Warsaw

Warsaw's 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. 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 Warsaw, as in other cities around PL, street art is currently going through a tidal wave of popularity. In the last few years new street murals have become a common sight around Warsaw. 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. In fact, the emergence of street art as a growing and legitimised artistic discipline has created an interesting dichotomy in Warsaw’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.’

Today, street art around the city is going through a tidal wave of popularity and notoriety (you can read more about Warsaw Street Art on our site). Each summer the Street Art Doping Festival invites Europe's top street artists to leave their large scale marks around town. Examples of their murals can be seen at ul. Racławicka 17 (F-15), ul. Rakowiecka 2C (G-13) and ul. Bliska 23 (in Praga Południe) respectively, also, if you stick to the length of ul. Stalowa, to your left and right, you'll frequently see murals. Home-grown work can also be seen all around the city, with the more down at heel districts of Praga and Wola being particularly well represented. Keep your eyes open for the projects of sweetly subversive local heroine NeSpoon; her stencil series - based on motifs of traditional Polish lace designs - is often seen in the unlikeliest of places. Similar works by SC Szyman can also be found around the city.

At any rate, those with an interest in street art will have little trouble tracking it down in Warsaw, 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 Warsaw’s urban art. Not only that, but those with a smartphone can use our app or mobile version of our website to do the work for them. We encourage you to do just that, and check out some of Warsaw’s alternative artistic visions.

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