Street Art in Italy
Some of Italy's most vibrant art is found just walking around the city...if you know where to look!
Italy is a country rich in art, both indoors and out. One of the most vibrant artistic genres in Italy right now is street art, covering walls and viaducts from Milan to Palermo. Scouting out the best urban works is a bit like hunting for porcini mushrooms in the countryside: you need to be prepared to venture off the beaten track and keep sharp, because both pop up in the most unlikely of spots.
Nothing can compare to the joy of stumbling across a spectacular piece of art hidden down a narrow alley, plastered on the walls of an abandoned underpass or rising up from the ruins of a derelict factory. However, prepare to be disappointed at times, as well: the lifespan of a piece of street art is often tragically short (which is, of course, part of its appeal).
Exposed to the elements and without the watchful eye of gallery guards and security cameras, these works often fall victim to the weather or vandals long before the public has had the chance to fully enjoy them.
Here are a number of popular street artists who regularly paint and plaster the walls of Italian cities and whose work is particularly loved. These are just a sample of the tens if not hundreds of artists and works to be discovered, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you're in Italy!
Armed with stencils and paint, this French-born street artist has made his mark in the vibrant and densely populated city of Naples. Zilda spent months studying the various districts of the city before embellishing the walls of each with his beautiful Renaissance-inspired artwork... many of which have, like the elusive Zilda himself, already vanished!
Even if you didn't catch his stencils before they fade, Zilda often films himself working: take a look here!
Born as Fabrizio Sarti, Seacreative began his career as a graffiti artist, and decorated a number of public buildings and train carriages with unauthorized art work before evolving into an internationally acclaimed graphic designer. Some of his best and biggest works can be seen in Milan and Turin.
One of the most innovative street artists currently working in Italy, NemO integrates the inevitable deterioration of his works into the art itself, "burying" his paintings under layers of glue and newspaper which gradually peel away over time to reveal the images beneath.
If you'd like to get a better idea of how it works, take a look at the video: NemO's "Before After Papers"
Spanish-born Borondo came to Rome to study art when he was just 22, and quickly became one of the most prolific and beloved street artists in the Italian capital. Borondo has contributed to various street art festivals in Italy, including the Oltre Il Muro Festival in Sapri and the Mura Mura Fest in Pizzo.
Our Insider is Anna
Born in the UK, for the last 20 years Anna Madgwick has lived and worked in Italy. She is a freelance copy writer and translator.
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