “authorized graffiti area”.
A pretty cool initiative that allows international graffiti artistsvisiting the British capital city to create their artwork without getting in trouble. Is there any similar initiative in your hometown?
What is the best street art piece in London?
Choosing a favourite art piece within that many options is quite a difficult task. We are not only interested in the artistic part, but also in the social part of street art.
We believe that the best street art in London was done by Ben Eine at the Grenfell Tower.
This amazing mural located in Shoreditch is a homage to the surviving victims of the terrible disaster that took place in Greenfell Tower, a tragedy that took the lives of 72 people in London, last 2017.
What can we tell you about the author?
Ben Eine is a London born and based artist whose early days made him the reclaimed street art representative that he is nowadays. In a big number of interviews, Ben Eine stated that he got involved in the graffiti world as a young man because he wanted to be a part of the hip hop culture.
He started doing illegal graffiti for some years, but then he realized about the dangers of doing illegal art so he decided he wanted to keep doing what he loved without getting in trouble. So he started working in the legal margins of street art and the illegal days became a part of his past.
This British artist became famous because of his “signs”, letters on a specific font created by himself, which he uses to do different murals all over the world.
What’s the message that lies in the artwork?
You could read the sentence “You saw it in the tears of those who survived”. This is part of a poem by Ben Okri, days after the tragedy took place. It was written to honour the accident’s victims.
The whole poem talks about how this terrible tragedy was. It also reflects some other issues affecting the working class people, often abandoned by the most powerful ones.
Its was an initiative of Paint The change, a festival that aims to use street art as a tool for social justice.
Madrid best street art and graffiti
Madrid is a city in which a lot of different art waves and artists collide. It is quite interesting to wander around the city center to discover the best street art walls.
“Socialmente iguales, Totalmente libres, humanamente diferentes”
“Socially equal, humanly different but totally free” is the title of a mural located in Calle Embajadores, opposite to a book store called Tuuuu Libreria.
It depicts a huge fierce woman, standing in the centre of a 400 square metres wall.
Who is the author?
El Rey de la Ruina, (The Ruins’ King) is the author. He invented this name by the time he started in the graffiti culture. Ruina would go to abandoned places and sign “Your ruins are my kingdom”.
You may know him as SR64 or the “heart” guy. This body part is his unmistakable symbol, which you can find all over the city.
Is there a meaning on it?
The quote included in the artwork is a piece of speech by Rose Luxemburg, claimed philosopher, who gave her life for the cause of equality between genders.
Equality and feminism are the topics covered in the Spanish capital.
In 2019, 52 women were killed by men and there were over 80.000 reports of domestic violence. In such a terrible scenario this sort of messages on huge walls are completely necessary.
A more equal society would reduce violence problems and discrimination.
This mural is especially relevant because of the place where it’s located. “Lavapies Dragons”, a local volunteering football team, fights against inequality in the sports world & uses this community spot as practice field.
Our opinion about the best street art.
We have selected these pieces based on the artists and the messages behind their artworks.
Street art and open air museums can be a great tool to achieve a better world, where we can all be the same and we can all share different experiences in order to improve as a society.