Vandalism or Genius?


Street Art in Porto. - WCF-7980.jpgSanctioned or unsanctioned, love it or hate it, street art exists. Is it really art? In any attempt to answer that question, one realizes that it is subjective, lacks clearly defined parameters, and is usually futile because it is ultimately in the eye of the beholder.

Early street art in most urban environments was initially born out of attitudes of rebellion and illegality. Graffiti is predominately word based and egoistic because its “tags” are acts of personal branding. Street art, on the other hand, is most often done by trained artists who took inspiration from graffiti in making a statement against the “establishment” using the streets as their canvas, and often offering some message for the public. 

Street Art in Porto. - WCF-8375.jpg

Nowadays street art, often referred to as urban art, is usually painted with permission or commissioned.

Porto is no exception, and today it too has a diverse and eclectic street art scene. Indeed, many domestic and foreign artists have been invited by local authorities and cultural associations to produce work in public spaces and on abandoned buildings.

Presented here are just a few examples of street art that we have observed here in less than two weeks, but there will be more. What do you think?


This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Nice images! Love that there is sooo much variety and sooo many! I see some look like wheat paste images.. or so it looks. A history behind that wheat paste tagging too.

    1. We were quite surprised by the variety. And on one of the carpets with seaweed, I spotted a small crab trying to make himself invisible. Not a good place for him to be, a long way to water. Hope someone rescued him!

  2. I enjoy street or ‘Urban’ Art. A little visual relief in a bland view of concrete, metal and glass. Love the way you always catch them in your travels!

    1. You’re right, street art splashes color across less interesting surfaces. So much to see here!

  3. Liked most of the pictures. Some were quite ingenious like doing the cat on the corner of the building. Did not understand a few. An outdoor art museum.

    1. and free! We just have to be careful with all the uneven walking surfaces as we search and enjoy images low and high on the buildings. No falls yet but a few stumbles!

  4. From little on I liked the tagging on the 100 car coal cars headed to the Sheboygan power plant. If you like art you probably like street art. You had me at ‘vandalism or genius’. And you followed through with another great post.

    Sheboygan celebrates street art as well – though not nearly on the scale Porto.

    1. Artists share their unique perspective for us all to enjoy, we just have to notice it. Thanks for sharing Sheboygan’s project; now we need to return to find these images!

  5. Ruadas Flores
    I also love street art! It’s so creative must of the time! Thank u for sharing.

    Ps. I also found one of a big cat on a wall on Ruadas Flores while there.

    1. Yes, we found the Big Blue Cat also, but it is in such a small space I haven’t been able to discover an angle to make a good image. Thanks.

  6. Chris, you explained the origin of graffiti and street art in a very intriguing way. I love it! Such talented artists in Porto. Thank you.

    1. And some of these I didn’t see on the street! He has an eye for finding special images.

  7. Cool

    1. Definitely!

  8. Love it. Downtown Orlando and surrounding communities have commissioned art work throughout. I love viewing the works while driving.

    1. We find street art in most cities we visit. Will have to check out Orlando when we return. Thanks for telling us.

    2. Mo and Jeannie, I will be doing a Scrub Jay mural on the backside of the outdoor store on Corrine in November! You will have to check it out!

      1. Certainly, we’ll be home by then!

  9. It’s a big thumbs up ? from me. Like Debi, some I love more than others but such is life.

  10. I say it’s genius. For everyone to be able to walk by art all the time in their everyday lives. Some I like, some I don’t so much but it’s like going to a museum.

  11. I’ I’m learning so much already; and you’ve just started this trip!

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