Art that fills the streets

Long gone are the days of oppression when we talk about street art in Porto. The previous administration had a policy of zero tolerance regarding graffitis. Only licensed graffitis were excused to stay. Everything else was promptly covered with paint. There was no distinction between simple tags from possible pieces of urban art.

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Paintings from Hazul being covered

Nowadays, with the new administration, street art is seeing better days and we can observe some results of the change of policies. Little by little there are more walls covered with amazing graffitis and there are some urban art programs like the one from “Porto Lazer”, which tries to help artists in finding suitable walls for them to paint.

But not everything is great. There are still a lot of disagreements between artists and Porto Lazer on the strategies and methodologies to be used. If a graffiti should be permanent or temporary, or if street art should be about entertainment or something more.

Artists also complain about the lack of legal walls to paint on, or even walls to experiment. Many of these artists are leaving their mark on other countries right now. So it’s important to re-define some of the strategies currently in place, in order to keep the momentum that started a couple of years ago going.

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We also have to take into account that, with the increasing influx of tourists in the city, it’s only natural that more museums or other places that exhibit art, start to charge money for entrance. It becomes even more important to have so many city walls covered with beautiful displays of art. Of course, let’s not forget all of the statues, sculptures, architecture and the famous Portuguese tiles, or “azulejos” that add so much color, and history to the city.

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Walking through the streets of Porto is already a visual treat, and I only hope that we can keep adding more beautiful paintings and other pieces of art that will only enrichen this splendid city.

Post by Alexandre Martins

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