I have to say, the street art in Reykjavik has blown me away! It’s everywhere…and it’s big! Icelanders apparently see a wall and say “Now that is alllmost big enough to be worth my time.” Love it!
There doesn’t seem to be a street art tour here, so I’ve just been snapping away as we come across pieces…which seems to be every block or two. Our guide on our snorkel tour (yes, we went snorkeling here in Iceland!) said he’s really started noticing it over the last decade or so. The graffiti isn’t very advanced, but the urban art is pretty spectacular. He also said the art continues into the suburbs, but we won’t have time to make it out there, unfortunately.
Here we go with some of my favorite pieces:
Here, I was about to say that the elephant painting was “ruined” by the taggers, but I’ve come to realize how temporary street art is. The artists put their work out there with the understanding that someone else might come along and paint right over it. Personally, I think of this particular example as the tagger marring the work since they didn’t really do anything with their tag, but it’s interesting how I no longer feel upset about it from the artist’s perspective.
One thing I noticed is that a number of the pieces we’ve seen focus on animals…and not only the ones you’d find here in Iceland!
Of course, it’s not all animals…
One name kept popping up again and again on the walls – Sara Riel. I wasn’t sure if that was a person or meant something in Icelandic, but it turns out to be a she and she’s quite the artist. Sara did a number of the works here: the acorn, the mushroom, the crazy fanciful animals that are above and below the Frankenstein-like monster. Not sure if she has any work outside of Iceland, but she’s sure done a lot here in Reykjavik over the last 5 years.
Sorry I can’t tell you anything about the other artists, but with all the amazing work, it won’t surprise me if someone starts up an informative tour someday soon. A fine reason for us to come visit Iceland again!
If these have inspired you and you’d like to see more, here are links to all my previous posts on street art and graffiti we’ve found around the world!
I love Sara Riel’s mushrooms and the acorn. Hope to find more of her work. And the 3 birds on a branch. They are a type of bee-eater that lives in…ready?…Tanzania. How’s that for a loop around your travels?!!
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