Street Art in Lisbon

Calçada portuguesa (top) - Azulejos (bottom)Not all good art is in museums. A stroll through Lisbon’s hilly streets quickly reveals an art scene as vibrant and exciting as any we have seen anywhere. It begins with the visual feast of colorful azulejo tiles that decorate walls and, underfoot, the Calçada Portuguesa, the mosaic stone pavements. Both of these art forms are distinctly embedded in the country’s cultural heritage. However, in Lisbon one can also experience the contemporary open-air museum of truly exceptional street art.

Although the origins of street art is rooted in rebellion, today, one can’t freely paint wherever and whenever one wants. Permission from the city council is needed to decide whether or not it is worthy for the city’s aesthetics. If you get caught painting in the city without authorization, there can be fines or even jail.

WCF-8216.jpgFor as much as we were able to see, we know that there were literally hundreds if not thousands of murals we never saw. There are even street art tours and apps to help you find the best, biggest, and most dramatic art.

Yes, there is a lot of graffiti, and for most people, the words “graffiti” and “street art” are interchangeable. Since street art evolved from graffiti, there are noticeable similarities and differences. There are differences in style and purpose, and one is often vandalism, and the other sanctioned. But both are on a continuum and there is no fine line to separate one from the other.

As always, its value is in the eye of the beholder.

For image-viewing options, click here (opens in new tab).

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Impressive collection!

    1. An abundance of creativity, almost everywhere we looked.

  2. Some really interesting art work of differing mediums. Thanks for sharing.

    1. We enjoyed seeing so many styles, colors, subjects. And you know there are many more images that did not make it into this blog!

  3. I especially like the man with the mustache, holding the dog that is singing. Way cool!

    1. You always like the animals, but there was no food in this collection!

  4. Keep posting! Thanks!!

    1. We need to travel again, not that Chris would ever run out of photos to post!

  5. Wow. I agree with Debi. What a mental, colorful, creative stretch of the artistic expression. Need to take a look again.

    1. There was so much to look at as we walked through the cities, and I’m sure we missed many interesting images.

  6. So many images! So many ideas! Such freedom!

    1. It would be interesting to watch the artist create their piece. What was he/she thinking?!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.