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Nonstandards03 September 2020

Reykjavik told with street art: trendhunting

Social trend

Reykjavik is the smallest capital city in the world as well as the northmost capital of Europe. To także najdalej na północ położona stolica Europy. It has one more characteristic feature – it is a city of street art, often called one of its world capitals. There is no exaggeration, because works by recognized artists can be found literally around every corner. Being in Reykjavik, I went early in the morning to street art hunting, combined with running training – although the city is not huge, after visiting all previously planned locations, my watch showed a distance of over 10 kilometers. This is how the city is explored through sport!

Works in the urban space of Reykjavik are not only large-scale, filling entire walls of buildings. Street art takes many forms there – it is on the walls, gates, streets, floors of parking lots, small walls right next to sidewalks. Full freedom. The works of art are often hidden in small courtyards, so photographing them suggests that – perhaps – I violate someone’s privacy by my presence there :). Street art in such a rich edition fits this city. Thanks to it, often grey, and for many months also dark, the capital (which is also confirmed by the Greykjavik mural, its photo below) takes on colors, and the works, often in compl. etely different styles, harmonize with the city’s architecture, the distinctive element of which are houses made of corrugated sheets – incredibly popular in Iceland. In the city you can find, among others photorealistic, even amazing portraits of Guido Van Helten, works of the sensational Ernest Zacharevic or the exceptionally distinctive D*Face. I love their designs. Some of the murals are the results of the Wall Poetry project, which is a collaboration between the well-known music festival Iceland Airwaves and Urban Nation, a museum of contemporary art from Berlin (video from the 2015 edition below)

Reykjavik is developing rapidly, as evidenced by the numerous construction cranes in its very center, and along with this, street art is also changing. In place of the veiled murals, new ones quickly appear, which in a way is an interesting reflection of the pace of change and what is happening in the city at the moment. Street art is one of the most interesting distinguishing features and an important part of the landscape of this city, it gives it expressiveness and unique character. The city speaks to its visitors with street art and reveals its non-obvious face to them.

Be sure to check out what’s new on the streets of the Icelandic capital as soon as the pandemic situation changes, and until then, I leave you the effects of my “hunt” for street art. By the way: I spotted the last two works elsewhere on the island, but they are too interesting not to be included here.

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