Porto in Portugal is beautiful city to visit for a short stay and some great murals and graffiti can also be found in its different neighbourhoods and outskirts, as Matt Fox-Tucker of Buenos Aires Street Art discovered.
Around the centre
One of the most striking murals around the city centre is a collaboration by Portuguese artists Hazul and Mr Dheo next to Trindade metro station painted in 2014. The main man in the mural is Mr Dheo’s dad who is holding a miniature model of Clérigos Tower that he’s painting with a spray can.
A few blocks north of Trindade on the corner of Rua do Paraíso and Rua de Camōes is a mural painted by BreakOne and the collective RUA (Frederico Draw, Oker, Fedor and Rodrigo Alma) for the street art festival Push Porto in 2014.
A few blocks from São Bento railway station is a mural of a huge cat by Spanish street artist Liqen peering out of a narrow alleyway.
The artwork named ‘Cobalt Cat’ covers five storeys and relates to the amount of cats around Porto and the blue colour that is common in the tiles (azulejos) found on many buildings around the city.
Overlooking the Douro River, along Rua Nova da Alfańdega are a number of murals by prominent Portuguese and foreign street artists. Sam3 was in Portugal for the Manobras No Porto Festival in 2011 and painted this mural in this small square. The project was organised by Prova de Artista.
Portuguese street artist Daniel Eime painted this portrait entitled ‘Mira’ or ‘Look’ in 2015. It can be found in a square along Rua Nova da Alfândega close to the Porto Tram City Tour stop.
Cinema ‘Look at Porto’ commissioned the first mural in the city by Portuguese artist Vhils in 2016. It can be found further along Rua Nova da Alfańdega.
Dom Luis I Bridge
On the Porto side of the River Douro by the entrance to Dom Luis I Bridge is an iconic mural by Portuguese artist Frederico Draw. This portrait of the old man was painted in 2015 and welcomes visitors to Porto from the other side of the river. Draw is well known for his stunning portraits often in black and white with a colourful background.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Crossing the bridge to Vila Nova da Gaia is a fantastic artwork by Portuguese artist Bordalo II that is located on Rua Dom Afonso III. The rabbit made from trash occupies a street corner that is two blocks from Mercado Gaia opposite the Quinta Santa Eufemia winery.
Vila Nova de Gaia is famous for Porto wine and its many wineries. And this mural by Pastel that is painted on the four sides of a small tower can be found walking up the hill where many of the biggest wine lodges are located.
Lionesa is a business park in Leça do Balio about 13 km north of the city of Porto. The complex includes cafes and restaurants with a long wall painted by a collective of ten Portuguese artists Caos, Utopia, Third, Mar, Distopia, Nomen, Draw, Ram, Mr Dheo and Mário Belém with artworks relating to the sea and local history.
Portuguese artist Mar has painted an artwork that refers to Cayo Carpo, a Roman pagan who is associated with the founding of the city of Matosinhos. The legend says that when Cayo Carpo saw the body of the James the Apostle being transported to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, he “rode” the sea before converting to Christianity.
Matosinhos is a coastal town located about 13 km to the west of the city of Porto. It’s well known for its cruise ship terminal and beaches.
The biggest and perhaps most impressive mural in the city is that painted by Mr Dheo next to Burger King on Avenida da República. It’s a self portrait of the artist standing up eating a fish while leaning against a giant Burger King sign. The mural is entitled ‘Calories’. Many of the murals around Matosinhos like this one were sponsored by the Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos and formed part of the Up There Street Art festival in 2016 curated by Lionesa.
A couple of blocks away is also an impressive mural by French street artist Katre whose artworks focus on perspectives, abandoned spaces and interiors of buildings. This mural painted at the Up There festival depicts an abandoned building once used for preserving and storing fish.
All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art