Krakow

Kraków Street Art

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Poland has a long, lauded tradition of graphic art, with large-scale Polish advertising and poster design known internationally for their high artistic quality; anyone who makes the strongly recommended visit to Kraków’s Poster Gallery (ul. Stolarska 8-10) will easily discover why. The art form actually flourished under communism and can still be commonly seen in the stylish high-minded aesthetics of posters all over the country’s walls and signboards. With such a knack for graphics, it stands to reason that Poles would have a penchant for street graphics as well. And they do. In Kraków, as in other cities around PL, street art is currently going through a tidal wave of popularity. While the city – long known for its conservatism – may still lag behind cities like Warsaw, Wrocław and Katowice, which have established themselves as the torchbearers for urban art in PL, in the last few years new street murals have become a common sight around Kraków as well. More restaurants and businesses are turning to street artists to playfully embellish their public spaces, and city authorities have even taken the surprising step of sponsoring some large scale murals around the city centre. In fact, the emergence of street art as a growing and legitimised artistic discipline has created an interesting dichotomy in Kraków’s urban landscape between both sanctioned and unsanctioned works of ‘graffiti art’ and the prolific gang signs, slurs and football-related graffiti that city paint crews have targeted in their war on ‘vandalism.’

At any rate, those with an interest in street art will have little trouble tracking it down in Kraków, and we’re making it even easier. In addition to cataloguing and GPSing street art addresses throughout the city centre below, we’ve also marked each place with a spray can symbol on the maps in the back of our print guide, so you can literally use them to give yourself a tour of Kraków’s urban art. Not only that, but those with a smartphone can use the mobile version of our website to do the work for them. We encourage you to do just that, and check out some of Kraków’s alternative artistic visions.
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